8 Tips to Work From Home Without Being Distracted
Working from home every day may have felt like a novelty six months ago, but for many of us, we are now at it for the long haul.
Distractions are easy. Here are 8 tips to help fight against distractions and stay motivated.
1. Establish a routine and stick to it
It can be stressful to walk the line between work and personal time, so schedules are a must. Get up and eat breakfast at the same time each day, and stick to an alternate "commute" time, where you exercise, read, or listen to music, before starting work.
"The most important thing is that when your workday stops, stop working, Shut it off, stop checking emails and focus on home life." - The National Health Service.
2. Make a dedicated workspace
If you haven't already, now is the time to find a quiet space away from other people and distractions. Try to designate an area as your workspace, make it as comfortable as possible and make sure you have everything you need in one place.
3. Take a break
It can feel like we need to be "on" all the time - and available to colleagues now that they can't see us in person. But this work-from-home presenteeism is not good if it is affecting your mental health. So take regular breaks and a lunch break to control your stress levels. Taking the time to focus on something else, be it a walk or a coffee, will increase your productivity. If you feel tense and stiff because you move less, try doing a 10-minute exercise.
4. Stay connected
While working from home has its benefits, it can also feel more isolated. Human interaction is important to our mental well-being, so make video calls or pick up the phone. Make time to socialize virtually - schedule a digital coffee break or online meeting on Fridays.
5. Set limits
"Setting boundaries with other members of your household is key to mental well-being while working at home," - The National Health Service
Yes, there is more flexibility, but you may also have to deal with children who think you are there for them. Talk to your family or those who live about your needs and share your schedule, so that you can enjoy being with your family, your partner or your housemates at the end of the day.
6. Review time management
Chartered occupational psychologist Emma Donaldson-Feilder has shared her tips for better time management to help you feel more in control, more focused, and less stressed. Suggest that you set goals and write to-do lists that prioritize and set deadlines for tasks. And practising "4Ds" can help you manage the stress of email:
Delete: This applies to about half of the emails you receive.
Do: if it is urgent or can be completed quickly.
Delegate: if someone else can handle it better.
Snooze: set aside time later to spend on emails that will take longer to deal with.
7. Think long term
We may be working from home for some time, so it's worth exploring different programs and ways of working to boost collaboration with others, as well as thinking about work-at-home settings.
8. Be kind to yourself
Remember this is an unusual situation, so be gentle with yourself and recognize that you may not be as productive as you normally would be. Be realistic about what you can accomplish under the circumstances - and relax when you finish your work.