Having trouble keeping concentration while WFH (working from home)? WFH comes with benefits. It means no commutes, no being stuck in traffic, and wearing comfy clothes. It also presents a whole new set of possible distractions.
While the office may have allowed colleagues to momentarily take your time with a chat or sudden lunch break, home presents a whole host of attention grabbers, like family, roommates, pets, that book on the desk, the plant that needs watering, etc. It can be hard to delineate your home as a space of work and relaxation. Rosewood’s team are versed experts in WFH, so we have some tips to help you stay focused and productive.
A Dedicated WFH Space
Delineate a space in your home as the work zone. Not everyone has a spare room to dedicate to an entire office, but you should establish some kind of area that indicates to your brain and anyone else you live with that you are working. A desk, chair, island, a pillow all work, so long as it becomes dedicated to this. Try not to work in your own bedroom. You’ll make it hard to fall asleep when you are off the clock.
Establish a Routine to Start your Workday
Just like a regular space, a regular routine will help your mind get in the right frame for the workday. The routine can be highly individual. Each person has different ways to “get into the zone.” It can be putting on a full work outfit, making coffee or tea, reading the news, walking the dog, reviewing your to-do list, or working out. Your routine is working so long as it gets you ready for work and in the right mindset.
Create and Stick to a WFH Schedule
WFH is all about setting boundaries in space and time. WFH brings a certain freedom to our work-clock compared to the office’s 9-5, but it can also make us work beyond our normal worktime and even unhealthy hours. Establish a work schedule that sets healthy boundaries. This will keep you from draining yourself, working excessively, and costing your concentration. It also communicates to others in your home you are busy during that time. You can also use a calendar to proactively set up an entire week’s or month’s workflow.
Take Regular Breaks
Yes, to get more work done we’re suggesting you not work. Humans are not machines, we need breaks, and even if we were, machines overheat. The longer we work without a break, the more difficult it is to focus, and our work’s quantity and quality drastically falls. The pomodoro method recommends taking a five-minute break after every 25 minutes of work and after four cycles to take a 20- or 30-minute break. Read the news, watch a video, stop looking at the screen, chat with your friends, family, or coworkers. Those little breaks will make the time you are working far more effective than draining yourself with constant effort.
Yes, it’s WFH, but remote work can be done anywhere you have a stable internet connection. A change of scenery can help you escape the distractions at home. A new setting can refresh your mind and help you get past that pesky writer’s block or find a new solution to that stubborn problem. Cafés, parks, libraries, coworking spaces can all provide you with a novel, work-friendly setting, a concentration refresh, and a little inspiration to boot.
Dehydration drastically impairs your ability to focus. Remember to drink water throughout the day. No, that does NOT mean just keep drinking coffee and tea. Too much caffeine will only make it worse. You can keep a large water bottle in your workspace or use your regular short breaks to refill you cup. Oh, and remember to eat too!
It’s Also Your Home
While making these adjustments and trying to stay focused and get your work done, remember the space is also your home. It is where you relax and enjoy time that’s yours beyond work. It might be where your friends or family are. WFH means we literally can’t help but bring our work home with us, so it is on us to be sure there are healthy boundaries.
Summing Up WFH
Those are our top tips from Rosewood, but there’s plenty more. Our general recommendation for keeping your attention on your work is figuring out what’s making you lose your focus. You have control over your home, and that means you can make it your ideal workspace.