The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent changes in work habits have forced many people to work from home for the first time. And while there are some benefits to this arrangement, it can also be challenging to stay focused and productive when there are so many distractions.
If you find yourself struggling to stay on task, here are 7 tips to help you keep distractions to a minimum and get the most out of your work-from-home experience.
7 Tips for Working From Home: Keep Distractions at Bay
- Set up a dedicated workspace
- Make a daily plan and stick to it
- Get dressed for work
- Take breaks
- Set boundaries with family and friends
- Keep work and personal life separate
- Cut down on unnecessary meetings
Set up a dedicated workspace
One of the best ways to stay focused when working from home is to set up a dedicated workspace. This can be a spare room, a corner of your bedroom, or even a kitchen table.
The important thing is to create a space that is solely for work and is separate from the rest of your home. This will help you to mentally transition into “work mode” and avoid getting distracted by things like the TV or laundry.
If you don’t have an extra room that you can use for your workspace, try to create a space that is as quiet and free from distractions as possible. This might mean setting up a desk in a quiet corner of your house or investing in a noise-cancelling headset to help you focus.
Make a daily plan and stick to it
Another helpful tip for avoiding distractions is to make a daily plan and stick to it. This means taking a few minutes each morning to map out what you need to accomplish during the day.
Start by listing out all of the tasks you need to complete, then break them down into smaller, more manageable steps. Once you have a plan for the day, do your best to stick to it. Of course, there will be days when unexpected things come up or you get sidetracked. But if you can stick to your plan most of the time, you’ll be surprised at how much more productive you are.
Get dressed for work
It may sound silly, but one of the best ways to avoid distractions when working from home is to get dressed for work. Getting out of your pajamas and into some real clothes will help you to mentally transition into “work mode” and get in the right headspace for being productive.
Of course, you don’t need to get dressed up like you would for an office job. But putting on some nice clothes and doing your hair and makeup can help you to feel more professional and focused.
When you’re working from home, it’s important to take breaks and give yourself time to relax. If you try to work straight through the day without a break, you’re likely to get burnt out and find it harder to focus.
Schedule some time for breaks, even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes. During your break, you can do something calming, like reading or going for a walk. You can also use your break as an opportunity to get away from your work area and do something else around the house. This can help you to avoid feeling bored or antsy while you’re working.
Set boundaries with family and friends
If you have family or friends who live with you, it’s important to set boundaries to avoid getting distracted. Let your loved ones know when you’re working and when you’re available to talk. You can also let them know if there are certain times when you need complete focus and can’t be interrupted. If you have young children, you might need to be more flexible with your work hours. But it’s still important to set aside some time each day that is just for work.
Keep work and personal life separate
One of the most challenging things about working from home is keeping your work life and personal life separate. It can be tempting to take care of personal tasks during working hours or to bring your work with you when you take a break.
Keep these two parts of your life separate as much as possible. If you can, set up a separate work area in your home that you only use for work. And when you’re not working, avoid checking work-related emails or taking work calls.
Cut down on unnecessary meetings
One of the biggest time-wasters in any workplace is unnecessary meetings. If you’re working from home, you might be tempted to schedule more meetings to stay connected with your team. But in many cases, a quick phone call or email would suffice.
Before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself if it’s really necessary. If not, see if there’s another way to accomplish what you need without spending an hour or more in a meeting.
Wrapping Up: Tips for Working From Home
Working from home can be a great experience, but it’s important to stay focused and avoid distractions. Follow these tips for working from home to set yourself up for success and make the most of your work-from-home experience.
While a lot of companies are focusing on getting employees back to the office, others encourage remote working. Some companies have taken the bold call to move to a 100% remote working business model. And why not? Certain job roles do not require the employee to be physically present in the office.
And if you are a business owner or manager, here’s how you can manage the work-from-home expectations of your employees.
Got any tips for our readers? Please share in the comments below.