Working from home has become the norm during the current pandemic, but it can take a while to get used to. You have to manage your own workload while ignoring all of the distractions that surround you, such as household chores and other people that you live with. Here are our top tips for staying focused while working from home.
Have a designated working zone
Don’t try to work from bed or from the sofa – these are places that you automatically associate with relaxation and you will find it hard to stay focused. Create a designated working zone within your home that is separate from the places you use to relax. Ideally this will be a spare room or home office, but your dining table could also work. Keep this area tidy and pack everything away at the end of the day to create a distinct line between work and your spare time.
Be strict with your working hours
It’s easy to become too relaxed when working from home, starting work late or finishing early to enjoy the many distractions surrounding you. Be strict with your working hours and stick to your usual work time to maintain a sense of routine. A strict routine will help to keep you focused.
Work in separate rooms to the rest of your household
It can be too distracting to work with your partner or housemates sat next to you. You’ll soon find yourselves deep in conversation, neglecting your work. If you have the space, designate separate rooms to work in, allowing you to create your perfect working conditions without being distracted by their music or Zoom meetings.
Take regular breaks
There are more distractions at home than the office, and we’re currently going through experiences that can be hard to handle. Don’t be too strict on yourself and do allow regular breaks throughout your day to clear your head. Try to head outdoors at least once a day and make time to break for meals to step away from your computer.
Dress for work
You’re more likely to feel focused if you dress for work like you usually would if you were going to the office. Don’t be tempted to wear your shirt with your pyjama bottoms for Zoom meetings – you’ll feel more professional if you’re fully dressed.
Wake up when you usually would
Set your alarm for the time you would usually wake up if you were going to the office. If you usually have a long commute, use this extra time to enjoy your breakfast and a walk before you start work, helping you begin the day in a slow and relaxing way before getting stuck into work.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.