Conquering the Bully Called Distractions While Working from Home
Working from home can be a very liberating and flexible experience. There’s no traffic to navigate, work clothes to iron, or company clock to punch. However, these freedoms don’t absolve you from being focused and productive. Although benefits come with working from home, there are also challenges. You’re actually mixing business with pleasure when you work from home because your personal world is cohabiting with your work life. However, not to worry. You can take to maintain your productivity and focus while working from home.
Determine Your Most Productive Hours
If you have flexibility around the hours you work, utilize it. If you’re a morning person and have the most energy in the AM, schedule your work during this time. Your periods of high energy will be more focused, allowing you to get more done. However, if you don’t have control over the hours you work, find the period of time when you’re most energetic. If you work from nine to five and have the most energy between nine and one, schedule your more detail-oriented and high-energy tasks for these periods. Use the latter part of the day for tasks that require less focus and energy.
Make a Daily Plan
Create a work plan every morning. Of course, make allowances for unexpected detours, but chart your path. Look at your weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals and plot your course. What do you need to accomplish this week? How do these goals coincide with your monthly goals? Do you need to break your tasks into weekly bite-sized jobs to make your monthly goals? If so, divide your work to ensure you hit your monthly marks. Include important deadlines as well. Pace yourself and reward yourself for accomplishing high-priority tasks by taking a small break to tend to housework or relax.
Make Time for the Mundane
Schedule time to accomplish small tasks that need to be done. File paperwork, return phone calls, go through your emails, and answer them. Work on your spreadsheets. Although these tasks may be routine and repetitive, they’re integral parts of your success puzzle. Scheduling repetitive tasks into your normal workday will help you chip away at the repetitive parts of your job little by little. Once done, you’ll be able to fully focus on bigger tasks.
Schedule Periods of Tunnel-Vision
There are tasks that require pure uninterrupted focus. Find a period during your workday to turn off your ringer, step away from work emails, and focus on completing job-related tasks that require you to lock in and concentrate. If your household is calmest in the morning and your work-related meetings usually take place after lunch, the mornings may be your golden hours. Give yourself permission to push everything aside during these moments. Give these focused tasks your full attention.
Critique Your Week
As your week grinds to a halt, take the time to reflect on the targets you hit as well as the ones you missed. Pat yourself on the back for the goals and tasks you accomplished. However, take your time and consider why you failed to accomplish others. This is a time to tweak your schedule for next week and press reset if you need to. What can you do differently to hit your goal? What areas were neglected and where was too much time spent? These are questions that will help you to set yourself up for more success.
Fill your Parachute with Air
You should invest in honoring your work skills on a weekly basis. An hour or so a week is enough. Find webinars, meetings, and conferences you can attend or watch to improve your craft. This investment in yourself has a building effect over time. Investing in honing your skills on a weekly basis will help you continue to grow and level up in your career. You should also allocate time weekly to handle any unexpected work-related issues. Even if nothing unexpected comes up, it’s good to know that the time and focus are there to handle any issues if they do. It’s not impossible to develop a practical work-from-home schedule.