Working from home can make your life so much easier. You have the ability to mix your work life and your home life and get all your priorities attended to – saving time and stress.
The problem is of course, that working from home also means all of your comforts of home are nearby and it can be simple to be distracted – particularly with no boss breathing over your shoulder!
So, what is the solution? How do you stay focused when surrounded by all of the distractions of your home life?
In this guide, we answer that with some handy tips for you to keep up motivation and productivity!
Setting Up Your Work Space
The biggest difference between working at home and working at the office is that the surroundings are totally different.
We always psychology connect our home with comfort and ease, whereas we usually view our workplace as a very strict and serious place.
At home, it can be easy to simply stay in bed and not get up – hey, I’ll just work from my bed today.
This can be a very bad road to go down. Not only does this make you less motivated, but it can have huge psychological and physical repercussions.
Psychologically, you are connecting work and your bed – which is not a good idea.
The likelihood is that you won’t focus on your work as you should and it can be problematic when it comes to going to bed at night.
Experts say that staying in bed longer than you need to can lead to insomnia and other sleep related disorders, which in turn – can be detrimental to your work life and performance.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you might not have that energy to work at full capacity.
Indeed, this lethargy can boil over into other areas of life, and you might find that nothing else that you need to do is getting done. This is further a problem if your work has flexible hours.
The way to combat this is to set yourself a work space, as you would in the office. Getting your mind into the working environment is key.
Make sure that you’re still getting up, showering and getting some breakfast – before walking into your office.
It’s a good idea to have your office in a separate room if possible, but if you can’t, create a space away from your bedroom.
It’s crucial to differentiate between comfort and work as much as possible. So, ensure you’ve invested in a good work desk and a chair that won’t cause back or neck pain.
Have your work equipment at this desk, along with other pens, a printer, a stapler etc – common office items.
After a few days, your mind will connect that area directly with work, and you’ll find your motivation for work begins to climb.
If you do have a spare room for your office, this will maximize the chances of avoiding distractions.
So long as the room is aerated and does not have a television or other entertainment devices in it, you should be fine!
Having said that, it might be helpful for you to have a small radio for work, just to keep yourself going throughout the day. Just don’t make it too loud or you’ll get distracted again!
Set Yourself Strict Times
When we work at the office, we know we have to set our alarm to wake up in time – get into the transport and head to work, because being late can get you fired!
The thing is, working from home – you’re now your own manager or supervisor in a way. As you’re not in the office environment, it can be easy to avoid sticking to your usual schedule and waking up seconds before you need to be online.
You might not even leave your bed! So, what do you do to fight this? Get strict on your times.
Ensure you are setting an alarm to get up at the usual time you would to go to work, get yourself washed and brush your teeth – then get yourself breakfast. Do everything you normally would!
Not only is this good practice and will improve your work psychologically, some studies have suggested that the mint from toothpaste and hydrating nature of shower water can promote alertness.
If you’re motivated for work, you will be less likely to be distracted.
Additionally, if you set yourself strict breaks and lunch times – you should be able to avoid switching on the TV while you work and forgetting to actually do the work!
The key, as in the last point – make your home office life the same as it would be if you had actually gone to the workplace.
Sort Your Pets Out!
We all love our adorable furry friends, but they can be very distracting – no matter how cute they are!
Setting up your office space where your buddies can’t get in can avoid this type of distraction. After all, cats won’t let you type. They want the keyboard all to themselves!
When it comes to dogs, after you’ve set your strict times – try to have some set time there to walk your canine companion and tire them out. If dogs are happy and exercised, they’re less likely to be jittery, restless and loud.
Try To Move
One great thing about working from home is that some of us have home gyms or some workout equipment.
It’s a good idea to try and fit in a workout during your lunch break or before you start to boost your mood and keep your body healthy.
If you’re following a strict routine of work and workouts, you will soon notice your focus is on results – both at work and in the home gym. Good results promote more work!
Use Your Diary
Having a large desk diary can help you stay focused at your home work space as it will set out exactly what you need to do for that day. Not only this, you should be using the diary to set yourself targets and goals.
Setting daily targets can keep you sharp at work and focused on what you’ve told yourself you’ve got to do. Move these daily targets to monthly targets and so on.
If you’re where you want to be at the end of the month – good job! Reward yourself.
If you’re not, then make it your duty to work harder to get there!
Put Social Media On Hold
The biggest distraction in the modern world is undoubtedly our smartphones – and this is because of all the possibilities. Social media, the internet – it’s all there!
Putting your smartphone away during office hours and having a designated “work phone”, which is a normal landline or basic cell phone without the digital luxuries, is one of the best ideas to stay focused at your home work!
Working at home can be a great help, but it’s also distracting. Sticking to some of our advice can keep you going all week and keep your mind from going elsewhere during the days!