Stay focused and work will be a breeze. Yet, working from home is a challenge in its own right.
Let’s be honest, working from home is uniquely challenging. That’s because most people stash all sorts of fun things at home. Think home entertainment, from Netflix to video games. Gym equipment, kids, pets, deliveries, random visitors. There are countless opportunities for distractions.
And working from home is becoming a thing. It used to be that serious work happened in an office. Nowadays, working from home is serious work. Why? Modern technologies and collaborative solutions make it convenient. Hence, more and more people are working from home. In fact, some companies even offer mixed work-times. A few days at the main office, a few days at home. Motive? Work intensification and overall better results.
Tech is changing work. And work is changing in new and interesting ways. In effect, it’s tougher to stay focused. To this end, here’s a quick checklist that should help you stay focused when working from home.
#1 Stay in the loop
Few types of work today are relevant outside teamwork. Most people work on some piece that will fit in a team project. And working from home is not much different. In fact, remote work is on the rise because of this. With the help of instant team collaboration platforms, it is now possible to be part of a team while still working from home.
Teamwork today is the main way to providing actual value. Lone performances exist, but they are no longer as relevant as they used to be. Everything of value is the result of teamwork. Just look at research. It’s all collaborative. Which makes the Nobel prize a bit behind-the-times since teams can’t win it.
To stay in the loop, you can use all sorts of solutions. But using integrated collaborative software seems to be the most efficient. Particularly, having your entire team communication in one place and the tools to make the best use of it – 1:1 and group chat, file transfer and screen sharing, voice and video calls.
That’s only a fraction of what Hubgets can offer. The platform brings teams a whole lot more: from interactive team boards and AI-based interruption management to fully interactive, digital business cards with chat with file transfer, voice and video. For online meetings on departments, projects or tasks, you can use Topics. This group chats powered with a great set of collaborative features help you instantly get your point across, gain feedback and stay on the same page with all team members, wherever they are.
#2 Set goals to fight procrastination
Working from home offers plenty for the average procrastinator. To control this, make a plan. Don’t spend too much time on it though, that also counts as procrastination.
Indeed, people procrastinate formulating strategies to fight procrastination. That’s how challenging it is.
Goal-setting is the backbone of any procrastination fight. Why? Because while setting goals, you get to keep to the flow and gamify your experience. You can intertwine reaching set goals with procrastination.
Essentially, you get to reward yourself with procrastination for doing well with goals. And that will help you stay focused. It’s a lot like strategic breaks, with one key difference. You use breaks to regain focus. Conversely, use goals to stay focused. And have procrastination as an after-hours relaxation.
It makes sense. Some amount of procrastination is necessary. There are several benefits to procrastination. To stay focused, however, you need to know what to focus on. Besides, research shows that setting deadlines will help you stay focused.
#3 Take strategic breaks
Strategic breaks are a great idea to keep your focus. Essentially, they are a variation of the Pomodoro technique.
Focus is like a muscle. You need to take breaks in order to recover. Working out the focus muscle is great. Without a doubt, it helps you stay focused for longer. But taking strategic breaks allows you to stay focused to your maximum, repeatedly.
How to use strategic breaks
Strategic breaks are easy to use. Here are the main steps:
- Cut your work into “focus-sized” chunks, 20-30 minutes each.
- Take 5-minute breaks AWAY from your desk.
- Gradually increase break duration up to when you take a long break.
- Repeat the whole process.
You can smuggle as much as 10 hours of productivity in this way. Granted, you will be taking a lot of strategic breaks. But most of the time, you will stay focused at peak focus. We covered strategic breaks and focus in this article. While at home, however, strategic breaks are different.
Ideas for strategic breaks at home
Some of these ideas are great cues for procrastination, so beware. Set a timer and supervise yourself procrastinating.
- Use a 5-minute strategic break to make some coffee. Or deal with the dishwasher (empty, refill, etc). Sort your pens.
- Use a 10-minute break to deal with some sort of administrative stuff. Scan, print, cut, clean up something. Perhaps use this break to declutter your workspace and tech gear, check out points 3 and 4 here.
- Power naps are a great way for a medium-sized break. You spend about 20 minutes in a power nap. And there are numerous benefits. Power naps are restorative. They regulate stress, improve memory, and help you balance work and life.
- Use longer breaks for meal-time, cooking and/or talking a walk.
#4 Stay in gear, stay focused
Working in your pajamas is amazing. But the effect soon wears off. There is a comfy, relaxed quality about pajamas, to be sure. Yet, you won’t feel like you mean business. More likely you will feel like it’s a sick day.
To mean business, get your gear on. Suit up, if that’s your thing. Or put on whichever clothes make you feel true grit and determination. Some professionals have a collection of uniforms. Several copies of the same outfit. You could try that.
Ultimately, it’s all about doing the best you can to stay focused. And this one is easy. Dress up and get going.
Overall, working from home is a lot easier if you can still keep in touch with the team. To say nothing of having a readily available opportunity for collaborative work.