You might have started working from home with high hopes of delivering more, but instead you are constantly distracted. You tend to notice the pile of dishes or clothes or maybe your phone buzzing with notification – all of this happens exactly when you sit down to work. If you are having a hard time dealing with distractions – you are not alone.
Luckily, for the ones more prone to distraction; the brain can learn to ignore distraction and become more focused. It all starts from setting ground rules and continuous practice, especially while at work. Try these proven strategies to improve focus and limit distractions while working from home.
1. Brain dumping – Warm up your brain:
Just like you treat any other muscle in your body before a tough workout, you should also warm up your brain before sitting down to work. You can do this by jotting down any task that you haven’t completed from the previous day, and then check things off your to-do-list before getting started with your day.
By doing this, you will gain transparency in prioritization, making it easier to first focus on important tasks and leave the less important ones to be dealt with later on. This helps relieve you of stress caused due to procrastination especially while working remotely from home.
2. Turn off your phone for deep focus:
While smartphones are very useful in today’s on-the-go life, they can be highly tricky when it comes to productivity. Knocking out the disturbing nature of your phone while you work turns your 100% attention to your immediate surroundings and enables deep focus. Try and create some boundaries by turning your phone off or leaving it in a place where you can’t reach it immediately.
By this way, you can resist the temptation to play games or checking notifications or watching videos in social media channels. Eventually, this will help limit distraction and your chances of completing priority tasks on time are higher.
3. Set yourself deadlines while working from home:
Setting deadlines while working from home will help you achieve productivity benchmarks and keep complex agile projects on track. It is normal to forget or delay important tasks if there is no deadline or accountability. To avoid procrastination or overlooking tasks, you can try setting deadlines and promise yourself that you’ll complete them before moving on to the next.
In a nutshell, setting deadlines on your to-do-list allows you to be more focused in delivering tasks on time than the prospect of getting distracted with other tasks.
4. Understand your emotional triggers:
Self-analyze and understand what you feel like when you’ve worked for a set period of time, especially while working from home. If you feel exhausted or stressed out, you can go for a walk or engage in some activity that interests you. It revitalizes your brain and increases the ability to stay focused for the rest of the day – preventing you from getting distracted or missing deadlines on critical projects.
5. Focus on one task at a time:
As per the quote above – focusing on one task at a time improves quality and quantity (productivity). Studies back this up and says the brain cannot handle multiple complex activities all at once. When you teach yourself to concentrate on one thing (e.g. priority tasks) you are less likely to notice other unimportant tasks or activities that are not on your to-do list. The result is less distraction, improved focus and increased productivity while working from home.
6. Ensure everyone knows that you’re working:
Pick a quiet dedicated workplace in your house and let your family members treat that place as your office – which means no loud music or no sound of door banging.
Secondly, if you are working towards a deadline or having to take a client call, let your family members know that you are going to be busy for some time. Set clear boundaries so they don’t expect your participation in doing household chores.
It may not be easy in the beginning to limit distractions while working from home, but the more you stick to the rules, the easier they will become. Employers are constantly trying different ways like implementing productivity monitoring and time tracking software to help their employees concentrate more and deliver results.
In addition to that, you can also try these approaches and stick to the ones that work best for you, so you can deliver productivity with “quality” – after all you are accountable to the tasks that you have been assigned to.
Share with us your tips on how to limit distractions while working from home.