Whether you’re a full-time remote worker or you had to shift to work-from-home due to the pandemic, figuring out how to stay motivated and focused can be challenging. From household distractions like children or roommates, to being tempted to tidy up the house instead of completing a project, there are many things that can get in the way of your productivity. Whatever the case may be, there will be no room for excuses when it comes time to check in with your boss or client.
So, how can you make sure you’re on task and hitting all your deadlines? Use these 4 tips to help you establish better work-from-home habits so you can stay focused and productive.
#1: Create a Designated Workspace
Having a designated workspace is important for several reasons:
- Establishes an association in your brain that when you’re in this area, you’re in work mode.
- Creates a distinct divide between your work and home life, which can easily become blurred for remote workers.
- Allows you to keep all your equipment set up, so you’re ready to go first thing in the morning.
With these benefits in mind, take the time to carve out a space in your home where you can work uninterrupted, preferably with some natural light. Use these tips for setting up the most productive home office.
#2: Establish a Schedule
Without a supervisor enforcing a daily routine, it can be difficult for many people to crack down and stick to a schedule. While it might seem like not having a set schedule is one of the biggest perks of remote work, the lack of routine can actually diminish your productivity. Instead, focus on the freedom you have to create your own schedule and establish a routine that works best for you. Just make sure it’s one that you can maintain consistently.
It’s no secret that sometimes it’s nice to sleep in and work late into the night, but that’s not sustainable for most people. One of the most important things you want to keep in mind is what time your collaborators are online. That way, you can streamline your workflow by ensuring that you can ask the questions you need to, get real-time feedback, and work together with other team members to complete projects as efficiently as possible.
#3: Keep Your Energy Up
For most people, a drop in energy and motivation is normal. To avoid an afternoon slump that can counteract all your morning productivity, find ways to keep your energy up and revive your focus. Here are a few things you can try if you find yourself falling victim to a loss of motivation midafternoon:
- Drink enough water (when you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t deliver as much blood to your brain, making you feel lethargic).
- Try a time-marked water bottle that reminds you to drink at regular intervals, like this one by HydroMATE: hydromateusa.com/collections/gallon-motivational-water-bottles
- Use CBD oil (while CBD oil is typically associated with helping you relax—it does help reduce anxiety—it can actually sharpen focus, too)
- Try a high-quality CBD tincture by CBDfx: cbdfx.com/collections/cbd-tincture/
- Eat healthy snacks every few hours (certain foods like bananas, apples, dark chocolate, eggs, and hummus are known to be good energy-boosting snacks)
- Try P3 Portable Protein Snacks: proteinproteinprotein.com/
- Create a work playlist filled with classical music and other genres that are proven to promote focus
- Try one of Spotify’s focus playlists: open.spotify.com/genre/focus-page
#4: Actively Block Out Distractions
If you find yourself struggling to stay focused throughout the day, you might need to become stricter on yourself, and others around you, about cutting down on distractions. You might not even realize how many distractions are around you, but it could be anything from the obvious ones like roommates and TV to the ticking clock on the wall or the landscaper outdoors. To help you remain focused, you can try these proven strategies for blocking out distractions:
- Use noise-cancelling headphones during work hours, Skullcandy has wired and wireless options
- Work behind a closed door
- Use an anti-distraction app like FocusMe
- Keep your phone in a different room
Implement these tips into your daily routine and you’ll quickly see what a difference they can make in how you feel throughout the workday. Want more tips for improving your work-from-home routine? Check out the do’s and don’ts of remote work.