From now on, I’m gonna write my experience as a remote worker here.
I’m happy that I’ve finally found my niche to write about. So, hold tight. More remote-work related posts are coming!
Working for an overseas company from my home was the only thing I’ve been striving for the last 3 to 4 years.
It became my goal. It became the thing that pulled me out of my bed in the morning. It became the thing that I spontaneously daydream about while talking to someone.
And when it finally happened, I was nervous than ever. What would happen now? what if I fuck this up? such questions were all over my head.
1. The Impostor Syndrome
When you’re working remotely, impostor-syndrome kicks in hard. On a traditional/old-school corporate work environments, an employee could get by a day or two slacking off and doing nothing. Well, as long as he’s physically sitting behind his desk, no one could think about laying him off unless he’s exceptionally bad at his job or haven’t been meeting his deadlines for a long time.
On a remote working environment, I started to self-scrutinize myself. Everyday, I pushed myself hard because if I don’t do that and get things done in short amount of time, how could I justify my presence in that company? It’s even worse when you are only remote employee in the team.
So, my stress level jumped through the ceiling…
2. The flow that I could hardly get into
Getting into the flow is every programmer’s mantra. It’s the holy grail of performance. But it’s an elusive thing unless you’re only few hours away from a deadline.
Whenever I try to push myself into the flow, something inside of me tries to get me away from the task at the hand. Which is a classic example of procrastination and I fight it adamantly. Procrastination would’ve gotten me and I would’ve been thrown into an abyss of totally useless, yet neurologically “rewarding” activities such as playing video games, watching funny videos and scrolling through FB feed…
3. The so-called “digital nomad” lifestyle is not for me
“Digital nomad” is the term that makes me cringe every time I hear it. Ironically, it seems now I’m considered as a “digital nomad” by the people who use this term extensively.
I don’t like working from unfamiliar locations, not to say coffee shops or overly crowded co-working spaces. I like comfort of my home and 27″ display that I bought specifically for coding on it. But it doesn’t mean I have no interest in travelling. I just want to do that when I’m not actually working. And experience the whole thing without any work-related background noise humming in my head.
Then I actually resolved most of them!
After few months of trial and error, I’ve found remedies to the above issues. I’m gonna write about them in detail, later. But here are the main points:
- The Impostor Syndrome: I’m trying to embrace it and use it as a leverage to improve my skills. Having an impostor syndrome has tremendous benefit of keeping you on edge! So you never settle and slack off.
- The Flow: As I found out, it’s extremely hard to focus when the task at hand is somewhat ambiguous. So keep every task to-the-point and clear. That way, procrastination will not get hold of you. Then use the pomodoro technique. I’ve been using it since the last summer and it’s the best method to get things done! (actually you have to use it in combination of multiple other productivity techniques to get most of it though)
- “Digital nomad” thingy: Setting clear boundaries between where/when you work and where/when you chill out makes the biggest difference. So, I think I can travel and work while maintaining a healthy state of mind :P.