Working from home is like winning the career lottery but that doesn’t mean there aren’t tough days (or weeks!).
If you are anything like me there are a lot of distractions surrounding you and sometimes it takes a little extra effort to focus and motivate.
Working remotely means you can’t escape to an office and ignore your household chores.
It means all the the things you need to get done around your home are pulling at you all day distracting you from what you need to get done for work.
The following seven ways to regain your focus when you work at home will get you back on track and moving forward again in no time.
7 Ways to Regain Your Focus When You Work From Home
1. Clean off Your Desk
Grab a trash bag, take a deep breath and clean off your desk. Toss out all of the envelops, catalogs and magazines you don’t need. File (or make a to file pile) your bills and receipts.
It’s amazing how decluttering your desk can declutter your mind.
2. Turn on your favorite music
Has your mind been wandering? Give your subconscious music to listen to so you can concentrate on the task at hand.
I use this method when the laundry pile or dishwasher start to distract me from work I need to get done. After a song or two I’m refocused on the task at hand and my subconscious guilt about my household chores fades away.
3. Go for a walk or run
Fresh air, exercise endorphins combined with a business-related podcasts is my personal favorite way to regain my focus as a work from home woman.
I love to listen to a podcast related to work while I walk and dictate ideas and notes into my Trello App Idea Board. My neighbors probably think I’m crazy but I get home motivated to get back to work.
If I need a work break during a walk or workout I like to listen to a motivational podcast like Ruth Sukop’s Do it Scared.
4. Co-Work Virtually
A colleague of mine mentioned this idea the other day and after that, I heard two more people talk about it. I can’t wait to give it a try! (Update: Tried it and LOVE it!)
There are a lot of different video conference options like Zoom or GoToMeeting that you can use to set up virtual co-working.
There are two easy ways to make co-work time productive.
1. Everyone logs into the video call then works independently the same time with no formal structure. Anyone ask a question, get feedback or brainstorm at anytime during the video call.
2. A second way to do virtual co-working is to set agreed upon work time blocks and break time blocks. Everyone works for 25-30 minutes then checks in with questions, feedback a little socializing.
You can co-work virtually on a video call, Google or from a Room in Facebook.
With virtual co-work you focus independently on your work but are surrounded by others though video connectivity.
5. Do a Creative Activity
There are so many different options with this one. But it is amazing how motivated your mind will be after doing something creative.
You don’t have to be artistic or good a crafter for this one. Grab your kid’s paints or crayons, or paint a piece of furniture that’s been on your to-do list, play an instrument, dance to loud music or even bake a cake.
When you work from home there is no limit to how you can express your creativity.
If you are at a total loss for a creative activity to try, order a package of colored pencils and download a free coloring page from Pinterest.
Add some music in the background and allow yourself to create!
Working from home last spring I grew a pretty good tomato garden. During that time I discovered how calming spending time in my veggie garden was. I always came back inside ready to take on big projects.
There is something about pruning and caring for plants that is very calming. The fresh air probably helps too!
If you’ve never gardened before I encourage you to start small. Pour some garden dirt in a large flower pot and add green bean seeds and water.
Put your hands in the dirt and enjoy the processes of growing something. yourself.
7. Reflect on your Why
If you are anything like me sometimes you need some quiet time to decompress. It’s easy to lose sight of what you are working toward, who you are trying to help and why you are doing what you do.
First, turn off all notifications on your phone and computer.
Next, spend some quiet time thinking about your Why. Allow your goals to come back into focus.
If you are a visual person create a vision board. A visual interpretation of your Why that you can look at when you need to reflect and gain focus.
There are lots of great ideas on Pinterest. I’ve saved a few for you to get started from on my Pinterest Goal Setting Board.
Some days (or weeks!) it might feel extra hard to accomplish everything and keep your focus when you work at home. Juggling your side hustle, family obligations and your actual work takes a lot of mental effort.
When the mental effort has you worn out and you are looking for a way to focus try cleaning off your desk, turning up the music or grabbing some fresh air on a walk or in the garden.
If those ideas aren’t working for you let your creative juices flow and focus on your Why.
Give your mind the break it needs so you can get back to all the things you are excited to accomplish.