As COVID-19 ravaged the world for the better part of 2020, many people found themselves forced to work from home. And with a possibility of a second wave on the rise, you might find working this way even longer. But to be honest, working at home can be challenging.
Unlike in the workplace office, at home in the absence of your boss, you are surrounded by attention-seeking things ranging from children, pets, TV, cellphone, just to mention a few. How do you stay focused working in this environment? In this article, you will learn how to stay focused while working from home in 2021.
Let’s get to it.
Create A Home Office
Most office layouts and furniture are designed to enhance focus and stay motivated while working. However, in-home environment, you might not have such an arrangement and furniture. So to bring the office feeling home, you will need to create a home office.
A home office should be in an unutilized room away from the rest of the family. When inside the home office, your family members must be aware that you are busy and don’t welcome distraction. You will need a comfortable working desk in the office that will not cause strain your body while working. You can check some of the best working desk recommended here.
Set Designated Work Hours
To ensure maximum concentration and focus, you should set aside designated work hours. During these hours, you must let your family members know that you are working and not cause distraction. On your side, if your company gives you the freedom to choose your own working hours, you should figure out the time of the day when you are most productive.
While some prefer to work early hours of the day, some working late in the day works better for them. Designating your work hour will help you focus better.
Work With A To-Do List
Once you have created a home office and set aside time to work, the next course of action to make you stay focused while working from home is to curate a to-do-list. This list you can create using Google Calendar. This digital platform will help you schedule a set time to work in chronological order until you achieve the day’s goal.
With a to-do-list, you will be able to time block, allowing you to set aside periods to work on specific tasks without distraction. With this time blocking, you will also factor in breaks where you can take care of yourself. Remember, you should also take care of yourself with healthy diets while working at home.
Procrastination is one of the killers of productivity. While working from home, you might find yourself tempted to shelves those essential tasks to do them later since there is no supervision. This behavior will cause you a lot of stress in the long run.
You will find yourself under a lot of pressure to deliver work assigned to you since you didn’t do it at the right time. With the stress on you, you will lose focus and unintentionally do shoddy work.
Stay Connected With Colleagues
Staying in touch with your work colleagues will also help you stay focused while working at home. You can use video conferencing applications to stay connected. However, these connections should only be for productiveness purposes. They should be used for functions such as sharing presentations in real-time and attending virtual work meetings.
It’s important to note that over communication with your colleagues can render you unproductive. The constant calls or messages will cause you distractions, and you end up losing focus while working.
Manage Your Work Devices
Smartphones and other connected devices have become part and parcel of our daily lives. With the attachment we have to them, they can be a great source of distraction. According to Asurion’s press release, an average person checks their phones 96 times a day. And in the absence of a boss in a remote work setup, you might easily find yourself checking your phone or other electronic devices even more times.
To counter this distraction, you should block access to certain websites or, in the case of smartphones, unable social media applications, and mute notifications. You can use these useful browser extensions and desktop applications that will enable you to block websites in browsers. With these devices managed, you will stay focused while working at home and increase productivity.
Enhance Concentration With Background Music
Working while listening to background music goes a long way in sharpening your focus. In a shared household, having a headphone on while working will show the other housemate that you are busy, and you don’t want any form of distraction. However, the music type you listen to should be motivational and lyrics light tracks such as these, to keep you focused.
According to Healthline, listening to music while working will sharpen your focus, improve mood, improve memory, and stimulate brain stimulation. It also helps with the management of pain and fatigue.
Suit Up For Work
Let’s be honest, working from home gives you a sense of freedom and you can dress the way you like. But did you know that your dressing affects your focus?
Kesha Linder, the merchandiser at online thrift store thredUP, said.” A business-casual look will also keep you feeling productive while working from home. Pair your favorite jeans and T-shirt with a blazer or, If you’d like a simple yet put-together look, throw on your favorite jumpsuit.”
This means you will get up and get ready for the day ahead despite working at home. The act of grooming and getting dressed allows you to transition from your personal life into “work-mode”. Dressing in the right way will also save you from embarrassment in the event of an impromptu video call from your colleagues.
Use The Right Tools For Working at Home
To effectively work at home in 2021, you will need the right tools. These tools include, cloud storage, wifi, and other digital devices. A shared company remote intranet software, for example, is one of the easiest ways for people to stay focused and connected with their teams.
Remote intranet software is an online workplace where workmates can access files, share updates, and team up on projects in real-time. When an organization installs intranet software, employees can log in remotely to carry out the tasks.
Take A Break
Working from home during these times of uncertainty can be stressful. And, working for an extended period can be even more stressful and unproductive. Working for long stretches can cause burnout, which will eventually lead to headaches and fatigue. To avoid this, you should work in intervals.
To protect your work-life balance, commit to taking small scheduled breaks. You can achieve this by using Promodoro Timer. Promodoro timer helps you to work with the time you have. You will divide your working hours into chunks of 25 minutes with five minutes breaks in between. During the breaks, you can grab a cup of coffee or stretch. Doing so will keep you focused when you get back to work.
Working from home has one downside, you might easily find yourself sitting the whole day, unlike office work where you might need to commute to work. During the breaks, you should be active; you can either take a walk, hit the gym, or find a hobby that will keep you occupied.
With the pandemic around and staying at home orders, working from home will benefit many people. Being active will help your body and reduce life complications such as obesity, which can be risky for your life. When you are sick, the focus on the work at hand will be lost entirely.
We are all humans, and truth be told, you will find it hard to work from home more often with many distractions around you. However, with clear-cut goals to achieve, you will challenge yourself to be successful. You will realize that the world is changing, so you are pushed to work at home and focus.
With bills to pay, dreams to achieve, and family members to take care of. You will have to focus, work, and get paid for your efforts. If 88% of companies have encouraged their employees to work from home and have successfully done it, you can also do it.
Time to Get to Work
According to this article, remote work is one of the most significant benefits companies can offer to their employees. What the statistics show implicate that working from home here to stay with us. You should find a better way to work without distraction in your home environment. The points mentioned above will go along way in helping you achieve focus.
Here at How to Motivate Me, we wish you to be motivated, focused, and productive as you work from home. Keep it here for more insightful articles that will keep you motivated, healthy, and productive.
This was just a very short list of methods that will help you to stay focused while working from home. There are plenty of tactics that you can try when it comes to motivation. If you have read one of them before, just share with us your experiences to support others in this adventure!