How To Stay Focused When Working From Home
March 18, 2020
Working from home is amazing, but sometimes it does get tedious. Not because the job is terrible, or because of a bossy boss, but because you simply sometimes can't to focus on a task. Distractions abound, and it's quite easy to lose focus on a task and do something else.
So what do you do when in a situation like this? Well, there are seven steps that you could take to avoid distractions.
1) Have A Work Area
Before you can even do any work, this is what you must deal with. It's so important to have a work area. Why? It's simple. Designated work areas help you focus.
Very often, we fall into the trap of working in places where we are too relaxed or comfortable. In these places of comfort, it's easy to get distracted by a lot of things. It could be the sight of a perfectly laid bed, the sound of the TV in the background, or even house chores.
Having a separate space for work allows you to focus on what you need to do and get them done. Even if you don't have an office, you should get a desk and a workstation like the MonitorStand Workstation S6G/S6T. It'll help you focus on your work and get things done easier with the least distractions.
2) Work During Your Peak
Another way to get things done is to work during periods you know you are most productive. The best way to do this is to know the hours that you are most likely to get work done without losing productivity.
You should also try to work when you have the most energy. It's easier to focus when you're full of energy and aren't weak and worn out.
Once you know your period of peak productivity, try to plan your schedule around it. That way, you'll be able to finish up your work on time without having to expend too much energy.
3) Track Yourself
Time management is a skill that every freelancer should have. It's easy to get so lost in the daze of the day that you start to forget how quickly time flies or what you use that time for.
To avoid this, it's important to track yourself. What do you spend your time doing? Is it essential? Can you cut it out of your schedule? How can you optimize your working hours?
All these are questions you need to ask yourself.
4) Get Dressed.
Now, this may not be something that you like. One of the reasons you're working from home in the first place is probably because you think pants are non-essential clothing. But hear me out. Dressing for the workday gives a certain sense of purpose. You're more likely to get sidetracked into binge-watching a series on Netflix while in Pyjamas than while in a suit. Getting dressed for work gets your mind in a "work" mind frame, and it can help kick out the vestiges of sleep in your mind.
5) Schedule Your Time
It's important to schedule your time if you really want to have any sort of productivity while working from home.
If you know that you absolutely have to be on your phone or social media, assign specific times for those activities. That way, you free up swathes of time to actually deal with your work. It's not enough to schedule times for these activities, it's also important that they have a time limit.
For example, you can decide to check social media once every two hours for fifteen minutes. That way, you have over a hundred minutes to devote all your energies to your work.
6) Schedule Non-Work Activities
If you work from home, then you know that non-work activities will take up any amount of your time you allow them to. There's always laundry to take care of, dishes that need cleaning and floors that need scrubbing.
While you can't just leave these things to take care of themselves, you have to be intentional about the amount of time you let them have. You need to schedule a number of hours each day or week for non-work activities. If you've expended those hours, then you need to focus on your work squarely— all those other household emergencies should learn to wait their turn.
7) Take Breaks When You Can
Importantly, you should try to take breaks when you need them, not when you want them. It's easier to be more productive when you are full of energy and willing to work than when you're weak and not willing.
While it may be a bit of weird advice, taking needed breaks will actually help you to be more productive. Humans aren't generally well suited to trying to "push through", and you should not spend more time than necessary pushing a boulder up a hill. If you're tired or weak, take a break.
Don't work yourself into a tired wreck. When you need breaks, learn to take them.