So Many Distractions At Home
Today let’s talk about how to stay focused working at home.
I have been working from home for a year now.
I can fully confirm the realness of the struggle to stay focused in my comfort zone.
Doing the research for this article and my life, I came across several ways to stay focused while working at home.
Great tips provided but I thought there was a way better way to talk about the ways to focus at home.
Let’s look at the distracting factors, then see how to overcome each.
What are some of the distracting factors when working at home?
In order for us to be effective at staying focused while working at home, we need to first know what our distractions are.
Most of the distractions we experience while working at home are the same as the distractions we could face while working from any place.
Some of which we may feel are not under our control.
My hope is at the end of this post, we will all get to see how much control we actually have.
So our first step on how to stay focused working at home is knowing our distractions and then implementing ways to limit them.
Importance Of Staying Focused While Working Home
Before we dive into the how lets first talk about the why
Why is it important to stay focused while working at home.
1. It Helps you use your time effectively.
2. Staying focused helps you produce quality work.
3. When we are focused we get to accomplish tasks quicker, hence reach our goals sooner.
4. Staying focused and getting things done helps us feel good about ourselves and hence improving our self-confidence.
5. Staying focused on a single task helps you include your subconscious mind, which then comes up with ways for you to do the tasks most efficiently.
How To Stay focused Working At Home
We are going to be looking at both the internal and external distractions as they both have a huge influence on the rate at which we focus.
These are distractions from within.
Distraction which doesn’t involve any outside help.
I will admit these types of distractions have been the hardest for me to overcome.
I still struggle with them till date.
Needless to say, hunger leads to less energy.
Less energy to work or even think right.
I am sure we have all heard of the common saying, a hungry man is an angry man.
Sure hunger might not cause you to go into angry mode.
But one thing is certain, it is harder to focus when hunger is present.
To solve this problem we need to respect our food breaks.
We will save more time and produce better quality work when we are at full energy
Let me paint a picture for you.
You get hungry and can’t focus.
You feel tired or uninspired to cook anything healthy.
So you go get some chunk food.
Chunk food which leads to health issues down the road
Though we all know how important food is, unfortunately, we don’t make this a priority.
Not just eating but also eating the right thing.
We say we don’t have enough time to concentrate on getting our meals ready.
But in the long run, we will come to see that so much time will be wasted because we could not spend 30 minutes getting our meal set.
Health issues which then leads to a loss in our focus.
When we get tired physically or mentally, it makes it very hard to focus.
The Physical side
The physical fatigue could come from a lack of sufficient sleep.
For this, some will say we all need different amounts of sleep to function properly.
Some of my friends swear they can excel with 6 hours of sleep a day, some say seven.
I even know some unicorns who say they can function well with 4 hours of sleep daily.
I really can’t argue with them but what I know personally is, with less than 8 hours of sleep, I find it hard to be on my A game.
According to the sleep foundation, the amount of sleep we need varies with age.
Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily to function properly.
So just get to know yourself.
The Mental Side
To stay focused working from home or anywhere we need to avoid brain fatigue.
One common thing which leads to brain fatigue is decision making, so we might want to limit the number of decisions we make daily.
On the article I wrote about How to focus in life, I highlight some of the things that might lead to brain fatigue and how to limit them.
Also having regular breaks in between prevents mental fatigue.
Some studies have recommended a 15 minutes break in 25 minutes intervals.
We will all agree on how hard it is to focus when we are sick.
Yes, it is possible to get things done when we are sick especially when we must or when we love what we do.
But being forced to work when you are sick can feel like torture and we get things done at a slower pace.
We are not at full mental and physical strength and so it is hard to give the job the focus it needs.
In order for us to avoid being sick, we could put in place some practices which can prevent that.
Like exercising and eating healthy.
Worrying about the outcome of our actions or decisions is something we are always tempted to do.
