How to Stay Focused while Working at Home

September 29, 2021

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Working from home has become “the new norm” for many people around the world in the 18 months and may very well continue to be the way of working life moving into a post-pandemic world. If there is one thing those of us who work from home know, it’s that it can be easy to get off track and let your work quality suffer when surrounded by so many temping distractions.

Turning your “working from home” environment into a space where you can feel motivated and be productive is key to instilling healthy work-from-home habits.

Here are some of our favourite, foolproof ways to make the most out of working from home.

1. Get up, get dressed up

You wouldn’t go into the office in your PJs, or turn up to a client meeting wearing your comfiest sweats, so don’t treat working from home any different. Now, I’m not saying you have to whip out your classiest pant-suit (although, do what you feel at home), but putting in the effort to get properly showered, dressed and groomed in the morning will make all the difference to your productivity levels. When You look the part, you act the part. Putting in effort to get out of your sleepwear (as comfy as it might be) and into your day clothes will help separate your “chill time” from your “work time” and encourage your brain to focus on the tasks you need to complete for the day.

2. Ensure your work space is ergonomic

Making sure your computer is elevated to eye level to avoid poor posture, eye strain and neck pain will help to make your work setup more comfortable. Try placing a computer stand under your monitor to elevate your screen, or if you’re looking for a thriftier option, you can stack a few aesthetically pleasing books to lift your screen to the perfect eye height.

You should also make sure your back feels properly supported in your office chair of choice, and that your feet are able to be placed flat on the ground with knees at a 90 degree angle.

3. Work Efficiently but take Frequent Breaks

Setting yourself work goals that are unrealistic is just setting yourself up for failure. It might seem like you’ll be able to work for a solid 7 hours when you’re only 10 minutes into the workday, but after an hour or two you probably find yourself becoming distracted and you end up browsing social media getting nothing much done at all. Maybe you’ve even stumbled across this post in an attempt to convince yourself to get back to work! I see you!

Fear not, incorporating frequent breaks into your work schedule will help you stay on task and work more effectively in the long run.

Try setting yourself goals to complete within a 2-3 hour time frame and allow yourself to take a break in between tasks. There’s no point trying to convince yourself that you’ll work productively for 7 hours straight (spoiler alert – you and I both know that’s never going to happen). It’s easier to work hard when you know that you’re able to take a short break in just a few hours.

4. Stay Hydrated and Nourished throughout the Day

Making sure your body is hydrated and nourished with whole foods and clean filtered water will help you stay alert and focused throughout the day. Plus, it’s good for your body – eating well and staying hydrated is an important part of self-care.

5. Plan your Daily Schedule – Find out What Works and Stick to it!

Having a daily schedule will help you find the right balance between working productively and getting some well-deserved R&R. Without a well-thought-out schedule (batching tasks is helpful here), important tasks are less likely to be completed and you may find your work-life spilling into your personal life. This tip ties in with tip number 3 – by planning out your day you will be more productive, less likely to procrastinate, and won’t suffer the dreaded “can’t switch off from work” curse.

Try this:

  • At the beginning of each day, decide what needs to be worked on and which tasks are the most important.
  • Plan your day around your productivity levels, putting the most important or taxing tasks at times when you know you work the best.
  • Do your ‘MITs’ first – these are your most important tasks.
  • Batch your tasks so you are not skipping all over the place.
  • Schedule in breaks every 2-3 hours
  • Make sure you schedule in time for breakfast, lunch and take time out at the end of the day for dinner, exercise and to spend time with family.
  • Avoid letting your work spill over into your personal life by creating a “clock off time” – When it gets to this time of the day, work is over no questions asked.

It’s important to remember that if you were working in an office environment, you didn’t work for every hour of every day. You had lunch and coffee breaks, chatted with co-workers and went home at the end of the day – leaving work behind.

These are just a few of my favourite tips to help instill healthy habits into the work-from-home environment. If you tried any or have a few of your own, leave a comment below – everyone needs a few handy tips and tricks for when the procrastination monster tries to take over.

And if you need further assistance – I would always love to help with Virtual Business Services and Virtual Assistant Services! You can find out more HERE.

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