Are you having difficulty finding focus while working from home? Whether you are a seasoned home office worker or you’ve been thrust into working out of a spare bedroom, an unfinished basement or even your kid’s nursery, here are 8 ways to stay focused while working from home.
Note: This is a guest post from Jennifer who is a writer at the Frugal For Less blog. Many of us are not traveling right now so we’ve been featuring a few pieces about working from home over the last few months. This “new normal” for many of us has been interesting, to say the least, especially for travelers who are used to being on the road nearly nonstop.
How to Stay Focused while Working from Home
It’s tough. You’re at home and there are so many distractions. From kids to pets, Amazon Prime deliveries, and everything in between, it always seems like there’s something pulling you away from work. Those distractions can be infuriating and can become a major productivity suck if you aren’t careful.
Staying focused while working from home is the key to maintaining your productivity, but how do you actually do this? Luckily, there are some easy ways to find and stay focused working from home. You can put these smart ideas into practice starting today. Take a look.
Turn Off Distractions
This one is pretty obvious, right? Turn off distractions – or at least minimize them. This will help you hyper-focus on your work without any outside noise distracting you. Here are some examples of common distractions:
- Radio or music
- Social media
- Your phone
- Tablet and other electronic devices
A lot of us need a little something going on in the background, as background noise, like TV on, etc. However, you’d be surprised how much something like that can distract you. When I started turning off TV while working, I got twice as much done, easily. Give this a try.
Create a Calendar – and use it
Creating a calendar is an awesome way to keep you organized. It’s a way for your tasks to stare you right in the face, with a due date!
If you’re having a tough time meeting deadlines especially, starting a calendar is a good way to help you out here.
And, as a cool side effect, you’ll find that your focus and productivity will improve. Not to mention, you will have a load of stress taken off your shoulders since you’ll no longer have to keep those important dates and deadlines in your head. You can put everything down on your calendar!
Create a Dedicated Workspace
This is so crucial! If you don’t have a dedicated workspace at home, create one, today! This can be a home office, your kitchen table, a spare bedroom, the garage, etc.
Pick a space and stick to it.
I used to lounge from room to room in my home, telling myself I liked the freedom of working wherever I wanted but the truth is, I was way less focused working this way.
I wouldn’t switch workspaces weekly, I was changing where I worked midday. It was crazy.
Once I began working out of one space, my home office, it’s like a lightbulb went off.
I got so much more work done.
Make the switch and you will see the difference instantly.
Keep Away from Social Media
Social media is such a distraction. Even if you intend on checking your messages for a second. It can quickly blow up into you scrolling through your feed, checking your friends pages, etc.
The best thing to do here is stay away.
Log out of all your social media accounts, turn off notifications, and if you want to go extreme, delete the app!
I watched a video recently where a business owner was trying to be more present in his life so he made the decision to delete all his social media apps.
He didn’t quit social media but, because checking his Instagram account became such an issue, he would download and use the app when he needed to, then when done, delete it.
This was the practice he put into play to help him quiet the social media noise around him and help him be more present everyday. That seems extreme, so if you can’t (or don’t want) to completely step away from social media during the workday, at least limit it to scheduled breaks.
Dress the Part
It’s funny but people dream about being able to work in their pajamas. If you dress in lounge wear or sleepwear, you have a more casual, laid back attitude about your day. You’re just more lax about everything.
Skip the yoga pants or sweats and put on slacks or jeans.
This small change will have a huge impact on your performance. Try it this week and see if you notice a difference.
Don’t Work on Your Home
If you’re working at home, it can be easy to get distracted by home stuff, like pets, chores, etc.
A sink full of dirty dishes is starting at you while you’re working on your kitchen table and all you want to do is wash them and clean your kitchen.
These distractions can be super tempting but ignore it. Not to mention, once you start one chore, it can really take over your entire day. You start by washing your dishes, then you move into vacuuming, sweeping and mopping the floors, cleaning the bathrooms, on and on.
Avoid this by not getting started on chores in the first place.
If you want your home to be sparkly clean while you work, take some time (outside your work schedule) to prep and clean your home.
Try night cleaning. This way you’ll go to bed and wake up with a clean house. Plus, the work you’ll exert cleaning your home will tire you out a little and lead to a better night’s sleep.
Meet deadlines, be attentive to important tasks and stay organized with the help of technology. It can be like your own best personal assistant.
Here are some examples:
- Electronic notifications
- Free tools for automation like IFTTT (If This Then That)
- Auto bill pay
- And, more!
It’s about working smarter and not harder, right?
Stop Work on Time – and have a set schedule
Unless you’re scheduled to work overtime, when your shift ends, clock out and leave work behind.
Don’t go back and work on some things after dinner or get a head start in the morning while eating breakfast.
You want to separate work and life the best you can for work/life balance. Working more does not lead to better work, if that makes sense.
Work is work. It’s tempting to try to get a little extra done outside your work schedule but don’t. That time is for you.
If you are struggling with this, create a routine to separate work from life. Putting your routine into practice will turn it into a habit and this can be something as simple as washing your hands or feeding pets after your shift ends.
There you go, 8 ways to find focus while working from home – and stay focused! While you may find some of these tips don’t work for you, give ’em a shot as it’s likely they will become more focused and productive while working from home.
How about you? Do you have tips to improve focus working at home? What’s the one thing you’ve found that keeps you focused while working from home? We would love to hear from you. Share your thoughts below in the comments!
Guest Post Bio: My name is Jenn Leach. I’m a writer over at Frugal for Less where I share money hacks, frugal living tips, and smart money advice to help people reach their financial goals. When I’m not working, you can catch me binge-watching reality TV shows or listening to my favourite podcasts about business, money, and life.
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