How to stay focused when working from home

Not everyone can find the same focus when working from home in comparison to working in the office. If you have worked from home in the past, you know it takes some self-discipline. When you haven’t, the usual home distractions can be quite overwhelming and hard to balance. So, we have made a short list of things that can help you keep focused when working from home.

Set your work hours and stick to them

This is helpful to ensure that you get up and get started at a regular time, creating a routine that is easier to stick to than random start times. It will also make sure you do not over work. Set an end of day time and stick to it, this way you won’t be mixing up your home life with your work life too much.

Create a to-do list for every day

Write out a to-do list as soon as you get started. This will help you gather your thoughts and priorities around what needs to be done and by when. By having a written reminder you are less likely to procrastinate action around items that you can see need to be complete. When you leave things off the list you may risk forgetting about them or leaving them to the last minute.

Have a dedicated workspace

It is a good idea to avoid the couch! Make sure you have a designated space to work. This can be an office, a kitchen bench, a dining table, a balcony... whatever it may be; it should be your main space to work. When you revisit this space each day it can be easier to get into work mode, simply because you subconsciously know, this is where the work happens. Avoid places in your home where there are more distractions such as TV rooms and play areas. Also, try to keep your space tidy and clean so that you don’t feel clutter around you. When there is mess around it can be harder to focus your many thoughts and tasks.

Set boundaries and communicate with others at home

Speak with the ones you live with and make sure they’re aware when you are in an important meeting or when you can’t be interrupted. Also ensure you spend some time with your loved ones so that you feel like there is a good balance between home and work.

Set time aside for other activities such as house hold chores or exercise

If you really struggle with focus when working from home, ensure you don’t just go off and do some chores throughout the day, perhaps even letting them take over your day. Set time aside specifically for chores or exercise so that you don’t let it overtake your work time.

Create your own schedule

Every month, it can be extremely helpful to create a schedule for yourself including a to-do list, your work hours, your set work tasks and meetings as well as your home tasks, chores, family time, and exercise. By creating a monthly schedule that can be edited week by week you will be able to create a really great routine which works for you. Once in a routine, you will be in the right mindset for work at a more consistent rate. You will also know when it is time to relax into your personal life. 

Communicate regularly with colleagues online

It might seem like a distraction to just chat to your colleagues here and there online but, it’s important that you do. Rather than distracting you, it can remind you of work, the office environment and the people on the other end of the computer who are also working through this time. When you have these regular interactions whether they are purely social or about work you are more inclined to focus on work tasks rather than home tasks.