Working from home can be a rewarding experience, but working at home also provides certain issues as well. There are plenty of distractions that can keep you from making deadlines and it can be hard to discipline yourself, especially when first starting out. Here are some tips for keeping yourself focused at home.
Noise vs. Silence
Studies show that listening to music can often help productivity because it gives you something to focus on, but this also can have its downside if you focus too much on the music and not enough on the task that needs to be completed. It can also be easy to get distracted searching through a playlist or getting hung up on a certain song. You want the music to help you, not hinder you. Try different music styles and different songs. Try an online radio station that takes away your control so you aren’t stopping to mess with playlists. Be honest with yourself and test what works best for you. Sometimes the best option really is working in silence.
Get Rid of the Clutter
If it doesn’t have anything to do with what you’re trying to accomplish, it doesn’t belong at your workstation. Clear off the computer desk, make room, and give yourself some space to breathe. Create a system that allows you to stay organized. Invest in containers and label them accordingly. It can be difficult at first to develop the habit, but always clean up after you’re finished. Treat it like carrying dirty dishes to the sink after a meal. Decide on a place for everything and make sure it goes there once you’re done with it.
Take a Break
Give yourself a break. If you feel any tension in your back or legs, get up and stretch. Time your tasks and your breaks. Stop to eat and make sure you drink plenty of water. It’s easy to become lethargic when you’re working on anything repetitive, so mix it up. For example, if you are spending most of your time sitting, take a short walk. The main thing you want to avoid when taking a break is getting sucked in to something that will keep you from returning to your task. Avoid social media sites and don’t turn on the TV. Spend your break doing something you know can be completed in a certain amount of time, such as taking a shower, having a snack, or doing some exercise.
Write a List
Setting goals for yourself at the start of the day is a great way to pick up productivity. Writing it out and making it tangible creates a different mindset and lays out what needs to be accomplished for the day so you can schedule yourself accordingly. Be reasonable, though. It’s great to push yourself to achieve all that you can, but also be realistic about what you can finish within the day. Get a feel for your work schedule and how long it takes. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re unable to follow the list exactly as it’s written. You can make adjustments as needed. The key is finding what works for you and sticking to it.