How to focus when you work from home

Working from home can be a challenge to keep on track and not let your day slip out of your control. Self-discipline is one of the hardest things to implement, especially with so much distraction from social media or loved ones who want your time and attention.  If you work from home and ignore your spouse, divorce lawyers say it may even cause divorce. Here are a few pointers reap optimum productivity from your working day.

Get clear on your availability

Make sure you know exactly how much time and energy you have for others and make it known to them that you are in work mode.  People often don’t fully grasp boundaries and think telling them you need some quiet focused time means you actually want them to hang out and talk about what’s trending on Twitter.  So get clear and if necessary get a little militant about it. The more laid back you are the more your loved ones will interpret you as wanting them around, so if it means locking yourself away, do so.

Adapt a working frame of mind

Despite having the luxury of working in the comfort of your own home, you need to treat it like a working day and adapt some habits that shift you from loafing mode or childcare mode. It may seem funny, but getting dressed for work can be hugely effective in shifting your mental state. You don’t have to don a suit, obviously, but something that you would not normally wear around the house like a smarter shirt, office shoes or even a special hat, can just make you feel like you mean business.

Adapta time management system

There are differing opinions on what works to get on top of the time issue, but one way or the other you need to get a handle on time. Deciding how much you have available today how much you want to (realistically) achieve, when your breaks are and how to organize your workload is the difference between ‘floating’ through you day or flying through your day.  Start the day writing out your goals, break it down into bite-size tasks and stick to what you laid out for yourself.

Work on your space

Make your office feel like an alluring place to be, with the optimal lighting arrangement and surround yourself with whatever uplifts you. Pictures of loved ones, motivational quotes, soothing photographs or images of inspirational figures can work as reminders to keep you going. Music also can be a great help if used correctly. It can also be a distraction. Instrumental music without lyrics is best to for working to.  Create some playlists for your needs, such as soothing and calming or uplifting and energizing.

Understand your mind and work with to optimize its potential

Research has shown that people work best in short, frequent bursts of activity. Sitting for hours and relentlessly plugging away is not the best strategy. Create a series of sessions of about an hour to an hour and a half with scheduled breaks. Be clear what you want to achieve during each work period and try and keep to it.  Use your breaks to do things like run errands, walk the dog, buy groceries, call your spouse. Then get back to work at the next scheduled work session.

Feed your brain

The brain works best when it has all the fuel it needs. You can help fire up your brain by giving it the right source of nutrition. Eating protein-rich foods with omega 3 and 6 oils will help to keep you focused. Fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, grains, salads with oil (olive, hemp, flax, rape-seed oils are all good). Eat fruit rather than chocolate and fried snacks.  Think about substituting coffee with something less stressful on the body such as guarana or a raw cacao drink, which are both superfoods that give you natural energy.  Also, stay hydrated; drink plenty of natural spring or filtered water, ideally one large glass every hour.