If we take up some time in a day to be mindful about our thoughts, we will notice that a high amount of time we give to worrying about things that might not happen.
Time, which would have been spent more efficiently on focusing on our work.
This plenty of worries makes it hard to produce the best result due to a reduced focus.
One of my favorite saying, which is very useful to remember when we worry is ” Live life like everything is rigged in your favor “.
This saying from Rumi reminds us that even the bad outcomes are still in our favor.
When working from home, especially when I am alone, I could spend hours daydreaming, sometimes even acting out my thoughts.
I really start feeling like my fantasy was actually my reality
This is actually good when practiced in moderation.
Daydreaming or fantasizing about our desired outcome makes achieving that goal possible.
Only if we rise up and start carrying out the actions necessary to make that goal come to pass.
Spending a huge amount of time daydreaming especially during our scheduled time off work takes our focus away from the tasks ahead, hence reducing our productivity.
Now let’s talk about some of the external factors that cause us to focus less when working at home.
Things which could be taken away from our reach at least for a period of time.
6. Phone Notifications
We are more likely to lose focus by looking at our phone when we get a notification.
This source of distraction can be avoided by turning off our notifications.
This can be done by going to the settings of any app.
7. Social Media
Scrolling through social media leads to brain fatigue.
When our brain is tried we find it hard to focus.
We could avoid this by limiting the amount of time we spend on social media.
Interesting fact, I recently watched a Kim Kardashian interview in which she was asked how much time she spends on Instagram daily and she said less than 30 minutes.
This is somebody with millions of followers and she makes lots of money from promoting products to her followers.
Yet she spends less than 30 minutes a day on social media.
I know Kim might have people who she pays to manage her account many celebrities do.
And many of us might not have the resources or will to pay someone, so how do we reduce the amount of time we spend on social media.
Well, this can be done by providing more content than you consume.
By having specific people you watch online, not just scrolling mindlessly looking for content to consume.
In my case, this is not much of a source of distraction as I live alone.
But on rare occasions when I have friends or family over I try to prioritize quality time with them, then find time in between for work.
In a situation where you have kids, you might want to schedule your activities which need more focus for when they are already sleeping.
I have little experience with this but I heard of many working mums who wake up about 2 hours earlier than their kids or sleep 2 hours later to get work done.
Also creating a limited access office space might really help you focus at home.
Working away from your bed, away from where you sleep is a really helpful tip to keep you focused.
This prevents you from sleeping off or from being distracted by the desire to sleep.
Research has even shown that working in your sleeping space can lead to stress increase.
Some Other Tips On How To Stay Focused Working At Home
Lots more helpful tips to keep you focused while working at home.
General tips which go a long way to keep us focused on all aspects and situations in life.
10. Start With Your Why
Starting with your why, your purpose, keeps you focused on meeting up with your daily tasks even when you don’t feel like.
11. Bribe yourself
Giving yourself a reward for meeting up with your daily tasks, inspires you to get things done for the prize.
This motivates you to stay focused.
12. Set deadlines
Setting deadlines help me avoid procrastination and makes me committed to getting things done within a specific frame of time.
Setting deadlines will definitely help you stay focused in order to reduce the amount of time spent in accomplishing certain tasks.
13. Change Environment
Changing the environment is a very helpful tip for me.
There is something about the new, unfamiliar working space which reinspires me to work.
14. Create Time For Distractions
Last but not least, set aside time for distractions.
Set time aside for watching movies, relaxing or chatting with friends.
This puts you in the mindset of work now, catch fun later.
Or work now so you can have fun later.
Be Your most productive self
Like every self-development journey, learning how to stay focused while working at home comes with its challenges.
The tips shared above will definitely help you achieve these goals.
But at the end of it all, it all depends on you.
How hard are you willing to work to attain the focus you need?
What are you willing to give up?
What works best for you?
It all depends on you to figure this out, by trying, falling, rising and doing it all over again.
As usual, my friends, go be legendary