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5 Tips To Stay Focused When Working From Home

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

One of the perks of working from home is there is no supervisor or manager breathing down your neck round the clock. This can be a drawback for persons who don’t function well independently, or require constant supervision to work efficiently. Even the veterans sometimes struggle with staying focused in the home office. It’s human nature, and you certainly shouldn’t be ashamed.

There are several reasons why a remote worker might find it difficult to remain focused. It is a known fact that difficulty concentrating can be due to cognitive, psychological or medical problems such as sleep disorders. Certain drugs or medication can hinder your capacity to focus as well. Whatever the reason, it’s not as simple as telling yourself that you’re going to focus on a task for the next four hours. Especially if you’re an avid procrastinator who sits by idly while the deadline inches closer and closer.

Thankfully, there are measures you can implement in order to stay on track, complete that to-do list and log out when your shift comes to an end. We’ve compiled five tips that can help you stay focused and stay productive while working from home.

Fuel Up For That Extra Boost

You probably read that heading and instantly thought about coffee. Well, we’re here to tell you to reduce your caffeine intake. In small doses, it’s the perfect fuel that’ll give some people the necessary buzz to keep going. But, what happens when that wears off? Too much caffeine also increases anxiety which reduces your ability to focus. So, what can you do to get that extra boost?

Consume healthy foods that will provide your body with much needed energy to function throughout the day. The right combination of healthy carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals will help you focus on a daily basis. Try to balance lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to stay fueled. A delicious bowl of oatmeal will keep you going all morning and spinach is rich in iron and magnesium. Both play a vital role in energy production in the body. Munch on nuts or fresh fruits if you get hungry between meals. Just remember to take portions into account, do your own research, and go with the foods that work for you. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking sufficient water.

Put A Lock On Distractions

The occasional sound of a notification indicating that your post on Facebook is getting some commentary is among the biggest distractions that can pull you away from your desk. You have to silence them by putting your phone on do not disturb mode. Other distractions include kids, pets - especially cats, who seem to love napping on keyboards, the friend that you invited over, traffic from vehicular traffic if you reside near a major road, or your neighbour passing through with the weekly community gossip.

Try to tune everything out. Having a designated work area will train your mind to switch to office mood as soon as you take a seat at your desk. If possible, get someone to care for your children during work hours if they’re below a certain age. This means you won’t have to switch to mommy mode every hour when once demands juice, a snack or a spoonful of the yoghurt you eat a few hours after breakfast to keep your energy levels up. If your friends and loved ones are around, set clear boundaries regarding your workspace. Let them know you’ll be available to absorb all the wholesome chatter they have to offer when your shift ends.

Create A Concise To-do List

You won’t know where you’re going until you identify your destination, and devise a plan to complete your journey. When you work from home, you have to use the same concept with your workload. List all your tasks and include deadlines to make it easy for you to track the progress of your deliverables. Ensure you wake up and get to “the office” on time. Train yourself to be disciplined about your approach to your work from home role, and you’ll definitely reap the benefits.

There are so many tools you can use to make this process easier. Use Google docs to organize everything. A simple spreadsheet or document can make a huge difference. You can even add these tasks to your tasks app or calendar and choose specific times to remind yourself that the deadlines are drawing near.

Ensure You Meet Or Exceed Deadlines

This goes hand in hand with making that to-do list, and ultimately sticking to it. It might be tempting to slack off because you’re no longer in that traditional office setting. However, that’s a crevice you don’t want to slip into. You’ll find it extremely difficult to crawl out and get back on track.

That project that’s due next month should be completed before the deadline for your perusal so you can make the necessary edits in time for submission. If you have free time before a task is due, why not get started? You never know when the workload will start piling up again. Plus, the faster you clear that to-do list, the more time you’ll have to dedicate to side projects. When you work from home and your schedule becomes decluttered, you’ll be able to take on more gigs. Those extra dollars can go a very long way in terms of covering unexpected expenses, or increasing your savings.

Take A Break And Get Enough Rest

This is perhaps the most vital tip when it comes to maintaining focus and staying productive. That all-nighter you pulled to compile that final document for your client? Well, your body needs to recuperate so you can continue functioning efficiently. Not getting the right amount of sleep every single night of the week is going to have a negative impact on your work from home role. You’ll find that your ability to focus is hindered, and that’s not something you want weighing you down. Imagine analyzing a spreadsheet with quantifiable data after a sleepless night. Those numbers are probably going to start looking the same after the first few rows.

All these tips, if followed, can improve your ability to concentrate and prioritize so you can see admirable results in the long run. It’s important to be able to tune out mere trivialities and focus on what really matters when you work from home.

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