Whether you’re working a full-time job and blogging on the side or running your own business full-time, it can be challenging to stay focused on work when you’re in the comfort of your own home. First are the distractions like laundry, TV, and the couch. Then comes the loneliness if you find yourself alone all day. And last comes the challenge of working without someone else telling you what to do.
While working from home is great – nothing beats the freedom – it’s important that you have the tools and discipline you need to stay focused whether it’s for 30-minutes per day or 8 hours per day. Today, we’ll go over 5 ways to stay focused when you work from home.
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Try out some background noise
Krista here! I tend to enjoy working in complete silence, but on those days where I’m feeling unfocused or like it would be nice to have another person around, background noise can work wonders.
If you decide to use a little background noise, it’s important to know what type you work best with. If you get easily distracted, listening to your favorite Spotify playlist might leave you having a dance party instead of working.
Try out a few options and see what works best for you. My favorites are Coffitivity, Deep Focus on Spotify, or some type of nature sounds.
Chat with some friends
This might sound like the opposite of what we’re going for here, but if you’re working alone all day, taking a break to chat with some friends can do a lot to improve your mental state and keep you focused. Whether it’s chatting on Slack or hopping on Skype, just a little human contact can get you back in the groove.
If you find yourself without someone to talk with at a certain time, tune into a live training or listen to a short podcast episode.
Get out of the house
Like our last option, getting yourself out of your pajamas and into the real world can help you refocus and fight off any feelings of isolation that could be sneaking in.
One option is to get out quickly over lunch to grab a few groceries, meet a friend, or run to the post office. Getting out and around people for a few minutes will help you ditch those icky feelings of isolation and get ready for another round of work.
Another option is to work part of the day at a coffee shop, bookstore, or co-working space. While they can be a little noisy, you’ll likely be able to focus pretty well and you’ll enjoy the feeling of having others around, even if you don’t talk to anyone. Oh, and having to buy a nice hot drink at a coffee shop doesn’t hurt either!
Set a schedule
Now for a couple more practical tips. If you work whenever and wherever you want, you might find yourself making a lot of excuses and putting things off.
When I used to run my business on the side, my time to work were nights and weekends. Buuut I didn’t exactly have a schedule set. I’d think about getting home and working all day long, but once I got home I ended up just sitting on the couch waiting for “later” to roll around. (Pro tip: Later eventually means bedtime)
Whether you’re side-hustling or working full-time, set a schedule for yourself if you’re having trouble staying focused. That way, it will help you switch from relaxing to working as well as keep you from overworking yourself.
Set daily and weekly goals
Last, and maybe most important, set yourself goals to work towards each day and week. This will give you something to work toward and help you judge when you need to be working versus relaxing (or scrolling Instagram).
Before I set clear goals each day, I’d find myself sitting at my computer not really feeling like doing anything. I didn’t have the motivation and mindset I needed to get anything done.
Since then, I’ve started using Trello to outline what I’m going to work on each week. Usually on Friday afternoons, I set the goals I have for the following week. That way, when I sit down on Monday morning to start working, I know exactly what my focus needs to be.
If you haven’t tried this before, use something like Trello, Asana, or a physical planner to write down what you want to accomplish each day. Be careful not to overload yourself, as that can be just as detrimental as not having goals in the first place. Split your time between things like client work, marketing, emails, and working on your own business.
Then, each time you sit down to work, look at that list and choose a task to tackle!
How do you stay focused?
Like we said before, staying focused when you’re working at home can be a challenge. Luckily, there are tools you can use and strategies you can try to make things easier.
What are your favorite ways to stay focused?