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Whether you’re working from home in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic or you’re already a full-time freelancer, remote work can come with unique obstacles. Especially if you’re not used to it, it can be difficult to reach the same level of focus that you might have in an office setting. To maximize your productivity, we have compiled our top tips and tricks to stay focused while working from home.
1-Have a designated and clean workspace
Placement of your workspace can make or break your productivity. Are you too close to the TV or in arms reach of the pantry? Seek out a spot in your home with minimal distractions that you can make your own. Find that spot and make sure you have enough room to work.
Having not only a dedicated workspace but a CLEAN workspace is a must! Clutter not only competes for your attention; it affects your ability to focus. Working in a neat and tidy environment frees up your mind giving you space to think and focus. A clean workspace will also aid in finding things more easily. This reduces wasted time, energy, and the stress of searching for things
2-Dress the part/ change out of pajamas
You may be working from home, but that doesn’t mean you should lounge around in your pajamas all day. By getting out of your comfortable clothes and into proper working attire, you are setting the tone for the day. Make like you’re going out to work, just a bit more casual. Now dressing in a suit may be a bit extreme but if it puts you in the right headspace, go for it!
3-Establish clear working hours / Create a routine
Lack of organization is a key component of why people struggle to stay focused while working from home. One way to encourage better organization with your time is to start a routine. By simulating a routine in your home, the same way, you would at the office, you’re signaling your brain that’s it time to work.
4- Assign timeslots for different tasks
Now that you have your routine set and have clearly defined your working hours, delegate your tasks to timeslots accordingly. You may think you know how much time you spend on various tasks throughout the day, but odds are you’re probably wrong. That’s nothing against you. It’s just that unless you actually track your time, you’ll never truly know where it goes. Don’t work in the dark. Instead, harness your productivity by recognizing where your time goes each day.
5-Close non-work-related tabs
Turn off your notifications! Having non-work-related tabs or apps open is a recipe for distraction. If you have not designated timeslots for these apps and tabs, then keep them closed! You are disserving yourself by keeping them open.
Do yourself a favor and limit the noise around you so that you can focus on the things that actually matter.
6-Turn on music
Another easy tip for staying focused throughout the day is to play music. But, not just any music. You want music that will help you concentrate. Pick something with an uplifting rhythm, steady and with little to no words. You can’t focus on the task at hand and sing your favorite songs at the same time. Listen to music geared towards helping you focus and watch how your concentration levels improve because of it.
7-Take breaks and move
This may sound counter-intuitive but taking planned breaks can really help improve your focus. Short breaks, even if only for a few minutes, will allow you to maintain a consistent level of focus. Taking breaks will allow you to rest, recover, and reset so that you can get back to your work with renewed energy and concentration. Instead of succumbing to the distraction, build it in.
8-Get enough sleep
Your ability to focus will be highly impacted if you are not prioritizing your sleep. It is hard for you to focus and make decisions when you are tired. Overwhelming thoughts of how tired you are, flood your mind distracting you from the tasks at hand. An average person needs to sleep 7-8 hours daily. This will lead you to wake up feeling refreshed and clear-minded. To help maximize your quality and quantity of sleep, avoid screen usage at least one hour before bed. The blue light derived from screens can interfere with your quality of sleep.
In these current times working from home is the new normal. If you find yourself struggling to stay focused and feel as if working from home is not for you, you are not alone. Self-discipline is a learned technique that will help you thrive during these current circumstances. By applying these tips to your life, you are setting yourself up for success. You are enhancing your ability to focus which will allow you to succeed while working from home.