Staying focused has been one of the biggest challenges for me since starting my own business. My mind is constantly going a million miles a minute. There is so much to do each day, and there never seems to be enough time to do it all. It has often gotten to the point where I end up doing nothing, because I am afraid to start. Then when I do start, I’ll be on a roll, and something will distract me like a Facebook or Instagram notification.
By pushing through a hard learning curve, and figuring out better ways to manage my time, I have come up with a system. Today I will share a few simple ways to stay focused and be more productive while working at home.
Create A Space That Inspires You
This is super important. You want to create an office space that inspires you. Even if you live in 400 sq ft, you can create a nook for yourself to work in. Incorporate plants, and set up near a window to soak in the natural light during the day. Play peaceful, relaxing music to help you stay focused. This way, you will always work in the same spot, creating a routine.
Get An Early Start
The agony of waking up early, is something most of us can agree we all love to avoid when possible. I’ve never been a morning person, but I’ve found, the more I practice getting up early, the easier it becomes.
When I wake up at a decent hour in the morning, I have more time and energy to accomplish what needs to be done during the day. Eating breakfast, furthers this energy, and gives my brain the fuel it needs to get started and stay focused.
Get Dressed For The Day
Sounds simple, but it really will improve your productivity levels. Staying in your pajamas or yoga pants may sound enjoyable, but it will make you feel sleepy and lazy. I always feel more awake and fresh when I do my hair and makeup too. Put on an outfit that you would for any other office job so it forces your brain to feel like it’s in work mode.
Make A Reusable Checklist
I love lists! By making a list, you give yourself goals to accomplish. They provide an organized way for you to remember what needs to be done for the day and prioritize what should be finished first. They also help eliminate the urge to procrastinate because you can visually see what needs to be done. While you work, refer to the list often, and cross off any goals that you accomplish.
Allocate Your Time
Determine which tasks on your list are the hardest. Tackle these first. You will feel more accomplished when they are finished, and will have the motivation to breeze through the rest of the tasks. Or, you might prefer to do the opposite and start with the easiest tasks first. Regardless, you still need to pick a group of tasks, and allocate the time to do them. No Procrastination!
Work In Intervals
Try to work in only 60 minute intervals, taking a 10 minute break in between. This will give your body a sense of urgency to accomplish a task in the allotted time frame. By taking a break, you give your brain a rest, and a chance to process the information you just absorbed. A break will also defeat any boredom that may occur while working, and allow you to stay focused.
Complete One Task At A Time
I’ll say it, and I’ll say it again. Stop multi-tasking! We all do it – talking on the phone while cooking dinner, responding to emails during a meeting, checking Facebook while out with friends, but that doesn’t mean that we should. Multi-tasking will generate mistakes and will cause you to take longer to complete both tasks. By completing one task at a time, you will accomplish more and most importantly, stay focused.
Turn Off Notifications
Not just on your phone, but on your computer too. There is nothing worse than being interrupted and distracted while in the middle of doing something. It can throw you completely off your game.