7 months. That’s how many months I have been working from home. 4 months is how many I have left, all being well of course. My completely digital day job has been moved home for the rest of 2020 and whilst I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work throughout the pandemic, it can be damn hard to focus on the job at hand – literally!
I really wouldn’t choose to work from home full time, but alas here I am. So how have I kept focus? Well, there were plenty of times where I had to be my own cheerleader and motivate myself to work, but I seem to have a bank of tools to use if I have a not so manic Monday.
Here’s how I’ve been keeping my head in the game, despite there being so many distractions at home…
Change of scenery
And whilst this might seem exactly the opposite of working from home, changing your scenery could be the kick up the bum, get my work done change you need. Head to a local coffee shop, work space or even to a friends for a day of work. Being outside your comfortable home can help peel you away from the latest netflix series, pop album and even the fridge. Being elsewhere will certainly help focus the mind on your job.
Back in the office, you used to jump up for a cup of coffee at natural intervals. Without anyone else around you, nor a rhythm in your work, you can find yourself making too many breaks, or even not enough! Setting yourself regular breaks to make a coffee, grab a snack, or take a walk around the block can help give you the small breaks you need, and divide up your working day into small chunks.
Close the laptop at lunch
When in the office, its not uncommon to head to the on site cafe, visit a colleague, head into town or grab lunch locally. Working from home saves pennies, but can mean you spend lunch stuck in the same position as the rest of the day. Closing the screen for your lunch ensures you take a break, even for the sake of your eyes. Being away from you WFH desk and screen can help re-focus when you come back to work.
Switch off the distractions
Some people, me included, just hate silence. Having a TV show or radio playing in the background can help focus the mind – it does work for me. But for others, it doesn’t and only works as a nice distraction from their workload. Understand what distracts you and what helps keep you focused.
Make a good environment
No one really thought when working from home started that we could be working from home for such a prolonged amount of time. But even if you have a month, or 3 , left to work from home, comfort is key. Having a good place to be able to work is critical to keeping focus when working. Being uncomfortable breeds moving away from the workload and doing everything but.
Accept when you need a breather
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much work you need to do, you just can’t focus enough. Know when things aren’t working and you need a breather. Take a walk, switch on some music or even do some of those home chores. Taking a 10 minute breather from your work load can give you the breathing space you need to collect your thoughts and re-focus.
Never under estimate a good old list, especially when trying to focus. It can certainly feel over whelming when there is lots to do, so writing it all down to visulise, priortise and tick off can be a great way to manage a hectic schedule, and remain focused.
Are you working from home? How are you maintaining your focus when there are so many potential distractions?