When working from home, it can be hard to stay focused and productive when you are forced to concentrate in an environment where you normally relax. 2020 has taught everyone a lot about keeping you on the top of your game during these WFH times. We pivoted our business in 2020 to survive, and our creations have taught both our customers and our team a lot about thriving when working from home. Here are six tips to keep you feeling focused, energized, and productive while we all adjust to this new normal of working from home.
Get into the right mindset for working. Get focused!
If you aren’t used to working from home, chances are you will be easily distracted when it comes time to get busy; home is, of course, different from the office environment.
Try to find a space in your house that provides a point of focus. When you go there, switch on to work. When you leave, return to home mode.
Identify what needs to be done and paint that picture in your mind.
By designating a space solely for work, you will find that you will have a more focused mindset compared to working from, say, your bed or the couch: places you would typically associate with relaxing and switching your brain off. When you go to a space dedicated to work, you will find yourself automatically getting into the work mindset.
Correct Posture (and how to get it)
Posture is crucial when it comes to maintaining a productive workflow, especially at home.
If you find that you are getting a sore back or fatigue, chances are your setup is not set up correctly.
Quick wins... adjust your monitor so that the top of the screen is eye level with you, and keep your elbows so that your forearm is parallel to the ground. If sitting, keep your back against the back of the seat, and if possible, use armrests.
Incorrect posture can cut off blood supply around the body and put unnecessary strain on your body, particularly the back.
By utilizing correct posture, you will find the increased blood circulation leads to feeling more energized, and focused while working, which is essential in any office environment, not just at home.
Consider furniture designed explicitly for the WFH environment.
Accept that there will be distractions.
No matter what, working from home will always be a different environment than working from an office. You cannot avoid certain things, and there will be plenty of distractions for anyone trying to get some work done.
Try to set some ground rules with family members that allow you to have some time to focus and concentrate without distractions.
Take short breaks, if only to walk around the house, to help keep you feeling fresh and enhance creative thinking.
Music, or noise-canceling headphones, can help drown out other distractions and keep you in the right headspace; find your favorite playlist, and hit play. If you don't have one, try our teams WFH Spotify playlist
Set a routine.
Having a routine can be a great way to get into the right headspace to have a productive day. Try different ideas to find what works for you...
Simply getting dressed for work before you start work (working in sweatpants can be a bonus to some, but a bad strategy for others)
Making a cup of coffee, at the time you normally would at the office.
Go for a jog, walk or ride in the morning; exercise helps restore mental focus. Check out Zwift which lets you ride and run at home with others.
A routine is a way to tell your body to get ready to work and get started every day.
Having a schedule of when to start/stop work keeps your day organized and creates harmony between work and home life. Be focused on work, relax when home... even when working from home.
Try not to look at the clock too much, as this can make the day feel a lot longer, especially when waiting for the last 5 mins before lunch. Instead, set alarms and wait for them to remind you of when to take your breaks.
Have the right equipment.
If your company has sent you to work from home don’t hesitate to ask to take some of your regular work set up home with you.
Your screens, your chair, your lamp...
Having familiar items can help you stay on task and be more productive. Items you associate with work create focus for work.
Creating a WFH space is a great way to keep yourself feeling focused and energized throughout the day. Consider standing at your desk; it helps to keep blood flowing to your brain, as well as keep you feeling awake. Above all, get your ergonomics correct!
Find what works for you! There is zero judgment from co-workers when you WFH. Try out different ways of doing things, and find out what works for you exceptionally well.
Everyone is different, and while a 6am jog might be the best way to start the day for some, others might prefer meditation or a hot cup of coffee to start their day.
Some might prefer to take a 5 min break every 30 mins to refresh; others find starting earlier and getting all their work done and then having part of the afternoon off is the best way for them to stay focused.
Talk to your colleagues about what works for them and encourage each other to find focus and maintain productivity.
Find Focus = Find Fulfilment
As we said at the start of this article, we pivoted our business in 2020 and have focused on helping others rapidly get set up for the world of working from home. We hope these insights and lessons learned are helpful as we all continue to WFH. We all desire to stay productive during this historic moment of time; perhaps we will be more productive in the coming year because of the lessons we learn now.