Whenever I tell people I work from home I'm always asked the same question: "How do you stay disciplined?!"
Whether you're a remote worker, a freelancer, or you just like to work at home, there are many obstacles that can stop you focusing on the task at hand.
Focus and concentration are essential to getting things done, especially when you work at home with numerous distractions. When you need to ramp up your productivity, you need to find ways to block out everything apart from the job you have to do, especially when you are under deadline.
What's the trick? Thinking better. But how can we do this?
Are You In A Quiet Part Of The House?
This has to be addressed first. If you're struggling to stay focused in a noisy house, you need to find ways to make your office space block out unnecessary noise. Some people work better with background noise, but if you have so many distractions that are hindering your productivity, you need to find ways to get rid of them. A stern word with the noisy culprits helps, but also finding ways to bring you back to the task will help. Binaural beats are something people use to keep focused on a task, but also to block out external noise. Binaural beats work by playing a specific frequency that can help your brain to relax, become energized, sleep, or focus, depending on the frequency. There are plenty online, so try some for yourself.
A Positive Environment
Decluttering is rule number one when getting focused is concerned because the goal is to minimize distractions, as well as decision fatigue. This requires you to make an environment that's conducive to focusing on the work.
Yes, notes, papers, or even coffee cups may pile up during the course of your day, but when you think about being productive, it's about preparing better. There are little tricks you can take advantage of to help you think better, such as oxygenating the room. Positive colors like green can help in this respect. This doesn’t mean you have to paint your walls and desk green, but having a little plant in the corner of the room is a suitable way to ensure that your room is sufficiently oxygenated and provides that nice bit of color. You can get numerous plants that don't require much maintenance, such as the Japanese Peace Lily or the Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant, which you can click here to find out about it.
Think about each little time you are distracted in your office space, and when you tally them all up, how much time does it add up to? When you begin to realize how much you get distracted by these little things, this is the impetus to create a more positive environment.
Take Breaks (But Not Social Media Ones)
Breaks are important, and while you may believe them to hinder your productivity in some ways, it depends on the quality of your time away. Some people think that social media breaks are beneficial to productivity, and while we know that breaks are a great way to decompress, if you're looking at social media, and getting that dopamine hit, before getting back to work, is this really doing your work any favors?
There are productivity tricks, like the Pomodoro method that help go a long way. So when you take a break, make sure it's something that rejuvenates you. After all, this is the purpose of a break. Instead of taking the opportunity to idly flick through social media, do something that's going to benefit your body and mind. Maybe some press-ups, or some deep breathing, or just closing your eyes and giving yourself that time to calm down and listen to your feelings. Are you tired? If you are, find ways to get more oxygen and more energy, without resorting to that sweet treat lurking in the cookie jar.
The big problem we have working at home is that we have access to so many different distractions, it can take a while to get back on track after our break. Instead, think about making your break as productive as possible, but for yourself. If you take these opportunities they will serve you better throughout the course of your day, and after a while, these things become habit.
In total honesty, it is difficult to remain productive all the time when you work at home. The key to success is a combination of giving the space a makeover, but also changing your habits so you can think with more clarity.