Already disconsolate about sharing your space with your partner, children, dog, cat? (Actually, the last three are definitely the easiest, as they don’t answer back!) Just how many distractions are there (suddenly) in your home/new office space? If, like us, you’re on the point of sounding off at some unlucky and unsuspecting family member/pet/virtual work colleague, we give you some valuable tips on how to stay focused and committed.
- It’s obvious, but “get dressed”. It’s all too easy to slip into bad habits and work in your pyjamas because your colleagues can’t see what you’re wearing; but it could send the wrong signal to your nearest and dearest, who might think you’re having the day off and in the market for a bit of “social distraction”. Some suggest putting on your regular work clothes, although if that feels a bit too formal, smart casual is ok.
- Set a timetable, prioritising your activities and organising the tasks that you have to get done over the course of the day.
- Take a screen break - to boost productivity. If you don’t allow yourself time to rest and recuperate during the day, you may become burnt out by the afternoon. Be sure to take a full lunch break, and try to stay away from your computer during this time as well. You will feel rejuvenated when you return to your desk to tackle the full working day.
- Try tuning in to your favourite playlist or podcast. Multiple professionals say playing music or an audiobook during the work day helps to increase their focus.
- Limit your time on social media or before you know it, half-an-hour (or more) will have, unproductively, evaporated. Try a useful App called Stay Focusd, a Google Chrome extension, which restricts (you set the timer) the duration you can spend on Facebook, Twitter etc.
- Schedule-in an exercise break. Our physical health is more at risk than we realise when working from home - even those who sit in an office cubicle still tend to walk a mile or so throughout the day, to their car, to get lunch etc. Exercise provides a brain boost; instead of reaching for a cup of coffee, a workout can get those endorphins flowing and deliver a natural burst of energy.
- Set a regular time to close your laptop and switch off from the Internet; it is important to know when the working day starts and ends. This is the only way to prevent saturation and frustration, enabling you to keep working through your everyday routines with strength and motivation.