Given the situations of these recent times, it has shown that the world needs to shift to a work-from-home arrangement. However, not everyone can handle the challenges that come with it. After all, it’s a lot different from working in an office.
When you work from home, you need to be able to maintain the same level of productivity even though you’re out of the office. It’s a lot harder to do when you’ve got a lot of distractions trying to get attention away from you.
Although it’s difficult, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. After all, a lot of people have a unique working environment these days. So if they can do it, you can do it too.
That said, how do you stay focused and productive when you work from home? Here are 14 things that you can do.
1 — Establish a Dedicated Workspace
One of the first things you need to do once you switch to a work-from-home setup is to establish a dedicated workspace somewhere in your home.
Carving out a dedicated area for your work will help you get into the right mindset. Although it might be convenient for you to lay down on the couch and do your work there, it’s not going to help you focus.
First of all, it will not be suitable for your posture. Second, a dedicated workspace will not be near any distractions such as the TV, which will help you concentrate.
When you’re working from home, you need to realize that there are spaces dedicated to certain domestic activities and for professional activities. You should leave your bed when you’re working and come back to it when it’s time to rest.
2 — Stick to a Schedule
If there is one thing you can look forward to when working from home, it’s that you don’t have to wake up super early to beat the traffic.
In fact, in a lot of cases, you get to set your work times and schedule. Of course, the key phrase here is that you need to have your actual timeline for when you work from home.
If you don’t have a schedule, then it can be challenging to figure out what it is that you need to do for the day. It’s so easy to get swept away by the comings and goings of everyday life when you’re at home.
With an actual schedule to work with, it can help guide you and keep you right on track with your work goals. Try to study your natural working hours where you find yourself working the best, and then dedicate those hours to the bulk of your work.
3 — Dress for Success
What a lot of people tend to do when working from home is that they don’t dress up and just wear their pajamas while they work.
Although it’s okay for when you are relaxing, it definitely won’t help you concentrate when you’re working from home. If you want to get into a professional mindset, then you definitely should dress for the part.
Even though it’s a recommendation that you dress for success when you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean that you have to go the whole nine yards. The point of professional dressing isn’t to look clean and polished. It’s about getting into the right mindset.
As long as you feel powerful and professional in what you’re wearing, then that should be your uniform for working from home.
4 — Set Goals
When working from home, we should consider setting some goals for yourself to accomplish. You should have one short-term and one long-term goal.
For example, you might want to set a goal for yourself for every workday that you have. Then, you can dedicate a separate and more long-term goal for the week or the month.
Having a daily goal will help you set your focus for the day before you start it. Having a weekly or monthly goal will help you create the right daily goal to strive for every day.
If you find yourself losing focus, you can always look back on your daily goals and figure out whether you accomplish them. If you have any free time, then you can start chipping away at your long-term goals a little at a time.
5 — Eat Healthy Breakfast
As the old saying goes: You are what you eat. Therefore, you should make sure that you start your day off by eating a healthy breakfast.
Use the extra time that you have in the morning to have a morning ritual that involves making a healthy breakfast. While you’re at it, you should also make some snacks that you can munch on that are healthier than chips or other junk food. Think of it as the fuel that you will use to help yourself keep going throughout the day.
Try not to eat anything when you’re just starting your day, though. It might end up bogging you down and make you feel a little sluggish.
Eating a healthy breakfast will give you the energy that will power you up, which is why it’s the most important meal of the day.
6 — Get the Right Tools for the Job
It doesn’t matter how healthy your breakfast is or how visually appealing your home office looks. If you don’t have everything you need to be able to do your job right, then your other efforts are useless.
Before you buckle down for your work, make sure that your desk has everything that you need.
By making sure that all your tools are right where you can reach them, you don’t have to leave your desk to be able to do your job. Leaving your work area will make you more prone to distractions and will make you lose focus from the work that you should be doing.
Make sure that your home internet works fine and that you have your home computer to work on if that is the type of work that you have. Not having the right tools for the job will delay your work more than you need to, so remember to prep.
7 — Declutter
Speaking of getting the right tools for your job right on your work desk, make sure that you also remove any items not related to the work that you do.
