Top Tips to Stay Focused When You Work From Home
When you work from home, the first thing that people in a traditional office situation will likely ask you is, “How do you stay focused?” This is a very valid question, as there are plenty of distractions at home.
It can be easy for them to picture a day full of lounging on the couch, eating snacks, and zoning out to the latest Netflix release. Unfortunately, if this was the case, there wouldn’t be any work getting done! Although most people who work from home report plenty of productivity, focus can be waning without the proper measures in place.
Regroup & Refresh
Interruptions will happen – regroup and accept them as you can. It’s easier to move on this way after you take a moment to refresh after small or large interruptions – the doorbell, kids, dogs, neighbors dropping by, phone calls, and so on. If you accept that these will happen and might throw you off for a moment or two, you’re better equipped to push past them.
Additionally, it’s helpful to regroup and take another glance at your current task or to do list after an interruption, as it brings you back in focus. In addition to these ideas, sometimes a quick walk or breath of fresh air outside can be invigorating. Do anything (brief!) you need to do to get your mind back in work mode.
Scheduling is a common theme in our posts and in the working world as a means of ideal organization – and for good reason. Your schedule keeps you on task, assures that things don’t slip through the cracks, and also keeps you focused. Whether it’s a schedule on a calendar or a master to do list, be sure you’re checking in with it fairly frequently throughout the day.
Another way to ensure expert focus is to schedule everything as you would in a traditional office workday. Allocate certain times of the day to complete your tasks, i.e., work on one task from 9:00-10:30am, another until noon, break for lunch, and then come back to your next task. You can even boost focus by adding in the “extras,” such as picking up kids from school or throwing in a few loads of laundry. When it’s not a spur-of-the-moment idea that leaves you unexpectedly away from your desk, it’s easier to get back in the groove of work.
Create a specific space to do your work, far away from distractions. Although you will still get interrupted from time to time, your workspace will become a kind of haven of productivity and focused energy.
It can be tough to focus when you sit in front of the TV or at the kitchen table all day. Make your space your own with good lighting, comfortable furniture, an appropriate desk, and a door to close for calls and conferences.
Staying focused can be a tough task when you work from home, but it can be accomplished with some good planning and acceptance of those interruptions. Refer to your schedule often, regroup when things are thrown off, and create a specific space for work and see your focus improve tremendously.