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Work from home tips - how to stay focused

Updated: Aug 20, 2021


virtual assistant UK
Working from home

I’m going to say it. We’re all guilty of scrolling through our social media during work hours.


When you work from home, it’s convenient, no pants required, no supervisors looking over your shoulder. And since we are under the mentality that we are in our safe place, it’s easy to get distracted, and in saying that, every household is different. Some people have their children running amok, some have pets. Regardless of whatever distraction, the productivity level is not as high when you’re in an office. Apart from that, panda videos are cute.


Although it’s okay to laze every now and then, there are still deadlines that need to be met. And these small habits become a routine. We are, after all, creatures of habit.


Separating business and personal inside your own home is one of the vital rules that one can follow when working remotely. Ellen Williams, Founder of Data Chick said, “Working at home is an exercise in learning about yourself. It's a mindset, so I don't believe there are any hard and fast rules for success.”


So here are a few tips to help you maintain focus when working from home.


Create a dedicated workspace

Have a designated area inside your house where you can set up a working station. This will help your mindset come up with a mentality that this particular space is dedicated for work. It might be tempting to sit on the couch or just lie in bed when you’re working, but this is an ergonomic hazard. So create a working environment that’s comfortable but reasonably still in the working vibe.


Visuals

Put up a calendar or a whiteboard in your work area, create a checklist of what you need to do for the day then tick them as you progress to give you a sense of accomplishment. Put plants or something green within your workplace.


Breaks

As much as you want to finish your task before the deadline, it’s important to take breaks as well. I practice the “20-20-20” rule since I’m mostly staring at the screen the whole day. So, every 20 minutes I stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will prevent your eyes from getting strained and will give you a bit of a mental break.


Exercise

Keep your blood flowing. Exercising can generate endorphins and boosts your brain. I usually do 10 jumping jacks every 2 hours to avoid feeling sluggish. Other than that, try to stretch or do yoga before work. If you’re not too keen on these types of workout, try to promenade before you start your day, alternatively, you can work while standing.


“Your physical health is more at risk than you realize when working from home,” Peter Vandendriesse, founder and CEO of Guestboard.co.

Stay off Social Media

As I've mentioned before, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole where pandas are involved. Distractions such as scrolling through your social media or the television can impede your productivity level, it can also affect your mood and put your thoughts in disarray given that there’s too much information coming your way. Try to put your notifications on silent or set a timer for your push notifications while working


“ A 2008 University of California report found that it took an average of 23 minutes 15 seconds to get back on task following an interruption. And it can be tough to stay focused when working from home, so use techniques to minimize distraction” -Mindtools.com

Schedule

Need to clean the house? Laundry? Kids? Organisation is key. Plan your day ahead like how you plan your day or week when you were still going to the office. Train your mental state to retain this schedule during the workweek.


Procrastination can put you in a predicament

It’s so easy to procrastinate when your boss is not around to monitor your work; as tempting as it is to sit on the couch and put off work for later, there are circumstances that will leave you in a predicament. Imagine if the power went down? Or the wifi? Motivation is vital, so start your day right. Exercise, take a shower, dress for success, even if it’s only in your shirt and pants.


Find your comfort work zone

Some people have this idea that working from home is convenient, however, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. “HotDesking” is a trend in London where people can have access to an office space environment on an ad hoc basis, it comes with wifi or often a monitor.


There’s also this phenomenon called “stochastic resonance" in which other people’s creativity is triggered or boosted when they hear a particular sound (Ex: Yuppies working in a cafe)


Basically, stochastic resonance is observed when noise added to a system (or person) changes the system’s (person) behavior in some fashion. - springer.com

So, if there’s too much distraction in your household or you feel like you’re a tree growing roots, go ahead and change your routine and try hotdesking or just hang out and work in your favourite cafe. Observe and adhere to your council’s law with regards to the lockdown though, Stay safe.


Communicate

Working from home gives you limited space and social interaction. Create group chats with your co-workers wherein you can just have a chat about random stuff or about your day. In terms of your status, update when you’re online or grabbing a cup of tea so your workmates know if you’re available or not. Social interaction helps you eliminate feelings of isolation and it’s good for your mental health.


“A small amount of Self-Disclosure can go a long way toward building trust and a sense of belonging. This is particularly important with new hires who may not even have met their co-workers in person.” - Mindtools.com

I hope this article has given you some tips and helps you to be more productive. Feel free to add some focus hacks in our comment section. Aside from that, come and have a look at our services section, you might find some of our services helpful for your business!






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