Working from home or telecommuting is increasingly becoming a popular option among many professionals and entrepreneurs today due to the many benefits it offers. Not only will you enjoy a great amount of flexibility when you work from home, you can also avoid the stress of daily commute and unwanted interactions with people at work. Telecommuting also allows you to keep or advance your career while having more freedom to pursue other passions or interests.
However, a work-from-home set-up is not for everyone. You need to muster strong self-discipline and implement certain strategies that will help you stay focused and productive while working from home. Below are five tips on how to concentrate on your work in a non-traditional work setting.
1. Have a dedicated workspace.
It may be enticing to work on the couch or your cozy bed, yet it’s not often ideal. While you can freely move around with your laptop, it’s best to have a designated workspace at home. Dedicate a room or space where you will put your equipment, files, and other materials you need for your job or business. With a dedicated space for work-related tasks, you can stay away from TV and other distractions and increase your ability to focus on the things that matter.
2. Stick to your work schedule.
Another important thing to establish when you work from home is your work hours. While telecommuting allows you to work anytime you want, there’s a tendency you won’t get things done if you don’t follow a work schedule. Identify the times that’s best for you to work, be it in the morning or late at night, considering the times that you are most creative and engaged. Then make it a goal to work within those hours daily. Remember that consistency is the key. It also helps to time yourself and set goals with deadlines to keep you focused and productive each day.
3. Focus only on job-related tasks.
Telecommuting means there is nobody around physically to check in on you and your tasks. It is ultimately up to you how you’ll be able to meet your targets set for the day, week or month. Distractions are plenty at home, with household chores, pets or kids constantly begging for your attention. There’s also the lingering temptation to spend hours on TV, the internet and social media. It’s vital then that you know how to prioritize well when working from home. Once you set your work schedule, be committed to your work tasks within that timeframe. Ignore the laundry, the pile of dishes in the sink, and everything else that has no relevance to your current task at hand.
4. Take necessary breaks.
Breaks are important to improve your focus when working from home. Your brain can only process so much information at a given time. Every hour or two, step away from your desktop or laptop to recharge your mind and body. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, it’s important to take a break consistently throughout the day. Move and take a walk outside, make a cup of coffee, or call a friend. Also, take vacations every now and then to avoid burnout. Even if you love what you do, working so hard day and night without resting enough will only cause you trouble down the road.
5. Get the right tools.
Thanks to the rapidly changing technology, there are many productivity tools and apps you can use when working from home. Of course, it’s impossible to work from home without a PC or laptop plus a reliable internet connection. Depending on your work or business, you may need to acquire other tools to keep your telecommuting lifestyle manageable. If you’re working with a team, get collaboration and communication tools that will let you share messages and tasks effectively. For organizational tools, get a planner and calendar to help you stay organized.
A coach can also help you to stay on track and balance work and life.
Business Coach, Author, Artist & CEO
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