Are you someone new to remote work? Or maybe you’ve been telecommuting for quite some time but have found yourself becoming easily distracted.
If your answer is yes, don’t worry. I have you covered with great tips that will teach you how to focus better when working from home. These tips have successfully been used by myself and colleagues and from experience I can tell you that they absolutely work.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Change out of your pajamas
As enticing as it may be to roll straight out of bed and off to your remote workstation do not do it. Getting dressed for work sends a signal to your mind that you are heading “into the office” and not just temporarily sitting at your computer in your sleep attire.
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Begin your work day the same as you would at the office
What did you typically do when you first arrived at your actual brick and mortar office? I know that I always went to the breakroom for a cup of coffee. Working from home, I go downstairs to my kitchen to brew myself a cup of coffee.
Did you usually pop-in to your co-workers’ offices to say good morning? You can be creative and do the same thing while working from home. This can be accomplished by a phone call or even a quick early morning chat using Zoom for those interested.
Have a designated area for your remote work
It can be difficult to focus on work when you are laying in bed with your computer on your lap. Such a set-up is fine for late-night Netflix bingeing but not for work.
Even if you do not have a room that is exclusively your home office, you can still designate an area as your workspace. Just choose an area that is free from distractions such as the television
Comfort is key to better focus
You will have a hard time concentrating on work if you are using your kitchen table and chairs as your office. For one, kitchen chairs are not made for people to sit in for hours on end. You should get a reasonably priced office desk and an ergonomic chair to afford you the comfort you will need in order to stay focused.
Related Article: Best Office Chair For A Bad Back
Maintain a neat work environment
I have an area in my loft that I use as my workspace. However, during my non-working hours the work area also doubles as our home gym. When my wife leaves jump ropes, resistance bands and other equipment laying around I find myself easily distracted by the mess.
Do your best to keep your work area neat so that you aren’t spending work time thinking about the mess that you need to clean up.
Take a lunch break
Believe it or not, I actually found that I accomplished more tasks while working from home. I wasn’t distracted by talkative co-workers and I didn’t have the stress of a micro-managing boss watching my every move.
This would however sometimes lead me to skip lunch breaks because “I was in the zone”. While it felt good to grind out work straight through my lunch hour, I was exhausted and cranky by the end of the day.
The exhaustion usually lingered into the next morning which caused me to begin the workday with low energy. Which of course eliminated the prior day’s gains from working in lieu of lunch.
Communicate with co-workers
One of the reasons that coworking spaces like WeWork exists is to give remote workers a place to interact with other people. Working from home can be quite isolating so you should make an effort to communicate with your team throughout the day.
Our office uses an instant messaging app that is integrated with Microsoft Outlook to communicate quick messages throughout the day. We use it to send a quick note about the status of a project or even to inquire about what everyone’s having for lunch.
Keep your cell phone away
One of the best tips for how to focus better when working from home is to eliminate cell phone distractions. If you’re like me, you get a constant onslaught of notifications all day.
Even if you set your phone to vibrate, you may find yourself enticed to check your phone when you hear a notification come through. Try leaving your phone in another room or placing it in a drawer.
Take breaks to get re-charged
Now’s the time that you can check out those notifications on your cell phone. It is best to take scheduled breaks at the same time each day. I usually take a 10 minute break two hours after beginning work and a 10 minute break two hours prior to the end of my work day.
Do not wait until you are tired to then decide it’s time to take a break. By that time, you are already too exhausted and may not be able to retain focus for the remainder of the day.
Only keep website tabs open that are work-related during the time that you are working. You may be looking for a new bed for your dog but keeping the Amazon tab open when you should be working can cause your attention to be elsewhere.
End your work day at a set time
Just like you shouldn’t make it a habit of working through lunch, you should not have sporadic times that you log off work for the day. Depending on the type of work you do there may be times that you have to finish up something before you log off due to a deadline but try not to make a habit of letting your workday linger on.
Your mind needs to know that there is a specific time that work ends and home time begins. You should also not end your workday earlier than you are scheduled. This can result in you falling behind in your work. Even worse, you could find yourself in hot water with your boss.
Our Final Thoughts On Focusing Better When Working From Home
I have included helpful tips in this article so that you know how to focus better when working from home. A great key to successful remote working is to do your best to replicate your typical office environment. And remember, no pajamas!