Working from home can seem incredible, no traffic jams on the way to work, no dress code, it all sounds perfect, at first. When you start working from home on the other hand, often you'll feel unfocused, pulled in a thousand directions, or just completely unmotivated. You may be making a few easy-to-miss mistakes as you adjust to the work from home lifestyle. Here are three simple ways to boost your focus when working from home.
Without the structure of the office environment, it can be easy to get distracted by anything from your phone to your pets. The best thing you can do is set yourself up for success by removing as many distractions as possible from your workspace.
If possible, make your workspace a distinct spot in your home. Clear a specific spot at the table, claim the kitchen counter or set up a desk or a table in a room separate from the rest of the house if possible.
Let other people in the house know when you're working or give them a signal for when it's okay to come and see you, like opening the door when you can be disturbed and closing it when you absolutely need to focus.
Studies have shown that even knowing your phone is in the same room as you can be a distraction. If you can't put your phone in another room, many modern phones have a 'focus' or 'do not disturb' mode which will prevent calls from people not in your contacts list and some will even disable apps you shouldn't be using while you're working.
Use the Pomodoro Method
Pomodoro method is a focus aid that only needs one simple tool, a timer. A typical Pomodoro lasts 25 minutes, but you can set it for more or less time as desired. While you can just use a kitchen timer or watch the clock, a quick search will also show apps that help you make the most of this method if you're so inclined.
The principle of this method is simple; set a timer and work on whatever task or project you need to do until the timer goes off. Then, take a five-minute break, set the timer again, and repeat until you're finished. After 3-5 Pomodoros, take a longer break of around 15 minutes.
Consider starting with shorter intervals, like 10 minutes of work and a 2-minute break, and work your way up as your attention span increases.
Meditate or Exercise
Exercise releases dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, all of which boost focus and motivation and can reduce feelings of being penned up. Even a quick walk around the block can refresh your mind and help you refocus.
Meditation is also hugely beneficial for keeping you focused and motivated. Sites like YouTube even have free guided meditations specifically designed to boost motivation and focus as well as reducing stress which can keep you from doing your best work.
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