Whilst we appreciate the thousands of key workers that are keeping our country running right now we also realise that there are a lot of people suddenly thrust into the situation of working from home. At TA6 many of us are used to home working on a regular basis and so we’ve put some of our top tips together to help you stay focused when working at home.
KEEP YOUR ROUTINE
When suddenly given the opportunity to work from home it can be very tempting to switch off the alarm and take the advantage of some lazy mornings! However, you will find your day will go much better and you will be far more productive if you stick to your regular routine. Get up at the normal time and start your day in the normal way. If you can get up nice and early and start your day with a home workout that will put you in a great mind-set to stay focused during your work day. Save the lie-ins for the weekend!
2. GET DISTRACTIONS OUT OF THE WAY FIRST
If you’ve got a list of jobs that you know need doing in the day whether they be life admin, cleaning or shopping then get them done as early as you can in the day. If you know you’ve got things that need to be done they will be a constant distraction to you as you are trying to work. Set yourself 30 minutes to an hour first thing to get all those niggling jobs done and out of the way, then you’ve got the rest of the day to get on with your work.
3. PLAN YOUR DAY
This might seem like an obvious one but making a ‘To Do’ list can make the difference between a successful and a wasted day. Plan everything you need to get done and then work out at what time you want to do it and schedule it into your day. This way you will be focused on each task and ensure that everything gets done before moving onto the next thing. Even schedule in lunch and breaks!
4. GET OUTSIDE IN THE FRESH AIR
Sitting in front of a computer screen all day long can be soul destroying, especially when you’re not used to it. So schedule in some time to get out of the house and get some fresh air. If you have a dog then that’s a perfect excuse to get out of the house, otherwise maybe go for a short run or a walk just to clear your head. Don’t be tempted to take your phone with you and scroll trough social media at the same time – give your eyes a break!
5. NO TV!
It can be extremely tempting, when you’re working at home, to stick on the TV and catch up on your favourite soaps or start watching a new box set. If you do, before you know it, two hours will have passed and you will know all about what’s happening in Coronation Street but that spreadsheet you were supposed to be doing is completely blank! Save the TV for the end of the day when you can relax knowing you’ve had a super productive day.
6. TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
Whilst it’s important to stay productive it’s also important to take regular breaks. A good idea is to treat yourself after completing a block of work with a cuppa and an episode of your favourite TV show or a scroll on Instagram. Whatever tickles your fancy it’s important to congratulate yourself after a productive few hours of work. Don’t feel guilty for taking breaks – nobody can be productive all day long!
7. SET AN END TO THE DAY
When we are working from home work can often encroach into your home life. Whilst it’s great to be flexible and work at times to suit you it is equally important to set an end to your day. Don’t be tempted to answer emails into the evening if you started work first thing and have worked all day. Work – Life balance can often be more difficult when you work from home.
8. DRESS FOR WORK
When there’s no reason to leave the house it can sometimes seem pointless to bother getting out of your PJs! However, you will find yourself so much more productive if you get up and get dressed for your day’s work. There’s obviously no need to get suited and booted but getting showered and dressed will definitely give you more focus.
9. MAKE A WORK AREA
Not everyone has the luxury of a home office, especially if you’re not usually required to work from home. If you don’t, then it is a great idea to make yourself a specific work area. Make it comfortable and in an area away from distractions. If you work from a laptop then make sure it’s on a suitable table with a chair so you’re not hunched over sat on your sofa. Prolonged bad posture can cause back and neck pain so a risk assessment of your work space is a good idea and look at how you can raise the height of your screen or chair if needed.
10. INTERACT WITH OTHERS REGULARLY
There’s no doubt, working at home can be very isolating. Contact colleagues regularly via the telephone or online platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Skype. Set up a WhatsApp group for daily interaction and why not set up some fun challenges your teams can get involved in. If you can’t meet people in person then these things are so important, it can be very demotivating to have no interaction at all for weeks on end.
We hope you found these tips useful. If you have any tips of your own please feel free to leave them in the comments below. Please also share this post with your friends and colleagues who might need help with focusing when working at home.