Marketing Coordinator, Assurity Consulting
14th April 2020
Working from home can be incredibly productive but it can also sometimes be a bit tricky! Away from the ‘normal’ office environment with so many different distractions around us and a higher volume of email / video call distraction, it's very easy to make it to the end of the day and not achieve what we set out to. Below are some ways you could help yourself stay focused whilst we are working from home:
1.) Create yourself a workspace that works for you
If you want to stay on track and get things done it's vital you have an effective workspace. It can be a space you enjoy spending time in but you must be clear with yourself, it's also a place of work. Make sure your desk and chair are comfortable to sit at, if they're not you'll find plenty of excuses to keep getting up and go elsewhere. Make sure your workspace has a door you can shut yourself away from the rest of the house with. Constant distraction from your partner, kids or pets will make it impossible to stay focused.
2.) Organise your space and your time
Is your desk space suitable for carrying out your daily tasks? Is it big enough? Make sure all your work equipment is in your office space. That way you won't be wondering around the house trying to find bits of paper or a pen. Manage your work load as you would in the office. If you need to write a 'to-do list' write that 'to-do list'. If you manage your workload by planning time in your diary for specific tasks, make sure you allow time at the beginning of the week to do this.
3.) Stay away from social media
We all know that a quick scroll through Facebook or Instagram can lead to hours lost without us even realising it! Set yourself restrictions so that you can only look at social media at certain times of the day and limit yourself to 10 minutes. That way you won't lose hours without realising it.
4.) Get yourself dressed for the day
Whilst it's not necessary to put on your three-piece suit, many people will argue getting dressed completely changes your mindset. Wear what's comfortable for you - but make sure you have a morning routine, brush your teeth, change out of your pyjamas! Even if you're just changing into your comfy clothes.
5.) Set boundaries for yourself
It can be very tempting to take that slightly longer lunch break or sit on the phone to a friend slightly longer than you should do. So set yourself boundaries and stick to them. Don't spend that 10 minute break filling the dishwasher or running the hoover around the house, it will interrupt your work flow and focus and you'll find it hard to get back to the task in hand... work!
6.) Don't procrastinate
If you're one of these people who finds it difficult to get yourself going on certain tasks whilst in the office, at home you'll likely find it even harder still! It's very easy to tell yourself “I'll do that later” or “that can be my first task in the morning”! So, set time aside in your electronic diary and get that task done, so it's out of the way. This will mean you won't be stressing about it and it's less likely to push you against a tighter deadline later on.
7.) Get some exercise to re-focus your mind
When we're in the office or out on site we don't realise how much more exercise we get than when we're working at home. Walking to and from the car, moving around the office to speak to colleagues, site visits, clock up more miles than we realise and suddenly at home we have none of that. As long as we are not on total lock down, why not take a 40-minute walk at lunchtime, even if it's only round the block. It will get some fresh air into our lungs and allow us to re-focus our minds ready for the afternoon.
8.) Know when to clock out
It's all too easy to blur the lines between work-life balance when working from home. Squeezing in that extra task after dinner or running over hours with a task that took longer than you thought it would! Working long hours could lead to burnout and now more than ever it's important we're looking after ourselves mentally and physically. Starting and clocking off on time will allow you to maximise your workdays so that you can enjoy downtime with the family and feel refreshed and ready to clock back in the next day.