Seven tips to help you stay on task while you’re working from home

Work from home they said, it would be fun they said.

Working from home has become the new normal as a result of COVID-19, but more than four months in are all employees enjoying it and remaining focused and productive?

Until now, many people have been working from home whilst juggling homeschooling, this may now have shifted to keeping the kids out of trouble during the school holidays, but in a few short weeks the kids will be back and we will probably still be working from home.

Most businesses are reporting good levels of productivity, even when you throw in the kids being at home, some are even changing their policies going forward to embrace more working from home.

But come September, without the kids around, will we be more or less focused and productive?

How to stay focused

When we’re working from the office, it feels natural for us to stay focused on the task.

But when we’re working from home, our brain processes information differently. We get distracted easily.

Here are six handy tips for you to remain concentrated on the job in hand, namely your career!

Keep a structured daily schedule and wake up early

Do you know what the biggest mistake that people make when working from home is? It’s that they ignore the importance of a structured daily schedule.

If you want to stay productive, you should wake up, have your meals, work, exercise, and go to bed at the same time every day.

Don’t start your day with the phrase “I can sleep one extra hour and do my task later”. Don’t do it.

Don’t hit the snooze button. Get off your bed, do your morning routine, get dressed, and get ready for work.

The way you start your morning sets the tone for the entire day. If you be productive in the morning, you will stay productive and focused all day long.

So try to stick to your usual schedule, and you will get more things done.

Put your phone somewhere out of your sight

What distracts you the most?

Your phone.

Have you ever counted how many times per day do you use your phone for no reason? Try to count it, and you will be shocked by the results.

According to statistics, Americans check their phones 96 times a day. And people, who feel isolated while working from home, do it even more often.

“If you want to stay on task, keep your phone away. Leave it in another room and use it only when you really need it,” recommends Andrea Scott, a freelance writer for ClassyEssay.

This little trick will help you to create an extra hour in a day.

Block social media

Social media addiction is one of the biggest reasons why people check their phones so often.

On average, modern internet users spend around two hours and 24 minutes on social networking daily. That’s a lot.

If you want to stay productive while working from home, you should limit your time spent on social media.

If you put your phone away, the chances you will use your laptop and other devices to log in to your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and other accounts.

To prevent that, you should use social media blockers like Cold Turkey.

Set daily time allowances and create a schedule with blocking times. It will help you to limit distractions and boost your focus.

Make lots of breaks

Are you a hardworking person who does not like to take breaks? This information is for you.

You do need breaks. Your brain needs that.

The human body operates on biological intervals throughout the day, called ultradian rhythms.

You have probably noticed that at some moments during the day, you are energized, and at other moments – you are exhausted. That’s normal.

“Please, don’t sit in front of your computer 8 hours in a row working on the same task. It will not help you to complete your project sooner. Take short and long breaks to unwind and boost your brainpower,” advises Marie Fincher, a head of content at GrabMyEssay and TrustMyPaper writing services.

Go for a walk with your dog. Call your mum. Water your flowers.

Do some work around the house to distract yourself from the task. Once you get back to work, you will see that your concentration has increased.

Use the Pomodoro technique

Is it challenging for you to decide when you do really need a break from work?

Try to use a popular time-management technique called Pomodoro. Here is how this technique works:

  • You need to set a timer for 25-minutes, and then work on your task without interruptions
  • Then you need to set a timer for 5-minutes and have some rest
  • After you complete four work-and-rest rounds, you should take a long break (rest for 30 minutes or so)

The idea of this time management technique is that you need to alternate work with rest on a regular basis. You should give your brain and your body to relax to use your potential to the maximum.

Organise a home office

Is it possible to focus on a task when you are lying on

your favourite sofa surrounded by empty pizza boxes and books you are eager to read?

Well, it’s possible but extremely challenging.

It’s much easier to concentrate on work when you are sitting at the office-like desk.

So try to find a spot in your house that you can transform into your small office. It must be a quiet place with lots of light where you can put your desk and chair.

You can decorate your home office to make it look like a real one: pin a motivational poster or calendar to the wall, or make a shelf for your work documents and notebooks.

Reward yourself

Every great work and every effort must be rewarded.

Have you managed to wake up at 5 a.m. without hitting a snooze button? Indulge yourself with a delicious breakfast.

Have you completed a small yet challenging part of the task? Take an extra break. Turn on your favorite song and do a little funky dance.

Make it a habit to celebrate your small daily wins, and you will be motivated to stay on task under any circumstances.

Wrapping up

Change your approach to work from home, and you will get positive results. Upgrade your daily habits, set new priorities, and you will see that it’s not that hard to stay on task when you are out of the office.

Parental Choice works with businesses to support the ongoing wellbeing of their employees.

We do this through helping them secure long-term dependable childcare or finding care homes for the elderly, all supported with a programme of wellbeing talks and presentations to provide emotional strategies designed to help with the challenges of juggling a family and a career.

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