Keep a consistent schedule that works for you
This doesn't have to be set in stone, but try to keep it as consistent as possible so people know when they can reach out to you and get a quick reply.
Create your schedule around when the majority of your team is online and when you're most productive.
Try to be as active and responsive as possible in chat during that team overlap window. Then schedule your deep work for when you're feeling most productive.
For example, my team is most active in the morning so I'm typically always paying attention to chat during that time. Then, because I'm a night owl, I tend to do all of my deep work late in the evening, when it's quiet and no one is around.
Force yourself to stay focused
This is where apps are super handy. Here's the tools I think every remote worker should utilize for maximum efficiency.
Time management tools
Remote work makes it ridiculously easy to track where you're spending the most time with literally zero effort beyond clicking "Install."
While workers rave about RescueTime, I personally love Timing for Mac.
Distraction blocking tools
Once you know where you're wasting too much time, you can install a browser extension that blocks distracting websites for extended periods of time. Check out this list Zapier compiled of the top ones.
While these tools work for a lot of people, they don't work for me because I'll just turn them off. For people like me, I recommend forgetting tools and visiting places without wifi to get stuff done. Simply download all the online sources you'll need beforehand.
Get ready like you're going into an office
According to researchers, clothing affects people's mental processes and perceptions. I believe it. It's one of the reasons I tend to spend some time getting ready in the morning.
Even if I'm just putting on leggings and a white tee, I always take 15 minutes to throw on some makeup, and do my hair.
Regardless of when I'm leaving the house, it makes me feel more productive and like I'm ready to hit the ground running in the morning. I think this is also because it gives me some time to actually wake up before hopping online the minute I get out of bed.
Some days I even put on nicer clothes, which aren't as comfortable, because it subconsciously reminds me that I need to stay away from the kitchen all day long.
It's been well-documented that knowledge workers tend to gain weight easily. While I haven't found much research on this, I'm a firm believer remote workers are significantly more likely to gain weight than their in-office counterparts so I like to do subtle things like this to stay healthy.
ADDITIONAL TIPS AND TRICKS
And in case all of the above wasn't enough, I have a few more tricks up my sleeve. Here they are.
Love what you do
This tip is vital if you want to be successful working from home. As I've mentioned multiple times already, remote work tends to be more work so you must truly enjoy what you're doing most of the time.
Stay accountable, and be self-directed
While you should do this for any job, it's especially important that remote workers embody these attributes. Stay organized, and set deadlines for yourself so people don't have to hound you for updates or deliverables.
I tend to change locations two to three times throughout my day, divided by projects I'm working on. This allows my brain to recenter around a new project and avoid burnout after a long stint of work.