According to Maid Sailors Commercial Cleaning Service New York, decluttering before you do your work is a great way to start with a clean slate. It will also help you concentrate on the work that you need to finish.
If you have a lot of clutter around your workspace, then this can occupy your mind instead. What ends up happening is that you’ll only think of the clutter around you, and it will compel you to start cleaning up instead.
That’s why there are a lot of people who find themselves cleaning up their entire house before they managed to buckle down and do their work. If you really can’t clean up your whole house before you do your job, then at the very least you should have a tidy workplace.
8 — Close Non-work Related Tabs
Aside from the distractions that you can find around your house, there are also distractions present on your computer.
To avoid clicking out of your work, make sure that you don’t present yourself with the temptation in the first place. Remember not to leave any non-work-related tabs open on your browser.
You should also make sure that you don’t have irrelevant notifications open so that you don’t get alerted every time something happens. If you want to make that extra step, then you might as well uninstall the other social media apps from your phone.
You can always check back on your social media anytime, but it’s harder to find that focus and productivity. If the tabs are not related to your work, then close them off.
9 — Take Frequent Breaks
Even though it’s essential that you are productive and focused even while you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean that you have to be too hard on yourself.
You should also schedule frequent breaks while you’re working from home. These breaks don’t have to be too long. All you need are a few moments where you can decompress from your work.
As much as possible, if you are taking breaks in between work, you should still have some level of self-control. Don’t commit yourself to any activities that can distract you, such as smoking or playing video games.
These frequent breaks will help you have more brainpower to focus back on your work and provide high-quality results. Plus, it’s also a great way to address any home issues while you’re at it.
10 — Stay Connected With Your Teammates
If you don’t have any housemates, then working from home can feel a little lonely and can make you feel like you’re losing your mind a little bit.
Some people can thrive while they’re alone, while some people need that company to help them. If you’re the latter, then you might want to stay connected with your teammates.
Establishing a system where you can work while you have a connection with any of your colleagues will help you feel less lonely and more motivated. You can always use the feedback of other people to know how you’re doing and to help keep you sane.
If you do need that alone time, though, feel free to schedule that as well. It’s all about balancing your social time, as well as your solo time.
11 — Avoid Procrastination
It’s a lot easier to get stressed out when you’re working from home because it’s a lot more tempting to procrastinate.
Since you’re not bound by the office rules and the office hours, it’s a lot easier to feel like you can push your work later on than you would usually. This mindset is a trap that will lead you to more stress and a lot more work.
As much as possible, avoid procrastinating and get down to do your job as soon as possible. The more comfortable and faster you do your job, the quicker you can do other things not related to your work.
Instead of thinking about how you have extra time to do the work later, you should think about how stressed out you would be with all the work piling up.
12 — Be Honest
If you know that working from home is not the best choice for you, then you should create measures against it. For example, you should set up a schedule where you meet up or hold an online meeting with your coworkers.
Some people are prone to get distracted when they’re at home, and that’s fine. If you know that this is who you are, then you should be proactive in working against these biases that you have.
For example, if you get distracted by social media a lot, then you can subscribe to online apps that block this website from your home computer at a set amount of time.
There are a lot of countermeasures that you can apply based on the weaknesses that you have found in yourself. As long as you are self-aware, you can always find a way to work against these weaknesses.
13 — Don’t Work 24/7
It can be hard to distance yourself from work when you are working from home. If you tend to be a workaholic, then you should learn how to stop working.
Don’t allow yourself to go overboard with the working hours that you put in. It’s not like you get paid by the hour, so remember not to work 24/7.
14 — Save Household Chores for Later
Try not to do your household chores in between work breaks. Doing this will interrupt your concentration on work. It might put you on household cleaning mode instead.
Either you focus on your household chores first, or you focus on them later.
These days working from home is becoming a more common phenomenon than one would think.
Although it comes with its own set of challenges, it doesn’t mean that it’s all that different from working at your office. Once you know the in’s and out’s of working from home, you will have a better way to manage it.
Hopefully, the tips listed above will help you find that focus and productivity even when you are working from home. Maybe you’ll find yourself thriving by the end of it all.