I do a substantial amount of work remotely, from my trusty MacBook in the comfort of my apartment. I’m sure many of you have schoolwork or even a remote job that requires you to spend some time working away from school or the office. The freedom of working from home seem liberating at first, however you may begin to notice other things that require your immediate attention. “Did I take the laundry out of the wash? Maybe I should make a quick snack…I really need to clean that.” And before you know it, you’ve spent 3 hours doing everything except work.
Over the years I’ve learned a few helpful habits that can get you to focus on the task at hand and not everything else.
- Never work in your pajamas. Being comfortable is great, but being too comfortable makes you sleepy and not feel like being productive. If you have to work immediately after getting up, shower and get dressed first. It will help you feel ready.
- Never work on your bed. I’ve been guilty of this many a time because I haven’t always had a great workspace, but this also makes you sleepy and not particularly productive.
- Which brings us to the next tidbit – carve out a niche of a space to work at that’s clean and in a quiet space. Any kind of table or desk and chair set aside for the task should work. If you can’t find a quiet space due to roommates, make sure you have headphones on hand and some music to help you focus.
- Have good lighting to help you see what you’re doing and focus. Either good natural light or a lamp will help you feel alert and focused.
- Put distractions aside. If you constantly think of other things you need to do or see unfinished business in your apartment, keep a notepad on your work desk and make a to-do list for when you’re finished. When you think of things you can add them, but you won’t have to leave your task.
- If you really do need a break, try a 10 minute walk outside. It will help you feel refreshed and reset, ready to get back to work.