Working from home provides a lot of benefits, such as avoiding the daily commutes, saving more money, and having more time with your family. On the flip side, home environments introduce challenges that quickly get you off the course. It’s easy to get distracted, lose your attention to detail, or slack off, bringing in trouble and making you less productive on the work front
The good news is that with small steps and ample effort you can be right on track and make the best out of your workday. Here are some valuable tips for keeping you focused while working at home.
1. Have a designated workspace
Carrying your laptop and while in bed, on the couch, or on your patio is part of the freedom and comfort of working from home. Doing so, however, can quickly ruin your personal and professional time, keeping you away from your work mindset. As such, it’s important to get a designated workspace in your home. Whether it’s a separate home office or nook specifically carved for work, it can help get that association needed to keep your focus – just like the sofa is for relaxation and entertainment, your designated workspace should be for working.
2. Create and stick to a schedule
Another perk of working from home is having the flexibility to control when to work. The catch is that many at-home workers misuse it and get lost in the process. Address that by first finding out when you are most productive and focused. Are you a person who loves to start work early in the morning? Do you want to allow time for errands and start at around 10:00 am? Are you a night person instead?
Once you’ve figured that out, start setting up a schedule and establish your working hours during those times. Through that, you can have a concrete structure that can make your workday feel more orientated and keep you more focused.
While making a schedule is a must, you need to ensure that all your tasks are handled more effectively. A key to that is devising a system of prioritization, which entails focusing on ones that are urgent and most valuable to your company, business, customers, and co-workers. Write down all your tasks, filter out those you need to accomplish and drop one that may be unnecessary or may not tote any value.
4. Schedule breaks
Working for long hours can take a toll on you mentally and physically. You need to disconnect from work at different points in a day to rejuvenate your mind and body. So, schedule regular breaks to get some snacks, stand up, walk around, or get a view of the outside from your window. It can be every 90-120 minutes, whichever works for you. Taking breaks can clear your mind, make your body relaxed, and help you reset your focus.
5. Make use of the technology available to help keep your focus
With the advancement of technology, a lot of tools and applications are available to help you keep your focus. If you find it hard to resist opening other tabs not related to work, you can install extensions that will allow which websites can you only open during your working hours. Once you open Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube, the site won’t load or appear blurred, seemingly giving you a nudge to get back to work.
If listening to music helps you increase your focus, install music streaming apps that can play instrumental music, so you won’t get bemused by the lyrics. Some apps even feature mix and match features, which you can take advantage of to create your ideal music. On the other hand, there are also focus-oriented apps that come with time-tracking capability, to-do lists, task managers, and progress trackers, which are all useful to keep your focus along the right lines.
6. Dress for work
It’s quite cool being to roll out of your bed and open your laptop while you’re in pajamas. Yet, can you really focus on your tasks with your PJs on? Though you’re not leaving home, it’s still best to dress for work to get the right perspective. Of course, there’s no need to wear your pencil skirt and heels or a suit, you can even wear yoga pants and a shirt if you wish. What’s important is to have that morning routine, consisting of washing your face, brushing your teeth, and switching clothes, that will provide an element of “transition” and make you feel that it’s now time to work.
7. Set boundaries
Being an at-home worker means having your family or housemates around, making it easier for them to bug you/ Not to mention that your friends are also there who would invite you for a long lunch or a movie night, especially if they don’t understand the nature of your work.
With that, it’s vital to have the people around you know what you’re doing and set boundaries. Have your family respect your working hours. Tell your friends when you are available for a phone call or a meetup and when you’re not. That way, you can avoid any distractions or unnecessary errands down the line.
8. Stay physically fit
You might be surprised but being physically fit is essential in attaining full focus. Without ample physical activity, your body becomes sluggish, making your brain to be the same as well. Don’t hesitate to incorporate some physical workouts in a day. It can be a brisk walk in the early morning, a late afternoon walk with your dog, or a 5-minute workout routine or stretching during one of your breaks. It will help you get that mental refresh and get your tasks done for the day.
9. Reward yourself
Rewards don’t only work for kids. You can use it to motivate yourself and keep your focus. Bribe yourself with a cup of chocolate or the latest episode of your favorite series after completing an important project? Having something to look forward to will keep you grinding and can make you even accomplish it quicker.
10. Celebrate your wins
Celebrate your wins, be it big or small. If you finished challenging tasks, list them down. If you secured a good deal after meeting with a client, write a small note and pin it on your post-it wall pad. Whenever your mind is wandering or whenever you feel disheartened, look at your achievements or the bulk of tasks you’ve completed. Enliven that feeling of satisfaction and use it to regain your focus and keep plugging away.
Losing focus is one of the last things you wish to happen when working from home. Don’t let it happen by following these tips, make necessary adjustments wherever needed, and start getting that laser focus for a productive working day at home!