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Stay focused working at home! As a remote worker myself, I sometimes faced the trouble of staying focused. Although WFH or remote work is convenient and cost-effective, it can sometimes cause poor performance. I mean, inside our comfort zone, there can be a lot of distractions. Feel me?
But hope is not far! Today, I’ll be sharing my secret to productivity. Here’s a list of 15 effective ways to help you stay focused while remotely working.
15 Ways to Stay Focused Working from Home
Sometimes knowing yourself can make a huge difference. Do you consider yourself a lark, or are you a nocturnal person? Regardless, ponder what time of the day you’re at your best and work during this period.
Experts suggest learning which time of the day we are most productive can help us stay focused. For instance, if you can easily focus between nine to eleven o’clock in the morning, prioritize important tasks during this time. And then save the less important tasks for later hours.
#2 Having a dedicated home office
A dedicated home office is crucial when working at home since it’ll give you a sense of serious working. Like a bed for sleeping, a workspace should be for working.
It doesn’t matter how big it is as long as it’s enough for you to work comfortably and quietly. It may be tempting to just sit on the couch with a laptop, but the posture will be awkward and near distractions such as TV.
To stay healthy and productive while working at home, consider a desk, proper lighting, and a comfortable office chair. The setting should also be in a private space or room to keep some noise away.
#3 Use tools
Technology is a must to become a great administrative assistant! Having the right tools is as important as having the right desk and high-speed internet. Use tools that can help you automate and run things smoothly.
Find software that suits your daily tasks like setting appointments, scheduling emails, and social media posts. Try noise-canceling headphones to block out audible distractions around and keep you stay focused.
#4 Make a to-do list
Creating a to-do list helps you have a starting point for each day and reminds you of what needs to get done. As old school as it may sound, keeping track of your to-do’s will keep you focused on a certain goal. A to-do list app works better compared to a written to-do list.
Make a to-do list right before you end work for the day to identify your tasks for the next day. This provides closure and transition every workday.
#5 Schedule Your Day
Schedule your day and follow your dedicated working hours. No need to over-schedule yourself, at least have an idea of what you want to accomplish each day.
Begin by writing down your professional and personal tasks for the whole day. Identify top priorities orderly. Then, create a chart on what time you’ll start or finish a certain. Also, stay flexible. These are critical to staying focused while working from home.
#6 Dress up
While you might not need to wear a complete office dress when you’re not leaving your home, getting dressed can ignite your mood for work. It doesn’t even have to be smart-casual. As long as you dress, they can give you a professional mindset.
As the saying goes, you are what you wear, meaning what you wear can either help or hurt your focus and productivity! Besides that, also keep your morning routine like brushing your teeth and washing your face.
#7 Give your full attention
Deprived attention due to multi-tasking can make you out of focus. How many times did multi-tasking cause you to be half-focused on work? Doing this will negatively impact your productivity on either task.
Give your full attention to a single task at a time, no matter how enticing it may be to do it all together at once. Being focused on one task will result in quality and fast work. If you’re having difficulty focusing, take a minute or two to stand and move around. This will help you clear your mind and set your focus back.
#8 Curb interruptions to stay focused
Interruptions, no matter how brief they may be, can easily break focus. While it’s hard to remove them permanently, keeping them at bay will positively affect your workday. For starters, distance anything irrelevant to your work. Consider putting mobile phones and other devices on mute to be fully focused on your task.
One common misconception is that having remote work hardly means work, while others don’t even realize you work from home unless you tell them. This can lead to unprecedented invitations where you’ll have to put in your hours, too.
By sharing your schedule with your family and friends, they’ll know when you’re working and when you’re free. Let them know when you’re available for socializing and when you’re not. Remember to train people how to respect you and your work time.
#9 Set a timer to stay focused
A timer is not only for structuring your time but is also a reminder that you’re not supposed to be overdoing things unless needed. Knowing when to clock out can help separate work from personal life, even when you are in a remote job.
Creating a barrier that separates your workday from your off time is necessary if you want to have a better work-life balance. By having a predetermined work hour, you can maximize your work days without getting burnout.
Mind that just because you can continue doesn’t mean you should. A lack of a concrete end time can hurt your focus. Without a precise end to the workday, there’s less urgency to buckle down and work.
Give yourself an appointed time to finish up work each day and stick to it. Most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself if find that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to focus. Schedule some short breaks, work as much as you can, and perhaps try again tomorrow.
#10 Avoid the mañana habit
Humans tend to have a mañana attitude when not bound by office hours. But procrastinating can jeopardize your focus and work ethic. It can cause anxiety and stress when working near deadlines, especially when unexpected circumstances happen. This would result in a reduction in the quality and productivity of work, in extreme cases, even job loss.
When you are using a device that is connected to the internet, checking social media accounts can be tempting. Even a quick view can turn into a major time stuck. One way to avoid this temptation is by temporarily blocking sites that can potentially take your time. Use apps that can restrict the time you spend on specific sites.
StaFocusd helped me personally. This Chrome extension lets me set specific time restrictions on certain websites. Once I used up my set time, the sites can’t be accessed for the remainder of the day. Depending on your choice, you can unblock them during your breaks or after hours and “re-block” them when it’s time to get to work.
#12 Take your break
Chowing down a snack while still working might sound productively ingenious, but it’s actually vice versa. So, you should take a break. However, figuring out when to take and for how long should a break be is tricky. Long breaks can sway you off the track. Too few can be counterproductive, and none can limit your focus.
To stay focused, be diligent about both scheduling and taking breaks. When you need to work through a scheduled break, be sure to take that break.
Working from home can leave you feeling a bit lonely, especially when you’re alone. To avoid feeling isolated, reach out to at least one person a day. If you are working in a team, keep in touch as much as possible. It’s important to be as communicative as you would be in a physical office.
Without hearing anything from you, your team might conclude that you are not doing much work. Provide transparency in your work life.
#14 Stay Healthy, Stay Focused
Doing physical activity is important even in your workday if planned right. A lack of physical movement is bad for both your body and mind. Additionally, taking an exercise break provides a brain boost. So, instead of sipping a cup of coffee, exercise to get a natural burst of energy.
Take a brisk walk or a quick workout like stretching. This can help your thoughts become clearer, and it will help you to be more productive and stay focused for the rest of the day.
Of course, staying healthy is not only about exercise. You also want to check the food you eat. The advantage of working at home is that you can create your own fresh and healthy meals. Don’t graze all day, instead prioritize healthy snacks such as yogurt, nuts, seeds, fruit, and salad. Homemade juices and smoothies are also good for keeping you hydrated.
#15 Plan ahead
We easily get bogged down by all our daily activities, even working from home. For this reason, planning an overall business plan in mind to meet our end goal is important. Once we have an actionable plan, we can identify the steps needed to be done and stay focused on doing them. This helps us avoid getting overwhelmed by upcoming tasks.
Stay focused working from home
As convenient as it sounds, remote work is still not an easy job, especially with all possible distractions. But I hope that with these time management tips when working from home, you’ll be able to adjust your schedule easily.
Know when to start, take time to prepare, use tools, and dress up as needed. Never let other things distract your focus. Stay healthy, and don’t push yourself too much.