The pandemic has made it necessary for many to work from home to reduce physical contact.
It has actually become our new normal and many companies are setting out strategies to make work from home, more permanent for many of their employees. Remote working is the way of the future.
While many might be enjoying the work from home policy, we cannot deny that it is more difficult to be focused and productive while working from home.
This is simply because of the distraction that one is likely to be faced with at home. And besides that, lack of motivation could also be a problem unlike when you are with your colleagues and being motivated by other people being hard at work.
So, how do you stay focused and productive while working from home?
I have written some points below that you will find helpful in helping you stay focused and productive while working from home.
1. Discover your High Productivity Period
What time of the day are you most hyper focus, functional or alert?
We are all productive, but at different times of the day. Know the hours of the day you are most active and stick to it.
For some, they are most active in the morning, while for others, their most active hours fall at night.
You should find out what time you are at your best and schedule your tasks according to these times, especially the most important or difficult tasks.
2. Keep a To-Do List
When you wake up each day, do you know the missions or tasks you should get done?
Even if keeping a to-do lists seem old fashioned, it is still one useful trick that will help you stay focused and keep you on your toes, so as not to lose sight of priorities and deadlines.
It can be quite challenging keeping track of what you have to do every day since you don’t have a boss physically present who might be keeping tabs on you.
So, the to-do list will serve as a suitable daily reminder of the tasks you need to get done.
It also helps you to manage your workload and build structure into your day, while also guarding against procrastination. Here are some tips I shared if the fight against procrastination is a battle you want to win.
Update your tasks every day, setting goals and time limit for each of them.
3. Have an Official Home Workspace
You shouldn’t spread out your work all over your home, your focus and productivity can get divided too.
Having a home office is highly recommended to help you work effectively from home.
The dedicated office workspace will help you stay focused while giving you a feeling of being at the office despite being at home.
Also, having a dedicated workspace will help you to maintain boundaries between home and work life, keeping you balanced.
Even if you do not have the money for enormous office equipment, a small table and chair, a small basket with pens and highlighters and a small tray can still make the difference.
4. Set House Rules
Many things may be calling for your attention just because you are more available at home – the children, family members, or even your pets.
To stay focused and productive while working from home, there are rules and regulations you would need to make and religiously stick to.
For instance, children are bound to create distractions with noise and even disrespect boundaries.
So, you need to be firm and assertive with shutting down distractions as much as you can while working.
And don’t forget to communicate these rules clearly. Here are some work from home tips to help you keep your sanity
5. Take Breaks: They are Necessary
Sitting for hours at a spot to work or staring at your screen on a long stretch is not good for your health.
You need to plan breaks because they are very important.
Unlike the standard office space where someone or something can remind you of lunch or breaks, no one might be able to remind you at home. Especially if you live alone.
So, you need something else to remind you, alarms or timers are perfect with breaks reminders.
Breaks help you to stay physically fit, clear your head and keep you mentally refreshed for more productivity.
Simply grinding out of work and taking a walk, to eat, coffee breaks or breaks for yoga exercises can help greatly.
6. Beat Down the Noise
Noise while working from home can come from children, pets, family members, music stereos, your neighborhood, or even yourself; and it can be a serious distraction.
Thus, it is advisable to beat down the noise or adjust the sounds around you to help you stay focused and work effectively.
You can invest in a noise-cancelling headphone to block out distractions.
7. Make an Investment in Quality Office Technology Equipment
You many need to invest in quality technological equipment such as laptop, computer, phones, routers, and other software and hardware devices when you start working from home; depending on the nature of your work or delivery.
These devices can help you comfortably and effectively perform your tasks every day.
You also have a duty to keep this equipment secure with protective measures as you would have done when working in the office, especially regarding system and data.
8. Invest in Comfortable Office Furniture
You should definitely invest in comfortable furniture – especially if it is not beyond your budget.
This is because it will be good for your back and general health, especially if your work entails you being seated for long hours.
Plus, sometimes, the most expensive is not the most comfortable and the emphasis is on comfort here.
You don’t want a set of furniture that will be inconvenient, considering you will be using them for long hours.
9. Get Up and Dress Up
The clothes you wear is capable of affecting your productivity and performance.
Even if your cat is the only living thing you will be seeing all day, you still need to get up and dress up.
While working from home, you might be tempted to start working in your nightgowns and pajamas. I can’t deny that the freedom is great.
However, this might make you sluggish and less productive.
You don’t necessarily have to put on suit and heels, but then, you just need to put on something more presentable than your night wear.
You are bound to be more inspired and motivated to do purposeful work when you get dressed.
Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night. - Michael Jordan Click To Tweet
10. Limit or Stay Off Social Media
Nowadays, there is practically something new happening somewhere around the world that you might get notifications on.
But this will keep you vulnerable to distractions while working.
By the time you decide to quickly glance at a news commentary or peruse comments on a trending topic, an hour may have gone by.
Minimize your use of social media, especially during the hours you have set for work.
You can turn off notifications on your phone, block time consuming sites, allocate time slots for checking your phone or just keep it aside until you need it.
11. Eat Healthy Meals
Now that you work from home, you have the chance to eat healthy meals, unlike standard offices where you may not be chanced to eat healthy meals during breaks and be at mercy of whatever is readily available.
You now have full access to the kitchen and the chance to eat healthily.
On the other hand, there is a tendency to want to over-compensate because you are not at the office that you forget to eat, this is not healthy practice.
Make sure to take out time to eat.
Cut down on unhealthy snacks and junks and take advantage of being at home to eat healthy.
Remember to include fruits and vegetables as they have been found to boast productivity levels.
12. Reward Yourself
You can promise yourself that you will only take your favorite drink, watch a movie, cook a fun meal, or anything you enjoy doing only when a task is done.
Celebrate your successes even if it is just on a personal level, it will make you feel good and help boast your productivity levels.
Anticipation on the reward to come can motivate you to keep working and to work faster.
Now you don’t have any excuse not to be focused and productive while working from home. If you adhere to all the points highlighted here, you will surely see a big difference in your work-from-home process.
What other ways do you try to stay focused and productive while working from home? Let me know in the comments section.
Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night. – Michael Jordan