How to Stay Focused While Working From Home
In the age of remote work, productivity has become more crucial than ever. With many distractions lurking at home, it’s easy to lose focus and procrastinate.
From setting up a comfortable workspace to using the Pomodoro technique, we’ll cover practical strategies to help you make the most of your work form home experience.
Whether you’re new to remote work or a seasoned pro, our guide has something for everyone!
Create a Comfortable Workspace
Perhaps THE most important thing you can do when working remotely is to create a space where you can work comfortably. If you’ve ever had the unenviable position of working in a crappy office space, you’ll know how much a bad environment can affect your mood, focus, and productivity.
Your home working area is no different.
Let’s dig into some ways you can optimize your home office setup to your benefit:
- Choose an ergonomic chair and desk: The first step is ensuring your office furniture is comfortable and supports good posture. There’s a fierce debate about whether standing vs. sitting desks are better, but no matter your choice, make sure you pick something that fits your body type. On a similar note, you should also find a desk that sits at the right height, as well as an ergonomic keyboard and mouse to keep your hands from straining.
- Keep your workspace clean and clutter-free: Unnecessary and unorganized items in your area create distractions. So, keep your desk area clean, and consider removing any nearby TVs, tablets, or other tempting entertainment items. While you may not be an ardent minimalist, keeping your well-arranged will help keep you focused.
- Have proper lighting: Good lighting is essential for preventing eye strain and headaches, so make sure your workspace is well-lit with natural lighting. Try following the 20/20 rule by looking away from your screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds to help relax your eyes. You can also look into apps and settings that automatically adjust your computer screen’s temperature to help with eye strain as well.
- Use noise-canceling headphones: We’re big fans of using noise-canceling headphones to block out external noise. Back in the day, these used to cost an arm and a leg, but nowadays, you can find both noise-canceling earbuds and headphones at virtually any price point. They also work wonders blocking out spouses and children.
So, you’ve set up a clean, organized workspace and bought yourself the baddest pair of noise-canceling headphones in existence. It’s now time to fight off some of the more sneaky forces that can disrupt your workflows:
- Block distracting websites/apps during work hours: We’re not here to cast any aspersions, but even the most focused among us can get pulled into a never-ending social media or YouTube rabbit hole (guilty as charged!). Stop this issue before it starts by considering using apps or software that block social media and/or specific websites during set times of the day.
- Turn off notifications: Notifications can interrupt your deep work as most of us don’t have the discipline to ignore all of the little chimes, dings, and other catchy sounds our favorite software products use. We HIGHLY recommend turning them off for non-work-related apps during work hours. Bonus points if you have the will-power to completely shut off your phone.
- Communicating your schedule to your family/housemates: We love our family and friends, but they too can be distractions during the workday. Most of them are well-intentioned and will respect your boundaries, so always keep the people in your home up-to-date on your day so they know when the best times to communicate with you are without disrupting your work. We recommend trying this with pets as well, although results may vary.
Lastly, always make sure you’re taking care of your own well-being. Thankfully wellness in the workplace is being prioritized more than ever as employers realize that their employee’s mental health has a direct impact on their productivity.
With that in mind, here are our tips to keep your mind and soul rested:
- Use the Pomodoro technique: The Pomodoro technique is a popular time-management method that involves working in intervals of 25 minutes with a 5-minute break in between. It can help you stay focused and productive without burning out. To start, simply set a timer for 25 minutes and work on a task without any distractions. Once the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break before starting your next Pomodoro session. After completing four of these sessions, you can take a more extended break of 15-20 minutes.
- Stretch every hour: Sitting for long periods is terrible for both your short and long-term health. Getting up every hour and moving or stretching for just a few minutes can do wonders for keeping your body fresh. We recommend taking a short walk or doing a different stretch during your Pomodoro breaks. A little goes a long way!
- Take a lunch break away from your workspace: Taking a break and stepping away from your workspace can help you recharge and return to work with renewed focus and energy. Make sure to take a proper lunch break away from your desk, even if you’re working from home. Use this time to eat a healthy meal, take a walk outside, or engage in other activities that help you relax. Bonus points if you can get some sun.
Working from home gives us an excellent way to balance our work and personal lives. Nonetheless, maintaining focus and productivity can be a very real real struggle at times. The recommendations above have been battled-tested by our team of time-hackers at Magical. They help keep us individually focused and rested, which collectively keeps our group highly motivated and productive. Give them a try, and watch your focus soar 🚀.