Struggling to focus while working from home? You’re not alone. Many who’ve been working from home for the first time find it difficult to be as productive as they were in the office. And it’s no wonder!
Got kids? Then you have noise and another constant demand on your attention.
Have a dog? Fido will bark and you can bet it’ll be during an important meeting.
Got a TV? Simply irresistible!
Even if you live alone and work in a private room, TVs and other distractions are guaranteed to rear their ugly head and you might still have difficulty focusing.
Here at Benjamin, we totally get it. Since all things work and office are our supreme specialty, we’re here to help you out! When you try out these tips, you’ll notice yourself working more effectively and productively from home. And believe it or not, most are a lot easier and more enjoyable than you’d think…
Okay, we don’t mean that you have to shut yourself up in the guest room 8 hours a day, 5 days a week if you don’t have an established office in your home. This means that you have one place relatively free of distraction that is purely for work, an area the kids and spouse know not to enter.
NOTE: Everyone needs a place to retreat. Even if you have limited house space, do Not (yeah, capital “N” here) set up a corner in your bedroom as your designated workspace. The bedroom should be a haven of relaxation at the end of the day. If your bedroom is where you sleep and work, it’s just going to become a hated space of stress.
This one is simple.
Stress= irritability & lack of focus
Keep your workspace neat and you’ll feel better while you work, leading to better productivity.
A builder needs tools. A doctor needs stethoscope. What do you need to work from home effectively? Having the essential supplies to work well from home are paramount to your success. These are everything from basic office supplies to organizational and collaborative tools. And don’t forget to have a quality teleconferencing set up! You might be asking yourself what you really need for a home office. Don’t worry because we’ve done that for you (it is our M-O, at Benjamin after all)!
Goal setting can be as simple as writing down your priorities for the week. Then, each day, choose 3 to make sure you accomplish. This breaks your workload down into bite size chunks that don’t feel overwhelming. 3 tasks are a lot easier to focus on than a long, overwhelming list of 15 or more. When in doubt invest in a good personal planner and organizer notebook.
Parents working from home probably say it on a daily basis, “If you’re good and quiet while I’m working today we’ll get ice cream tonight” (or something along those lines). Simply put, these parents are offering a reward for good behavior. Benjamin likes to beg the question: why not reward yourself? Whether it’s daily or weekly, set a reward for meeting your goals. It’ll help to keep your motivation and morale up:
We’re not saying that you have to dress in a suit to sit at home and work on your computer. This is about putting you into the right mindset. It’s a similar principle to having a dedicated space outside the bedroom. Typically, when you’re in your pajamas you’re relaxed, winding down for the night and work is the last thing on your mind. You might not realize it, but that routine has made its mark on your subconscious. So before you begin, take of the jammies and put on jeans, sweatpants, gym clothes, or anything else to switch it up!
When working from home, especially for those continuing to social distance, social media can feel like the only connection to the outside world. But pictures of your brother’s baby or funny cat videos aren’t going to make your deadlines.
Remember that posts will still be there in the evening and you won’t miss a thing. A good way to designate time for socializing is to think of it as if you were meeting friends for happy hour after your shift. At 5pm, closeout your work tabs, pour yourself a nice beverage and feel connected again!
Okay! Now that you have a great set up and you’re dressed for success, it’s time to get down to business…for 52 minutes. After those 52 minutes of concentrated work, then take a 17 minute break. This will prevent burn out and give you constant recharge throughout the day. Use the time to get up and stretch, move around or take care of personal tasks. You’ll find that when you return to your desk that you’ll be much more engaged and your brain will be ready to focus on the next task.
People feel that if they’re working from home that taking a lunch break is abusing their work situation. Not so! Just because you’re in the comfort of your home doesn’t mean that you have to take meals at the computer or that it’s wrong to break. If you’re working the same hours, there’s nothing wrong with stepping away to comfortably eat your lunch. Not only will it allow you to recharge, but it’ll help you enjoy your day a bit more—and never underestimate the power of morale!
The human body wasn’t meant to sit still. Slot in time to go to the gym or go for a run in your day—it can even be in the middle of the workday! This will get your blood circulating and stimulate your brain. Researchers found that individuals who did a workout on their break-time were actually more energized and productive in the second half of the day than coworkers who chugged along at their desk (BBC). So take a break, break a sweat and get your second wind of focus.
Now that you’re focused and have your head in the game, are you ready to take your home office to the next level? Discover the best ergonomic furniture and products to help you work healthily, comfortably, and productively at home.