Staying Sane and Staying Focused – How to Effectively Work from Home
Even though you’re not in a traditional office setting, that doesn’t mean chaos isn't a toddler tantrum, pet accident, or coffee spill away. Distractions aren’t ever too far away either. How can someone possibly focus in a work-from-home environment? The truth is, not many people have the motivation or discipline to be a home-based worker.
Have no fear, we are here to help. Our tips for keeping the focus and hanging onto your sanity are all you need to make working from home a success!
1. Establish Your Workspace
Figuring out the best place at home for you to work will take some trial and error. Staying in bed is definitely not recommended, and that won’t be comfortable for very long anyways.
You need a space that will motivate you each day. This will be your hub for everything work related. Here, you will identify your short-term and long-term goals. This will prompt you to create a schedule and promote continuous organization.
Organize your workspace so that the things you need the most are close by, and the things you don’t frequently reach for are stored away where you can still easily access them.
Also, give yourself specific ground rules to follow. Identify your working and non-working hours, when you’ll take breaks, and how you will use your internet access. AKA no social media and no loud, distracting music during working hours. Be sure to stick to these guidelines.
2. Deal with Distractions when Appropriate
Your first instinct might be to address distractions right away, but this may be doing more harm than good. It would be more productive for you to set a specific time and frequency to deal with what’s distracting you. Of course, if the dog needs to go out or the kids need to be fed, we do prefer to take care of those things when duty calls.
3. Use Your Breaks Wisely
When you are mapping out your day and getting organized, start thinking of what you’ll do when you take your breaks. Use this time to completely step away from your workspace and turn your attention towards another activity. This will help you physically and mentally unwind. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, it will make a big difference!
Consider taking care of what was distracting you earlier, changing out the laundry, getting some fresh air, or cleaning out that junk drawer you’ve been avoiding. Seeing your breaks as a time for active recovery allows you to still be productive during your breaks.
4. Connect with Others
Find a way to be social. Calling a relative during your break, meeting a friend for lunch, or participating in online work meetings are great ways to work some social time into your schedule.
When you’re organizing your day and setting your daily goals, give yourself a social goal, too. If you know calling your mom on your first break isn’t enough social time for you, plan on having lunch or dinner at a restaurant you like or joining group exercise classes.
Lacking daily social interaction can take a toll on your health overtime. Social interaction keeps your mind sharp and boosts your mood and outlook on life. Some experts even suggest that social interaction boosts the immune system and decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. Ask Questions
Just like you would in the classroom and in any office setting, ask questions! If you have trouble prioritizing tasks or managing your time, there are people happy to help you. Whether you’re new to working from home or you’ve been in this position for years, everyone gets stuck at some point. Being self-motivated and self-disciplined is very important, but it doesn’t mean you have to tread rough waters alone.
While the list goes on, these are definitely some of the key principles that will ensure success as a home-based worker. What we lined out here should be a good starting point for your journey to effectively, and efficiently, work from home. Have more tips and tricks? Share them with us! Share this blog to your social and tell us why you are successful working from home!