Keeping focused when working from home

12th March 2021 posted in Home Lifestyle

Working from home can work for some but it may not work for all. If you're usually in the office, working from home for a day or two can bring *increased* focus. However, for the full-time freelancer or home worker, doing the laundry, gardening or cleaning can become mysteriously and devilishly appealing, and always when you're supposed to be slaving away to meet a deadline. And then there's stroking the cat, popping to the shops, and of course, eating.

If I want to get my work done, I have to get those distractions out of sight and out of mind. Here are my favourite ways to stay focused:

Productivity Blockers

These are good for working anywhere. Use a free program like Self-Control (Mac) or Cold Turkey (PC) to ruthlessly block yourself from social media sites and other distractions.

Out of Sight

If you have the luxury of space, dedicate a separate office room or area where you can't see those dirty dishes or that pile of laundry. If this isn't possible, screen off a desk area so you can avoid distractions while working.

Musical Motivation

Electro like Daft Punk and metal like Queens of the Stone Age propels my work speed and focus to otherwise- caffeinated levels. Those bands might not be to your taste, but find the music that keeps you focused, instead.

Turn Off Notifications

Noise notifications on smartphones and other devices distract me and disrupt my workflow. They're meant to make us more productive, but they have the opposite effect. I keep these 'Push Notifications' (appropriately-named as they are so pushy) switched off. I just check my emails every few hours instead.

Make Arrangements that Create Deadlines

I arrange to meet friends in the evening - this way I get everything done for 5pm rather than being tempted to procrastinate because 'I can do it later.' It's either get it done or let my friend down - and I'd rather get the work done.

And finally, take breaks

If I'm slowing down or just can't solve a particular problem, often getting up, and having a stretch and a walk are all I need to reset my brain and get my focus back. Of course, you could always pop to the shops, do the laundry, or grab something from the fridge during your break... just set a time limit so you don't use it as an excuse to procrastinate.