Working from home has many benefits, but there is certainly a training period to get through before it becomes second nature. The biggest challenge many people face is learning to focus on work. With so much distraction available, no boss breathing over your shoulder and a complete lack of structure; you will find your mind wandering to other things.
Read also: Keep working healthy from home
This is normal. Like everything else, learning to motivate yourself to work hard is a skill that needs to be developed over time.
Read on and we'll look at how to develop that skill faster
Writers talk about "writers & # 39; block" all the time. Writers struggle to sit on a blank page and know what to say. That first sentence is the hardest they will write all day!
Don't miss: Working from home with a family
However, there is nothing magical about the block of writers! They are not the only ones struggling to focus on the job. Rather, I think it would be almost better to describe this as & # 39; starting block & # 39 ;. That is, starting any new new project can feel like a tough challenge. You will find that you procrastinate the most before starting something new, because it is so difficult to change gears.
The solution used by smart writers should therefore also apply to home workers from all industries: just start . Writers encourage each other to just start putting words on the page, no matter how bad they may seem at first. Better to write a low-quality opening paragraph that needs to be completely rewritten than to write nothing at all!
Starting a new project from scratch can be challenging.
The key is to then go back and edit that writing later. But simply by starting, you will fall into the groove more easily – instead of waiting for inspiration to strike from nowhere.
Don't Leave the Work
Overcoming that shocking transition between "not working" and "working" is one of the toughest challenges in learning to focus on work at home (and let's face it, it's not exclusively for working at home!).
Also Read: Best Online Business Courses to Boost Your Career
Another trick you can use is to start tomorrow's task before clocking out today. In other words, before closing your computer, open the document / file / tool you need for tomorrow's next task and start. No matter how small!
This is a powerful strategy, because it means you don't have to start with cold at all. Continuing a job is much easier than starting one. And that's especially true, since the brain doesn't like to leave work unfinished; you may even find yourself itching to tick that project off your to-do list so that the & # 39; closed & # 39; is.
Think ahead of time about what you're doing
One of the best tips I've heard recently comes from the YouTube channel Better Ideas. The tip is to think about what you do before with the work you need to do, and how it can affect your level of arousal.
In other words, if you're going to play a high-spaced computer game where you photograph zombies, try to sit down and focus on a boring spreadsheet, that seems like a comedown! Conversely, if you went for a walk first or did some quiet meditation first, you would start with a lower "level" of excitement. Therefore, it seems easier to focus on something that is naturally boring for long periods of time.
You can find the full video below:
The Productivity Bump
Another tip I really liked about that video is to keep in mind the "Productivity Bump". This describes a bottleneck that many people encounter in a boring job for about 20 minutes.
If you don't find what you're doing, it's intriguingly interesting, you might have trouble concentrating on work for long periods of time. This comes to a head after about 20 minutes of sustained exertion, and that's when your stimulation-seeking brain is looking for something! It's a bit like hitting the wall in the long run.
It's a bit like hitting the wall in the long run.
But hold on and eventually you will pass this point and fall into a natural rhythm. This is the & # 39; power condition & # 39; and is widely regarded as the most productive brain state we can experience.
The key is to remember that while staying focused may seem difficult at the moment, it is about to get easier. Push through!
Find ways to make work exciting
Better yet, is to help yourself get the stimulation you need from the work you do.
Motivation and focus are not driven by logic, but rather by emotion. If you find what you do really fascinating – if you have a passion for the subject – then of course you will find it much easier to stay focused.
Of course, you may not have the luxury of the type of work you have to complete. But what you can do is find a way to make that work more interesting. This may mean looking at fantastic examples of what the work could be, or it could mean taking a moment to appreciate the artistry and creativity that could be in the project.
If the work isn't challenging enough, it won't seem attractive. So find ways to challenge yourself to do the best work you can. And if you find yourself constantly uninterested, maybe you are in the wrong box?
I explained this more in a recent video:
The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a fantastic trick for anyone struggling to focus on the job. The idea is to run a timer for a certain amount of time (often (often 25 minutes)), after which you take a short break.
The downside to this is that you have the power state after those 25 minutes, and you might find yourself struggling to get moving in that short window. But on the plus side, if you are still learning how to focus on work, you will find that it really helps because it gives you a fixed end point to work towards.
Preparing for Success
Productivity doesn't start when you're at the computer. It starts the day before when you finish your day and that morning when you decide what to have for breakfast.
Productivity doesn't start when you're at the computer.
Another example of preparation for success is to plan your work before you start. While it's important to give yourself a mental break from work when you switch off during the day, there will be at least somewhere in the evening where you wait for something to boil or is on hold on the phone. During this time, you can try to think about how you are going to write that blog post or solve that coding problem. This way, when you come to work the next day, you already have an overview of what you have planned.
Maintaining the Right Environment
Also critical to your productivity is maintaining an environment that will promote the most focused work possible.
One of the reasons why it is so hard to focus when you work from home is that you are out of your work environment and surrounded by relaxing and entertaining things you normally associate with yourself.
If the space you work in is also cluttered and untidy, this will only make things more difficult. So try to keep your room as neat as possible and design the space to minimize distractions and make yourself productive.
Take Care of Your Body
Finally, think about your diet, sleep, and lifestyle; you may be surprised at how directly this relates to your ability to stay focused and productive.
Read also: What is the gig economy? Why the Future of Work is Online (and How to Prepare for It)
Trying to focus on work becomes significantly more difficult when you feel anxious, depressed, bored, frustrated, or restless. What may surprise you is that many of these emotions arise from physiological causes.
For example, while there are many things that cause anxiety (Covid 19, anyone?), One of the major contributors is hunger. When you are hungry, your blood sugar levels drop, causing an increase in cortisol – the stress hormone. So while you may have good reasons to be stressed and have trouble concentrating, eating something can really help!
While you may have good reasons to be stressed and have trouble concentrating, eating something can really help!
Fatigue makes it harder to concentrate because of a buildup of a chemical called adenosine. This is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which means it reduces brain activity. This not only contributes to brain fog, but also to feelings such as anxiety and depression.
What you eat also has an effect. The neurotransmitters that are actually responsible for focus and motivation need different amino acids, vitamins and minerals to be synthesized. If you don't get enough of this, bad mood and focus are inevitable!
If you take care of your body, it will take care of you. The answer to learning to focus on work isn't just pushing harder!