4 Top Tips To Stay Focused Working From Home

Thanks to the pandemic, all of us have had to experience working from home at least once. By the time the lockdowns were released, you were in one of two camps. You couldn’t wait to get back to the office and get back to normal, or you’d realised how much you hated the office environment and never wanted to go back.

For me, this realisation happened long before the pandemic! Before I worked for myself, I worked for another design agency, and the environment was, frankly, toxic – literally and figuratively! The commute was horrible, the office was full of stale, recycled air, with artificial lighting and dusty fake plants making it a depressing place to go every day. Add in a snarky studio manager with an ego the size of Brazil and the lingering but untraceable smell of sweaty socks, and you have my version of hell. 

I dreamed of working from home. To cut out that awful commute, to eliminate those pesky distractions from my annoying co-workers, and to chill out in my PJs with my four cats while I worked. And when I finally took the plunge, it was every bit as amazing as I’d imagined. But with the temptations of online shopping, coffee dates with friends and all of this newfound freedom, I found it hard to stay laser-focused on being my own boss. I know a lot of other businesswomen find the same, so I wanted to share some of the things that worked for me and kept me focused and productive.

Separate Your Workspace

Working in your PJs from the sofa or even from bed might sound like absolute bliss, but it gets kinda old very quick. Not to mention you just aren’t going to get much done!

My soft office (aka my bed) may have been the comfiest workspace I’ve ever had, but it was also the least productive. Not just because I was in bed and the temptation of Netflix or a good book was always calling, but because I was always surrounded by my personal life.

Soft offices come with family and mess, and these can be some of the biggest distractions of all! Having a separate office in the house that’s just for work really helped me to focus and get in the right headspace for being productive. So even if it’s a tiny spare bedroom, it’s worth claiming as yours!

Fuel Your Focus With Music

Music is one of those things that everyone connects with on a spiritual level. It doesn’t matter what your taste is in music, there will be something that stirs up emotions in you. So use it! Studies done over the pandemic found that music improved both productivity and cognitive performance, as well as helped people manage anxiety and boosted motivation.

Build yourself a playlist with all of your best bangers on there, so that you always have that little uplift from music to keep you going. My working playlist is always on from before I even start work, helping me get set and ready to tackle the day. And yes, ‘eye of the tiger’ is on there!

Fuel Your Focus With Music

Take A Nature Break

Yes, you read that right. Sometimes the best way to be more productive at work is to take breaks from working. As humans, our natural concentration cycles are a maximum of 90 minutes, so if you’re trying to work longer than that without a break you risk getting distracted or not doing your best work. So take regular breaks to do something else and come back with fresh eyes. 

More than that, get out and spend some time in nature. I really struggled with both taking breaks and getting outside, as I have a tendency to become a real working hermit if left to my own devices. But nature is healing and inspiring, and as humans, we are naturally drawn to it. There’s even a word for it – biophilia – which means our innate need to be around other life-like plants and animals. So, get yourself outside and soak in everything Mother Nature has to offer!

Work With Your Natural Rhythm

Have you ever noticed that you tend to be more energised at a certain time of day? Or that the productivity slump hits you at a different time than everyone else? That’s because you, my magical moonbeam, have a unique rhythm that takes you dancing through life. The traditional workday doesn’t work for many people, so my advice is – stop fighting it!

If you’re an early bird, work during those early hours when you’re most productive. If you’re like me and a bit of a night owl, then work at night! I like to work until around 3 AM usually (also known as the witching hour, which suits me perfectly!) as that’s when I feel most productive. And that’s OK! It’s one of the best perks of being your own boss, so embrace it.

Take a nature break

Working From Home Is The New Normal

I’m a firm believer that almost any job can be done from the comfort of your own home, and if you can, you should! But I also know it can be a real challenge to keep yourself focused, on task and productive when you’re surrounded by the distractions of everyday life. These are just a few examples of what helped me, but if you have any other tips and tricks, I would love to hear them! And as always, if you want to chat about anything work, life or branding, hit me up in the contact box.

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