Working from home is one of the most ideal jobs if you want to stay away from the hassle of commuting and enjoying the comforts of home yet earning the same amount of pay like any professionals in any industry. If you think about it, this kind of work set-up thrives to a certain group of individuals. However, there are still challenges along the way when monotony strikes in and one of them is staying and keeping your focus to get the job done.
Having your home as your office too brings a lot of distraction and diversion. Being in your pajamas may signal a different tone for the day and may not perk you up to work. Cleaning chores, preparing food, turning the television on and even the sight of bed are among the many interruptions in the home environment that signals you to relax, take a nap or do other things.
On the contrary, the saying if there’s a will, there’s a way holds true as there are ways to combat these interruptions to be more productive so you can concentrate on your deliverables for the day. Below are suggestions and checklists on how to stay focused when working at home.
1. Create a schedule with time limits on each task and follow it.
This means you have a specific schedule from the time you begin working. Make it more interesting by allotting only 6 hours a day. The sustainable number of working hours is 8, so to enjoy the benefits of working at home, 6 will be the appropriate number. Setting it this way will not lead you to burnout as the environment at home will tell you that work is endless and never-ending.
Below is a sample of the work schedule. Depending on your preferred time and priority, setting the number of hours is the point here.
8:00-10:00 2 hours of sales
10:00-12:00 2 hours of marketing
1:00-2:00 1 hour of project management
2:00-3:00 1 hour of work on specific project
Setting it in a very specific way such as the sample schedule below is also fine, depending on your kind of work, the freedom to distribute your time is what is enjoyable in the process. Besides, you are your own boss. Here is an example schedule:
30 mins of social media
30 mins of blog outreach
1 hour of blog writing
30 mins of meeting with X client
30 mins of meeting with Y client
1 hour of cold calling
10 mins each of project management to 6 clients
1 hour work on project Z
2. Plan working hours every day.
For boredom and routine not to set in. You need to anticipate the work you will do for the next day. This is to create a working timeline so you know if you have achieved your specific goals for the day. In this way, it will create excitement when you work. Make your calendar busy by blocking off time and making it look like you are indeed busy.
3. Set timer for the schedule you have.
This will just give you an idea that in order to get more things done, stick to the allotted time. If by experience, you needed to extend or shorten the time, the choice is yours. The message here is not overworking yourself as the tendency to slack around the following days are high if you worked long hours the days before. This may not be a healthy working environment for you either.
4. Get dressed for work.
This may sound like a joke. But getting yourself ready by changing clothes sets the tone of serious work. Anyway, this dressing up does not mean looking fabulous by picking that slacks or heel for work. This means preparing yourself such as taking a bath and putting on comfortable working clothes before sitting down and facing that screen. Remember that sleeping clothes and pajamas are a no-no when pressing that keyboard or dialing a call.
5. Provide a working area, desk or room.
Setting up an environment for work also means everything. This will excite you to be more productive and get things done immediately. If possible, arrange your house in such a way that there is a particular nook that is intended solely for work. Providing a table for your computer, an area where there is good lighting and ventilation and probably an extra table where you can have your work paraphernalia such as your calendar, schedule, extra papers and pen to write on.
6. Prioritize and take breaks.
To be more efficient and effective at work, prioritization is key. Provide an outline of the things to be done in a day or week and identify the job that needs much attention and work on it at the first hour. Also, do not forget to have a kit-kat or take that caffeine break to be more energized.
Lastly, all of these to-do list will just stay as a list if not seriously followed. So, take up the challenge and fight that feeling of slackness when you are about to start work at the comforts of home.