6 Ways to Stay Focused When Working From Home

Working from home is what many refer to as a double-edged sword.

Yes, you can sleep in late, work in your underwear, and put off that task after you’ve caught up on the latest episode of Better Call Saul – but if you do those things, you’ll run the risk of getting absolutely nothing done.

Here are some tried and true ways to avoid the trappings of the freelance lifestyle.

1. Create a Workspace in Your Home
Yes, working from your bed or couch is a lovely perk of the office-free life, but there’s a reason people always talk about the importance of keeping your bed for two things only. It’s hard to be productive in a space that you associate with relaxing time. 

If you have a desk space that you love, not only will you be more productive by using it, but you’ll be excited to spend time in that space each day – so decorate it in a way that inspires and motivates you.
2. Get Dressed

Yes, you could work in your pajamas – but productivity will never be at the level it should be if you’re living inside your leisure time routine.

The simple act of putting on some pants will tell your brain it’s work time, and that mindset is necessary if you’re going to do your best work.
3. Maintain a Routine

This can be the hardest part of working from home, but without a set schedule, bad habits will eat away at your time. Of course you could watch an hour of Netflix and then get to work – but we all know that hour could very easily turn into an 8 hour marathon (and that’s not exactly a ‘safe’ habit to get into). You could also choose to work at different hours each day – but the more consistent your routine is, the more work you’ll actually do.  

Literally assign work hours into your calendar each day, and make them non-negotiable. Stick to the routine and you’ll get more done in less time.
4. Turn Off All Distractions

Just as much as a Netflix binge is off limits during the day, so too should be having the TV on in the background, even if it’s just the news. Yes, this can seem like one of the perks of working from home – but it will cut your productivity in half.

Get the work done twice as fast, and then actively watch what you want to watch. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a groundbreaking thought to have it lost to an interruption of breaking news.
5. Create a To-Do List

Staying organized is the most vital part of working from home. Many people in such a position are freelancers running their own business, which means you’re not only in charge of the service you provide or the product you create – but you’re in charge of the entire business behind it. 

Being overwhelmed will happen fast if you’re not organized, and feeling overwhelmed leads to letting yourself get distracted with Facebook and two hour naps, aka: avoidance mode. Prevent this feeling by having a list of tasks that must be completed each day, and cross them off from easiest to hardest as soon as you start your work day. When you reach the end, create tomorrow’s list.

6. Try the Pomodoro Technique
This productivity technique is especially made for people who work from home, because you can’t exactly take a 5-minute break every 30 minutes in the typical office environment – people would start to wonder why you’re getting up so often.

People are always more productive when they’re under a time limit, so setting that clock for 30 minutes will motivate you to work faster and get the task done within that time frame. And then you can take 5 to play with the dog, check Twitter, or go outside.

Want more updates on the most Notable things happening so you know before your colleagues do? Get our exclusive newsletter here and follow us on Twitter for all the latest.