How to stay focused whilst Working From Home

It can be hard staying focused on work when you are working from home. There are always distractions, nagging home tasks and often far more interesting things to do with your time than actually working! However if you don’t stay focused, you will find that even the easiest task will take far longer than it would if you were working in the office. 

Here are some tips to help you maintain your focus and keep you working like a pro even when you at home.

1/ Keep to regular working hours. Setting up a routine will help you draw a line between home time and work time and you need to explain this to other household members so they do not interrupt you when you are working.

A benefit of working from home is that you can often choose your own working hours. So if you are juggling other commitments or you struggle with early mornings for example you can set your working time around these factors. As long as you stick to your personal time table, you may find that your focus is improved by being allowed to work at the time that works best for you.

2/ Create a home office space. This doesn’t need to be fancy and can be suited to your own requirements but you do need to be able to get away from the rest of the household in order to get into the work zone. If you don’t, there is a tendency to carry out “vital“ home chores while you are working, breaking your concentration and your focus.

3/ Get organised. Make a "to do" list and set time limits and goals so you can structure your day. Crossing off completed tasks is very rewarding and will keep you focused on your job. In addition once you have completed your daily tasks, you can relax in the knowledge that your work is over for the day.

4/ Stay off social media! Don’t respond to WhatsApp messages or take personal phone calls either while you are supposed to be working or you will never get anything done.

If you struggle with resisting the lure of social media, try downloading a focus boosting app onto your smart phone to deter you from using it. Forest for example is an app that can help time management. You set the app for a specific time period and if you manage to stay off your phone it rewards you by growing a virtual tree. If you do weaken and use your Smartphone, your forest will die!

5/ Take plenty of breaks. This may sound counter productive but taking a break for a coffee or stepping outside for a few minutes will help improve your work focus. Taking a break when you want is a perk of working from home but it is important to stay mindful of time so that you don’t lose your momentum once you get back to the work zone.

6/ Get dressed! It may seem tempting to stay in your PJs all day but this will not make you feel or look professional or focused. You don’t have to wear your office gear unless you want to, but looking presentable will help you feel in the work zone. In addition if you do need to take an unexpected zoom call from your boss, at least you will look as if you are taking home working seriously.

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