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How to Work Remotely Effectively When You Hit a Roadblock

by | Aug 29, 2023 | Blog

Remote work is an opportunity for greater freedom and flexibility, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. One of those challenges is dealing with obstacles or roadblocks in your work. Unlike in an office, where you might be able to seek immediate guidance from a colleague or manager, remote work often requires a more self-reliant approach to problem-solving. Here are some strategies to get you unstuck and boost your productivity when working remotely.

1. Go on a Walk

Taking a short walk can work wonders for your mind and body. Fresh air and a change of scenery often help in clearing your mind and may even spark the solution to a problem you’ve been grappling with. A brisk 15-20 minute walk can also increase endorphins, which naturally elevates your mood and can help you approach work with a new vigor.

2. Work from a Coffee Shop

Sometimes a change of environment can make all the difference. If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, consider working from a coffee shop or a co-working space. The ambient noise and different setting can help break the monotony and even lead to bursts of creativity.

3. Dress Professionally

Dressing up for work, even when you’re working from home, can have a psychological effect on your performance. By dressing professionally, you signal to yourself that it’s time to focus. This can help you get into the “work mode” more easily and may make you feel more confident in tackling challenges.

4. Stick to a Schedule

When you’re stuck on a task, it can be tempting to deviate from your schedule, thinking that maybe a “break” will help you solve the issue. While short breaks can be beneficial, abandoning your schedule often leads to decreased productivity. Maintaining a structured day can help you allocate specific times to brainstorm or problem-solve, making your workday more effective.

5. Seek Virtual Collaboration

Being remote doesn’t mean you have to solve problems on your own. Use collaboration tools like Slack, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams to reach out to colleagues for advice or brainstorming sessions. Sometimes, talking through a problem can provide new perspectives and solutions you hadn’t considered.

6. Take Short Breaks with the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique involves working in short, focused intervals (usually 25 minutes), followed by a 5-minute break. This method can be especially helpful when you’re stuck, as it forces you to step away from your work regularly, allowing your brain to reset and making it easier to tackle problems when you return.

7. Reflect and Reevaluate

If you find yourself consistently hitting roadblocks, it might be time to take a step back and assess your overall approach. Are you setting realistic goals? Are there skills you need to improve to complete your tasks more efficiently? Reflecting on these questions can offer valuable insights into your work process.

8. Exercise Your Creativity

Engaging in a creative activity can stimulate different parts of your brain and help you look at problems from a new angle. Whether it’s sketching, playing a musical instrument, or even cooking, taking some time to be creative can serve as a mental reset.

9. Set Mini-Goals

Breaking down a big task into smaller, more manageable goals can make it less daunting. As you achieve each mini-goal, you’ll build momentum that can help you overcome larger obstacles.


Working remotely offers numerous advantages, but it also requires a disciplined and proactive approach, especially when faced with challenges. These strategies are designed to help you navigate those tricky moments and come out on the other side more productive and enlightened. Remember, the key to effective remote work is adaptability and a willingness to try new methods when old ones aren’t cutting it.