Written by Andrew Mackenzie

Working from home is not for everyone. Some people welcome the freedom from the daily commute, and freedom to set their own working hours and schedule. However, others are not as focused working from home as they would be working from the office. These people miss the structure and discipline that comes from going to the office every day. 

 

If you have been forced to work from home for any number of reasons, and are struggling with remaining focused, here are a few pointers to keep you on the straight and narrow and make you more productive. 

Establish working hours

It's easy to sleep an extra 15 minutes. After all, you don't have to catch the 8:00 am bus or train. Don't give in to the temptation. Set a schedule and stick to it. Establish working hours, complete with a lunch break or whatever break you need to take, just as you would take in the office. Don't let the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink and other chores derail you from your work.

Follow your natural pattern

Let your working schedule match your natural inclination. If you are, for instance, a morning person, make sure you schedule the most taxing jobs for early morning. If you are most productive at night, plan accordingly. Welcome the flexibility that you may not enjoy when working from the office.

Dress the part

Some people may be productive even as they lounge around in pyjamas. However, to remain focused on the job at hand, it might be a good idea to lose the pyjamas and get into some form of work clothes. It doesn't have to be formal attire, smart casual or even outdoor clothes.

Schedule time for social media

Consider turning off alerts and notifications on your phone and computer as you work. While it's important to stay connected with others on social media as you work from home, some interactions may lead you down the spiral of seeing one notification and before you know it, you have spent 2 hours watching cat videos online. Maybe even set up a schedule of when you can check email or have a quick browse through social media, this will allow you to set healthy habits.

Schedule time for chit chat

It's important to stay connected with people. Although you are working from home, when in the office, you don't sit at a desk for 8 hours, working on tasks. You get up, go for coffee or tea and have a gossip. You can do this too, even from home. Call someone and ask how they are, or even Skype a colleague and have a chit chat over coffee. It’s good to change it up a little and can have some positive impact on your mindset.

Stand up more

Our bodies are not designed to sit at a computer screen, gripping a mouse and typing away furiously for hours a day. It’s important for your health and mind that you take regular breaks. Get up, take a walk around the house, or get some water. There are some great apps and equipment that will aid you here. Watch our blog for a new post to help you here.

Closing thoughts

Working from home has its advantages. For one, you no longer commute for two hours to and from work. Another plus is that your schedule is more flexible than it would be in the office. Embrace this flexibility and schedule tasks according to your most productive time. So, implement a few changes to your work pattern. Discipline yourself to perform work-related tasks when you should. Don't let house chores side-track you.

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