Many Americans have ditched the commute and are now working remotely full-time. While for some this means that they’re more productive than ever, without workplace distractions, many are struggling to maintain their focus in a new work environment that’s also their home. If you find yourself in this latter category, here are a few ways to stay engaged while you’re working from home.
Take regular breaks
It’s going to be impossible to maintain your focus without giving yourself little breaks. Get up from your desk at least every hour or so, and take a walk outside or around your home. Give your eyes a break from the computer screen and come back to work refreshed.
Maintain office relationships
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you have to stop socializing. Use a tool like Slack that allows you to connect with your coworkers throughout the day. You can get quick answers to questions, talk about work, or just talk informally. Your team could even create a Slack channel that’s devoted to chit-chatting so you can let off steam and stay in touch while working from home.
Of course, one of the downsides of remote work is that you’re more aware of all the things you have to do at home. You may be working around your children or family members, and it’s hard not to pay attention to them. Communicate to your loved ones that you will be unavailable during your set work schedule, and create a plan that allows you to avoid worrying about any chores or childcare during the day.
Create a dedicated workspace
Having an office with a door will help you set the above boundaries, but many remote workers don’t have that luxury. Even if you have to convert a kitchen table, make sure you have the same dedicated workspace to return to each day. This will help your family follow boundaries and will allow you to get into the work mindset, even though you’re not leaving the building.
Get some exercise
Sitting at home at your computer all day can be taxing on your body, which in turn impacts the mind. When you take breaks, try to move your body a bit on a walk or run, or do some gentle yoga. Try to squeeze in exercise whenever you can, which will help you stay focused as you’re trying to work.
Keep a priority list
When we go to work at the office, we’re already getting into the work state of mind that allows us to focus solely on our tasks at hand. At home, this is a bit more challenging. When you start each day, create a priority list so you know what you should be focusing on. This can help you reach your daily goals and keep your mind attentive to work.
Working from home has plenty of perks, but it’s always a good idea to check in with your level of focus. These quick tips will help you redirect your wandering mind and set you up for remote work success.