How to stay focused while working from home
Having a remote working setup can both be a blessing and a problem. For one, you don’t have to rush out to the office and then spend hours on the road just to get back home. Anything that you need to do can be done in the comfort of your home. But also, working from home means that you’ll be incredibly comfortable and that there will be a lot of distractions around you. In this article, we listed out several tips on staying focused and being productive while you’re working from home. Check it out!
Get out of bed
Our bodies and brain associate our beds with comfort, relaxation, and sleep. Working from your bed will result in you feeling less than enthusiastic about doing any kind of work. Instead of giving in and staying in bed, push yourself out of there, and have a dedicated working space in your home.
It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged home office; set up your space in the corner of your home and work from there. Organize all your work items in that space, so you have all that you need within an arm’s reach.
Change out of your sleepwear
Some people have the idea that it’s pretty neat to roll out of bed and immediately start working. It’s a good thought not to scramble and rush to the shower and dress up as fast as you can so that you’re not late to the office as you’ll be doing it from home instead but, it isn’t that easy. Sticking to your sleepwear or loungewear while trying to do work will, again, make you feel relaxed and less than energized to finish your tasks.
To prevent that, you have to change out of your loungewear before starting work. Shower, wash your face, brush your teeth — do your usual routine — and dress up as if you’re off to the office. You don’t have to wear your button-ups and slacks at home; your casual outside clothes would be enough.
Have a schedule
One of the perks of having a remote arrangement is working when you want to. However, it usually results in procrastinating and delaying tasks, saving them for later rather than finishing early. It leads to workers using up their entire day just to complete their duties and not having time to rest and recuperate. Maintain a schedule like how you would do as if you were in the office.
It’s also essential to stick to a wake-and-sleep schedule. Even when at home, you wouldn’t want to push back your supposed plan for the day just because you slept way too late and ended up sleeping in. Set up a sleep time each night, and have your alarm wake you up at the same time each morning
Have a to-do list
Once you’ve set your schedule, it’s time to break down your tasks. It could feel daunting; maybe you’re not sure where to start, or perhaps you’re figuring out how you’d start and finish all of them. Having a to-do list helps you keep track of duties that you have to do each day. Separate your tasks into categories, and only put around 7 to 8 items in each category. Have a realistic estimate of how long it will take you to do each task. And, most importantly, prioritize the tasks you have at hand. Your most important and urgent matters go to the top of the list, while the not important nor urgent ones go at the end of the list.
It’s extremely easy to get distracted at home. Working at home means there’s no one monitoring you, trying to see if you’re doing your job. Working at home means you can browse endlessly, pick up your phone and lose yourself on mobile games or apps, and so on. Thankfully, there are browser extensions and apps out there that you can download to help you in staying focused while working.
If you’re not too keen on installing app or website blockers, then set a limit for yourself while working. You can use time blocks to keep distractions at bay; tell yourself not to open any social media website for 3 hours, or maybe not touch any non-work related app on your phone for 2 hours, and so on.
Put on some background music
Being at home means being surrounded by your family even when you have to work. It’s easy to fall into banter with them or tune in to their activities instead of doing your tasks. Get yourself a good pair of earphones, plug them in, and play music. Listening to music while working can help you be more focused on the task at hand. Not only that, but music also entertains you and can get you through all your duties, whether they’re heavy or not.
You can listen to your favorite tunes, or maybe search up playlists on Spotify that’ll help you concentrate on your work. Pro-tip: according to research, video game soundtracks are the best ones to listen to for optimum productivity.
Have a timer for your tasks
It’s a good idea to have a timer while you work so that you don’t quickly get burned out during the day. One thing that a lot of people use to time their productivity is the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique breaks down your tasks into in-depth work sessions with short breaks in between. Most people use a Pomodoro timer, with 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes break, 25 minutes of work again, and then 10 minutes of break, and so on. To put it in an example, you can focus on your task for 25 minutes, and when that’s over, you can take a short break for 5 minutes to stretch your legs, breathe, drink water, and such. After 5 minutes, you can continue your work again for a full 25 minutes, and then take a break for 10 minutes after, before diving into a 25-minute session again.
Even if you’re immersed in work, one of the most important things to do is to take breaks. Taking a break will rest your brain and body from being too overloaded. Eating is also one thing that most people tend to forget. Don’t forget to put in breakfast, lunch, and dinner in your daily schedules. Be sure to steer your full meals away from your workspace; eat in the kitchen or the dining room so that you can take a well-deserved break and not work.
Set a finishing time each day
In line with having a schedule for each day, it’s also important to note when to step back from work. Just because all your work materials are easily accessible doesn’t mean you have to attend to it 24/7. Set up a finishing time and stick to it so that you also have ample time to rest. Keep your work laptop or phone away; emails, messages, and calls can always be attended to the next business day.
After having a grueling workday, it’s important to reward yourself. Rewarding yourself can also be a form of motivation for you to finish all the duties that you have. It’s something that you can look forward to after dealing with clients, documents, and more all day long. Rewarding yourself could be anything: a sweet dessert, a hot relaxing bath, playing your favorite video game, watching a movie, settling down to read a book, and more. Anything that will make you feel recharged and happy is a great reward.
We hope that these tips will be able to help you stay focused while you work at home. Let us know how it goes for you!