Working from home can be a fantastic career decision. You are in charge of your own schedule, allowing you to work around other home commitments and you don’t have to contend with the daily commute. Possibly the biggest disadvantage to working from home, however, is that it is easy to be distracted. Here are some tips and tricks to help you to stay focused.
Make a Daily Plan
Before you get started on work, make a list of the tasks that you absolutely must complete in that day. You can also write a second lists of tasks that need to be done but are not time sensitive. Then schedule breaks for yourself – they can be ten minutes once you have completed a task, or five minutes every half an hour. If you know you have a break coming up, it is easier to stay focused. Work your way through your priority list and then get started on the less important tasks if you have time.
Maintain a Morning Routine
It is so tempting to get up and start working in your pyjamas, but this is not great for your productivity. Instead, give yourself an hour to wake up. Have a shower, enjoy a hearty breakfast and do any small household tasks such as the washing up, so it does not act as a distraction while you work. And definitely get dressed!
Take Time to Get Some Vitamin D
If you have no reason to leave the house, you can quickly become quite sedentary. Whether you quickly run round to the nearest convenience shop for a pint of milk, or take a longer walk to the park, it is important to get outside every day. The fresh air can help to refocus your mind and reenergize your body!
Create a Calm Working Space
This will depend on your current home set-up, but you should allocate a quiet space where you can go to work. If you bring your laptop to bed, or sit on the sofa to answer your emails, you won’t be as productive as when you sit down at your designated desk. This gives a stronger signal to your brain that it is time to work, not relax. If you are lucky enough to have a set office room, then use it! Otherwise, try and set up a desk where you will be less likely to be distracted by other people in your household.
Turn Off Your Phone
One of the biggest distractions for many is their mobile phone. The temptation to start scrolling through social media is immense and it can take up a surprising amount of time through the day. Either turn it off, or, if you need it for work, place it slightly out of reach, so you are less likely to look for it as your mind wanders.
With home working on the rise around the world, it is more important than ever for us to master the art of staying focused and productive without the constant pressure from our employers. There are definitely more positives than negatives, however, so enjoy your independence!