Working from home offers you many perks that can't be experienced from a regular job. You can enjoy flexible working schedules, and you have the freedom to choose where and how you work.
But although working from home gives you the freedom that most regular job employees envy, it is still a job with responsibilities.
If you want to take a shift in your career and switch to working from home, you have to be aware that it takes a lot of discipline. There are plenty of temptations and distractions that can mess up your focus. Fortunately, there are practical ways we can maintain focus while working from home.
1. Choose The Right Playlist
A study from the University of Bermingham revealed that music can boost productivity and focus on repetitive tasks and it also enhances one’s creativity.
As a blogger, I pull out a “Music For Concentration” playlist on Spotify whenever I have deadlines. This helps me to stay focused, boosts my creativity, and keeps my productivity high.
Personally, I get a comfortable feeling when I listen to instrumental music, while some focus better when listening to vocal pop music. We all have different preferences and the kind of music that could help one focus could be different than another.
So create your own playlist and hit play the next time you feel unmotivated to work.
2. Set The Mood For Working
Charles Dickens once said:
“Never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time. Collar him!”
Procrastination can be crippling and before you know it, you can no longer fulfill your obligations. Setting a mood for working will help fight off procrastination.
Your home office decorations can help you set the mood. Set a good lighting for work. Complimenting lighting fixtures can create a more natural feel that is good for concentration. More than the design, you should aim for the functionality of your home office. Make it visually pleasing and conducive for working.
Moreover, you can also try decorating with indoor plants for an uplifting effect. Essential oils also have a positive effect on your brain, which can help encourage focus. Aromatherapy scents such as peppermint, lemon, and basil help stimulate the brain and improve concentration and memory.
3. Choose The Right Tools At The Right Time
Create a week long calendar and plan out your week. If you can do different tasks at the same time using the same tools, it can help speed up your work. For example, you can do computer work like scan through emails, send updates to clients and business associates, file excel files and other digital documents on the same day.
Grouping your tasks in this manner will help you avoid distractions brought by social media, the internet, or other non-digital tasks.
4. “APP”timize Your Working Hours
Use technology to your advantage. There are mobile apps you can download for free or with a small charge which can help improve your focus. If you are aware of the Pomodoro technique, there are apps you can download to optimize your time. It allows you to work for a period of time, then take a break every interval. It can prevent boredom and helps with time management.
As for me, I activate the Forest app whenever I don’t need to use my phone. It allows me to grow a virtual tree when I leave my phone unused while working. The tree will die if I get tempted to use my phone. I actually feel happy seeing my “forest” expands while it helps me stay away from distractions brought by using my phone.
5. Set Limitations For Your Family Members
Home distractions are one thing that makes fighting procrastination and improving focus difficult. If you want to be successful working from home, you have to set boundaries that every family member and friend must understand.
You have to help those around you understand your needs and expectations. Schedule work hours and time with family. Communicate with your spouse, kids, relatives and friends. Let them know that you need a distraction-free time to work so you can have quality family time later when you are done with your tasks.
6. Lastly, Pretend Like You’re Going To A Regular Job
Set the proper attitude for “going to work” even when you are just staying at home. Avoid working with your pajamas on. They are for sleeping. Try a smart but casual look if you are not comfortable with the usual office outfit. This will also help you look professional — just in case you may have an uninformed visit from business affiliates.
You also need to stick to your working schedule. Set rules and guidelines similar to what regular offices have. These will help you have a proper working attitude.
The key to being successful working from home is to put the same or more effort you put into working a regular job. Though, several studies have proven that productivity has increased when working at home. Without discipline and organization, it can be a struggle.
Consider these tips and work your way toward a productive and successful career!
Key Acanto is a writer and editor of scoopfed.com. She has been a part of the Scoopfed team since 2015. Key aims to share her knowledge and insights about topics which could inspire others. You can stay connected to her through her LinkedIn account.