Working from home is becoming the new normal across the world. A remote job presents many opportunities, from setting up your own schedule and working from anywhere to escaping office distractions. But on the flip side, working from your home office, dining table, or coach presents unique challenges and distractions. For people who are not used to working alone, without coworkers or the watchful eye of their boss, it’s easy to feel aimless and get distracted.
If you are under obligation to take care of children or the elderly, you can easily lose focus and the motivation to deliver great work. Watching TV and playing games might distract some remote workers to the extent that they cannot sit, focus, and get anything worthwhile done. There is no doubt that it’s easy to lose focus on your work when both personal and business aspects of life are under one roof.
Luckily, there are proven ways to deal with distractions and maintain focus on your remote job. The following are simple tactics to help you maintain focus and become very productive on your Roaming Talent job.
8 Ways To Stay Focused When Working From Home
Make a task list
A great way to stay focused when working from home is to make a list of two to four things you want to accomplish in the day. A daily task list provides you with a starting point and allows you to keep track of your work. This list also serves as a reminder of the things you need to get done.
So, take a look at your workload and pick two to four main tasks. You may want to write those tasks on a whiteboard or in a notebook. Then, list any smaller tasks below them in a deprioritized manner. Don’t tackle these smaller tasks until you are done with the main tasks.
Tackle hard tasks first
When workers are confronted with a to-do list that includes both simple and complex tasks, it is common for many to gravitate towards the easy tasks. However, Maryam Kouchaki, an associate professor at Kellogg School of Management, says that such people feel satisfied and less anxious for just a short time. Research has shown that you should tackle harder tasks first if you actually want to be productive.
Similarly, Brian Tracy, the author of “Eat That Flog!” book, advocated the idea of tackling the most challenging work first. In doing so, Tracy says that you will be satisfied because of knowing that you have completed the hardest things you needed to get done. If you want to be productive in your work from home job, tackle difficult tasks first. Attempt the hardest things first in the morning before getting distracted. If you start working in the afternoon, tackle the hardest things first when you sit to work.
Pick a task you can finish
Once you sit down for a work session, look at your task list and pick one item to work on. Choose a task you can do and finish within a specific time. Here, you need to be smart with the way you identify tasks. The idea is to choose something that you can accomplish within the time you have before taking a break or by the end of your working hours.
It is worth noting that complex or huge tasks require more time, effort, and resources than others. Whenever possible, split such work into smaller milestones. Then, be sure to pick a milestone and complete it before moving to the next. Mentally commit to focusing wholly on that single item until you get it done.
Set your intentions right
Setting intentions concerning your remote job is the beginning of achieving your goals. An intention is an inner power that drives a person to do something and achieve a target. In other words, it is an impulse of consciousness that drives you to start working and achieve your daily, weekly, or monthly goals. A strong intention for your work will help to guide you and keep you focused on your work. This inner force relentlessly reminds you about what you want to achieve. It helps you to stay focused on performing your work to realize your objectives. Make sure to set actionable and specific intentions.
In some office settings, employees have no access to a phone or internet. This kind of setup has few or no distractions. But the work from home setup is totally different. In most cases, the home environment teems with distractions. According to a recent study, mobile phones are the top distractors to remote workers. If you really want to translate your intentions into actions, then you need to deal with distractions.
You might get easily distracted when tackling complex work, even if you had made up your mind beforehand to get it done. Any hard work requires you to tax your brain functions. Naturally, you are likely to resist doing it and instead take any excuse to fixate on something else. If you have potential distractors all around you, then you are likely to indulge in them. Consequently, you might waste the rest of your day.
If you know that you will play games using your phone or access Facebook more than you need to, all you need to do is to make sure that you are not exposed to these distractions in the first place. In other words, remove any potential distractors before you begin working from home. For example, if you don’t need to use your phone for your remote job, keep it out of your arm’s reach. Dealing with distractions ahead of time is easier than trying to resist or fight them in the middle of your work.
Take regular breaks
If you work from home without taking mental and physical breaks, you make it harder for your brain to focus. Taking periodic breaks throughout the day helps you to disconnect from work and have a brain boost. Once you finish a task and you want to take on another one, take a break to allow your mind to rest. Even if you are attempting to beat a deadline, taking a break will help you to handle your tasks better and deliver outstanding work.
This could be a 10 to 15 minutes walk, checking your email or social media account, playing a game, or engaging in another leisure activity. Taking regular breaks helps you to turn away from work a little and reenergize physically and mentally. You can use your break time to enjoy yourself or as a reward for some achievement. Be sure to set time limits for your breaks.
Limit social media access
Social media provides a great way to keep in touch with family and friends as well as any new happenings. On the other hand, social media is a potential distractor for remote workers. A quick scroll on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter easily translates into a huge time waster. Social media is addictive and using it excessively leads to a loss of focus on work and decreased productivity. Thus, staying off social media when working is very beneficial when it comes to concentrating on your work.
Avoid checking social media until lunchtime or another time that suits your work from home schedule. Moreover, do not keep your social media accounts open when working from home. You don’t want to get allured by beeps and notifications about some activity on your account. Limiting your social media access makes your work sessions more productive. You will be able to concentrate on your remote job better and become more productive.
Other than checking social media accounts, one might find themselves doing a lot of other things on the internet like checking the bank, making some payment transfers, checking personal email, and so on. Allocate these activities a specific time so that you don’t lose focus and end up with unfinished tasks.
Set up a home office
Remote jobs give people the freedom to work from anywhere. In most cases, you might find it easy to sit and work from your couch, bed, or any place that feels comfortable. While this flexibility is considered a huge benefit of a work from home job, creating a home office is highly recommended. Even in urban settings where space is limited, you can improve your focus by setting up a dedicated office.
Sitting with your laptop on the couch or bed will be comfortable only for some time. The lack of the right posture will quickly make you lose focus on what you are doing. In addition, you might find yourself in close proximity to your TV or other potential distractors. Therefore, setting up a home office is absolutely necessary, if you want to avoid distractions and focus on your remote job.
Just as a bed is reserved for sleeping, you should make sure to use your home office for working and not home-related chores. In case your work from home job is temporally and creating a full-on office is not worthwhile, simply set up a dedicated space where you can sit and focus.
These strategies will help you stay focused on your remote job. It is important to note that you may not adjust to these tactics overnight. It’s a matter of repeating them and creating a habit. Furthermore, creating a habit requires time. You might take up to six months to really inculcate some of these behaviors into your lifestyle. Just be patient and practice them consistently. You will find it easy to adjust when you practice them regularly.
Are you looking for a remote job? Roaming Talent has all your remote job search needs covered with hundreds of listings everyday.