Over the past year, people have had to make a swift transition in their working environments to accommodate their health and safety amidst the pandemic. Many have had to move their office space over to their own homes and try to normalize this unconventional working style. It’s no shock to learn that working from home isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. When countless distractions surround you, it can often be challenging to focus on your never-ending to-do lists.
To make your lives a bit easier, we have compiled a list of our favourite tips and tricks to help you focus on your job and make the most out of your workdays. Here are five ways to help focus while working from home.
Create a to-do list
Although it may seem a bit old school, writing down and keeping track of your to-do list will allow you to concentrate during the day and stop you from ‘half focusing on your tasks. Creating a list of actionable items makes it easier to start with one task, finish it, and then move to the next without feeling flustered. This will help you prioritize your work, focus on one thing at a time, and ultimately help you get what you need completed by clock-out. FAULHABER’s Senior Strategist, Digital and Social Media, Sydney Mayer, loves the online tool, Todoist, to prioritize and keep track of daily, weekly or monthly deliverables. The best part? If you have something recurring, there is an option to have the deliverable automatically pop up and remind you when the time comes.
Expert tip: Write your to-do list right before you end your workday. This helps provide closure to your current workday and start your next day more productively since you’ve already identified what tasks need to be done!
Dress for success
One of FAULHABER’s four values is Polish, and it is essential to maintain this even when working from home. We’re not saying you need to wear a full-power suit, but getting ready for your day has real benefits to your work performance. Putting yourself in a professional mindset with a morning ritual can help you channel into work mode and separate yourself from your work-life and downtime. Without this separation, you may find yourself less motivated to begin the work grind and get further distracted by things going on around you.
Create a designated at-home office space
Although working from home allows for full autonomy in your workspace, it is recommended that you choose one designated area to be your at-home office. This can provide more structure in your day-to-day work life, as it helps separate your work from your leisure environment, allowing you to break out of work mode when the day is over and tune back into it the next day. We recommend leaving any items you may need throughout the day readily available. If you can’t live without your favourite lip balm, then make sure to keep it at your desk. This reduces the number of times you need to get up to grab it and potentially get distracted by something in your home (hello, dirty dishes)!
Manage your interruptions.
Interruptions happen, there is no way of escaping them, but it is important to manage them as they will break your focus no matter how small. One of the biggest ways to minimize distractions is to turn off your phone or at least limit your number of notifications. Working in social media can be hard not to be on your phone constantly, but there is an excellent app our team at FAULHABER uses to reduce these urges.
The Flora app allows you to set a specific time that you need to focus, whether it be 30 minutes or 3 hours and locks you out of your phone for that duration. If there is an emergency, you can pause the count, but it will subtract from your total. The incentive to do this? After accumulating 24 hours plus (depending on your Flora Care package), the company will plant a tree in real life on your behalf! It keeps you focused on your work and helps the planet all at the same time; what’s better than that?
Schedule breaks in your day
The longer we go without a break, the harder it can be to stay focused. You need time to disconnect from your work throughout your day to allow your brain to recharge. Make it a priority to schedule breaks throughout your day. It may seem counterintuitive, but you will become more productive and focus better on the task on hand when you take breaks between all the craziness. FAULHABER’s Senior Account Manager, Kayla Matos, also makes sure to book a lunch break into her schedule as something to look forward to in her day and work towards. This helps her feel refreshed and ready to take on the rest of her day. Remember, it is always ok to take time for yourself!