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How to Keep Focused When Working From Home

April 19, 2020

Many of us are currently adjusting to working from home.  And while the thought of working from home can seem highly appealing, it definitely comes with its challenges. 

I know when I started Forge Recruitment a few years ago, I remember having to make the adjustment of moving from an office to working from home.  It definitely took some time to get used to it! Now, our entire team operates remotely and it seems second nature to us. 

With this, today I wanted to cover some of the things you can do to ensure that you will successfully adjust to working from home.    

Set up a designated workspace

  • You will want to set-up a designated area for you to work.  This is important for a couple of reasons. 
  • One, it will limit your distractions.  You will want an area where you can focus and are away from any distractions. For example, working at your kitchen table where you have family coming in, cooking, grabbing snacks, will not be ideal. 
    • One study found that if we are focusing on a task and we are distracted, it will take us approximately 25 minutes for us to regain the same mental progress that we had prior to the distraction.  
  • Second, having a designated workspace will help your brain separate work from personal.  For example, if you have a habit of doing work in your bed, at night, when you go to try and sleep, it will be hard for your brain to shut off, as it subconsciously associates your bed and bedroom with work. 

Follow a schedule

  • It is important to set up regular work hours to keep focused.  I know when I started working from home, I kept the exact same hours as I had when I worked in an office.  Further, it is important that once you have your schedule, you stick to it. Start your day on time every day. 
  • With this, it is easy to fall into the trap of scheduling personal tasks during the workday.  However, it is best to keep your professional work and personal work separate.  Schedule your personal tasks outside of work hours or on breaks. 

Plan your day

  • Have a plan and know what tasks you need to get done in the day. It is very easy to go down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos.  Don’t let yourself do this.  Know what you need to do and work on completing each task.   

Stay connected with your team

  • Have set check-ins with your team and colleagues, especially if you are working together towards completing a task. Keep your communication lines open and coordinate with them what you need to coordinate.  This will help fill the social void, but it is also good to know that your team is there to help you with any challenges or issues you may face. 

Take breaks

  • Take breaks regularly.  You need to give yourself a chance to recharge.  It may be tempting to sit and force yourself to focus all day for as long as you can, but in the long run, this will just lead you to burn out.  Stand up and get some air.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you found some of these tips helpful!  If you have any questions about this or any other job searching or interviewing tips, please do let me know.

Happy Job Hunting and Good Luck!

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