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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Brasfield

5 Ways to Stay Focused While Working Remotely

Whether Coronavirus has closed your office temporarily or you just prefer the comfort of working from home, working remotely can be challenging for everybody. It can be stressful thinking about packing up your workstation and turning your kitchen table into your own personal work cubicle. Not only are you missing that fancy espresso machine in the work break room, you now have to think about how to keep your mind on track and how to be successful working from home.

Here are five ways to stay focused while working remotely.

1. Create a dedicated workspace

It can be difficult to rearrange your house to now fit a home office. Especially if you don’t have a dedicated office or closed off working area. Search for a quiet area of your home. Be able to shut out everything going on around you. If you have kids, hopefully they have a playroom with a door that shuts! Make sure you shuttle all the necessary materials you need to stay working from your original office. Nothing can be more irritating than realizing you forgot your headphones halfway through a zoom call, or how much more effective you could have been with that second screen monitor.

2. Dress for the workday

Yes, it can be difficult to want to stay in your pajamas because you’re not actually leaving your house, but you want to get in the right mind frame. If you dress for success your mind will be more alert and your brain will be in work mode. It will remind you of what it was like to be in the office. By no means spend 20 minutes picking out an outfit or feel like you need to be dressed in a suit at 8 a.m. every morning. Being prepared is key! You don’t want to get distracted by twirling the belt on your robe, or be embarrassed because you unexpectedly had jump out of your seat because your kid spilt a whole cup of orange juice down your leg under the desk only to reveal to the everyone on the call that you are still in your tighty whities! Expect the unexpected when working from home and it will be a little easier to stay focused and prepared.

3. Create a schedule

Staying on task can be extremely difficult when there are a million different distractions around you. It can be easier to stay focused when you have a schedule. Plan things out. Know what time you need to be where. Throw a white board on the wall Infront of your computer to remind you have a meeting at 11 or that the presentation needs to be sent out after lunch. Set deadlines. This is very important! Try not to procrastinate and you will find it is less stressful to complete tasks rather than cramming them all in an hour before the end of the workday.

4. Don’t be scared to take a break

It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed when working from home. If you need a refresher take it! A break doesn’t mean you are lazy, it means you want to be more focused when you resume your duties. If you were working in the office try to remember how many times you got up to visit your friends office across the hall, or how often you took bathroom breaks, or just to stop at the vending machine on the way back to your office. Give your body and brain a breather and relax for a moment. Now if you're taking a break once every 30 minutes you may need to stop and reevaluate what’s really going on! Set yourself a dedicated break time. This way you know exactly when you are going to lunch, or what time you can stop to get up to make that second cup of coffee. This can be a good motivator to accomplish your deadlines. If you know you have a task due in the morning tell yourself to finish it and it gives you a set break to look forward to.

5. Stay off social media

This can be the most difficult challenge of all! It can be hard not to let Facebook and Twitter draw you in when you get the slightest bit bored. Try temporarily turning off your notifications during working hours. Resisting the temptation is going to be hard but you will be surprised when you realize how much you can accomplish when you’re not trying to keep up with what your friends had for breakfast!

Comment below if you know of any helpful tips to stay focused working remotely!

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