5 Tips for Staying Focused Working from Home
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Working from home is both a blessing and a curse. You don’t have to endure a daily commute, with hours stuck in traffic jams or waiting in the rain for the bus, you can grab a snack whenever you want to, take the dog out for a walk in the middle of day or sit about in your pyjamas from dawn to dusk. But, there are also a number of disadvantages to working from home as well. You don’t have the opportunity to make friends in the workplace in the same way, getting distracted from what you’re actually meant to be doing is a lot more likely… and you can sit about in your pajamas from dawn to dusk.
However, most people who work remotely say that it’s the distractions and keeping up concentration that is the hardest part and the greatest disadvantage. So, without further ado, here are five tips for staying focused when you work from home.
Ultimately, getting dressed each day for work is important, even if the only person who’s going to catch a glimpse of you is yourself as you walk by the mirror, or the post man when he delivers a parcel. Of course, pajamas are much comfier than a pair of trousers and a shirt, but that in itself is the issue. Our bodies appreciate the comfiness of our bed wear, and consciously or unconsciously, our minds react to this comfortability by shutting down the practical parts of our brains. By getting dressed into proper clothing at the start of each day, you are allowing your brain to get into a much more productive, work-orientated mode, and it also helps to get you into a more structured and professional routine, which in itself is essential for being focused and motivated for your at-home work-day.
Set A Start and Finish Time for Your Day
When you work from home, a lot of the time it’s up to you to decide when you’re going to put in the hours. Sometimes this flexibility can be super beneficial. You can schedule in that dentist appointment for any time of day, or you can finish early to go meet up with a friend. However, having a general starting and finishing time for your day is important if you want to maintain high levels of productivity. If you know you work best in a morning, for example, start your day and 6am and finish up at 2pm, or if you hate mornings and don’t have any evening commitments, for example, set your start and finish times as 11am to 7pm. Having a set start and finish time, whatever it might be, prevents you from procrastinating and putting off the workload, which is of course never going to be very productive habit.
[In a non-remote work setting, there is likely structure in place, from set office hours to set break and lunch times. But when working remotely, these may not exist. As such, it’s left for you to decide when and whether to take breaks, and as a result a lot of people who work remotely find it difficult to take that time to pause and have half an hour or so to eat something and unwind.
Whilst it can feel like breaks interrupt our train of thought and thus hinder our productivity, overall we can think and work to a much higher standard when we’re not going into overdrive and starving hungry. Like with deciding when to start and finish your workday, decide when you will take your lunch and coffee break. Take time to eat a proper meal, have a drink and read through the news, play on a few good bingo sites, or get out into your neighbourhood for a brisk walk. Taking this time out will undoubtedly benefit your work in the long run.
Have A Work Area
Staying focused throughout the workday is going to be difficult if you work from the comfort of your bed, or work in the same room that your kids play in. Having a good desk in a quiet area of your house will really help you to stay motivated and in a professional mind set.
Turn Social Media Off
We all know that social media can serve as a pretty monumental distraction, and whilst in the office the gaze of your boss will probably be enough to stop you from picking up your phone every ten minutes, at home it’s a lot trickier. Be sure to mute all notifications from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even your personal emails. If this isn’t enough, put your phone away in a draw, or in another room entirely.
Staying focused when you work from home isn’t always easy, but hopefully this handful of simple but effective tips should help you out.
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