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How To Avoid Killing Your Focus While Working From Home
Working from the comfort of your house – sounds like a dream, right?
Unfortunately, it isn’t always the case.
Here are our tips to keep focused and productive all day while working from home.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that not everybody has the luxury of working from home.
There are some jobs that you simply cannot perform from home.
In addition, not everybody has a house designed for having a space dedicated to work, making it hard to work productively regardless of the context.
Even for those who don’t fall in those two categories might find it hard to work productively from home. Let’s see why.
The remote work struggle is real
Let’s compare what happens when you work from home with the regular office setting:
- At home, there are no clear boundaries between work and personal life;
- Possible technical difficulties can arise (slow Internet connection, accessibility of software, security issues…)
- There’s no real work schedule dictated by clock-in/clock-out times;
- Asynchronous/delayed communication with colleagues makes it difficult to get the resources you need to work;
- Completely self-managed work schedule;
- There are no mental constraints of “being at work” to keep us focused
And so on.
To all that you have to add the actual work: tasks, planning, online meetings, brainstorming time, conference calls with clients, with managers, with other colleagues…
To sum it up, working from home requires a great effort of focus and willpower.
If you find yourself struggling to stay productive all day while working from home, here are a few tips that I think may help.
I, too, have recently switched to working from home and I have found these tips especially useful to carry out all my marketing-related work.
4 Basic Tips To Stay Focused While Working From Home
#1 Don’t work in your pajamas
Admit it: you have tried it, have you?
It’s oh, so tempting to just roll out of your bed, grab a quick cup of coffee, and then drag yourself in front of the laptop in your pj’s and slippers.
But this is why you should NOT do it.
First of all, what happens if you have to pop in a video call with a client or your boss and you accidentally leave the webcam on?
Secondly, did you know that working in pajamas can mess up your concentration and sleep cycles?
Lastly, putting on actual clothes for work will help you create that mental boundary between your personal and work life, that now both take place in the same space. In addition, wearing actual shoes instead of slippers can help you maintain a good posture while you work, saving you a lot of neck and back pain.
#2 Have a dedicated place for work only, if possible
The ideal homework setting would be to have a separate room to use as a home office.
This way, you can shut out distractions, have a little privacy, and have a physical wall between your work and personal life.
Unfortunately, not everybody lives in a big enough house that allows that.
In this case, it’s enough to cut yourself a little corner or space in your house where to put your laptop and get to work.
It can be a small desk, a table, or a part of a table that you designate as a work zone. The important thing is that you use that space for work only.
(I’d suggest, if possible, not to have this place in your bedroom, to keep up the work-life balance boundaries as much as possible)
#3 Don’t forget to take breaks
Working from home should not be an excuse to overexert yourself.
Sure, you have to give 100% on the job (even at home), but you should not work non-stop and push yourself to the limit because “I’m comfortable at home anyway!”
Your brain needs a break from time to time, otherwise, it will have a harder time to focus as the day works on. Don’t underestimate the risks of burnout: it can happen to remote workers, too, and it could be made worse by the widespread anxiety and panic due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So make sure to take regular breaks from time to time, to stretch your back, rest your eyes and stay hydrated.
#4 Try to stick to your usual working hours
Managing your own schedule at home means you don’t have to punch a card or access your work premises by a certain time, or stick religiously to a lunch break… That takes a lot of stress away, for sure.
But managing your schedule at home also means completely upsettings your routines.
Humans are creatures of habit, and we need routines to keep our life in order and put our brains on autopilot when we’re too tired or stressed.
If you have transitioned to working from home to an office setting, I’d suggest trying to respect your usual hours.
Start working when you would on a regular office day, and eat at your usual lunchtime. Most importantly, stop working in the afternoon at your office's regular closing hours.
This will help you get into your work routine and unplug your brain when you’ve finished.
Your focus and your productivity will thank you, believe me!
How do you keep productive all day while working from home? Let us know in the comments!