We all know the scenario – we start working at home in the morning, fully motivated and endlessly concentrated. But as the hours pass by, you realize a bit at a time how you get unconcentrated and lose your focus. Productivity can be tricky while we try our best to stay focused while working from home. It might be difficult to draw a line between personal and professional time if you are surrounded by things that you typically associate with relaxing at the end of the day.
Keeping the focus is obviously often a lot easier said than done. That is why we tried to sum up some tips for you on how to stay focused while working from home as an intern or employee.
You could start with very simple things, which have a huge impact on your concentration though. First of all, try to find a quiet place in your flat where you can work from. If there are other people living with you, attempt to move to another room perhaps and avoid shared areas. Do not work where you sleep! Your mind will associate it with a place you usually relax, and your productivity will decrease.
The next step may be hard for the phone-addicts among us, but it really helps. Turn off the notifications on your phone or even consider turning off your phone completely. When you are working in a separated office room, close the door to shut down disturbing noises and voices. Another helpful tip concerning how to stay focused while working from home is closing programs and apps which aren’t necessary during your work time.
The advantages of working from home is that you have the freedom to control when you work. However, we all have times that our mind is most productive. Identify your best working hours and work them consistently. It might need some time to experiment until you find out what works best for you. But also keep in mind that for some job such as customer service it is strongly advised to stick to normal office hours.
Caffeine in small doses can have a positive impact on your ability to stay focused. If you realize you lose your focus, try to get back on track by drinking a cup of coffee, black or green tea occasionally. But the key here is not to over-consume. Too much coffee could increase your heart rate and cause nervousness which is contradictory to staying focused. Deployed correctly, caffeine can have cognitive-enhancing properties.
If you are struggling with concentrating and staying focused in general, you should give the „Pomodoro technique” a shot. You will train yourself to concentrate for a longer period step by step. Start by setting your timer for 25 minutes and concentrate on your work. When the time is up, make a 5-minutes break, drink a glass of water and then start all over again. After about four rounds, take a longer break up to 30 minutes.
Checking your phone for the latest updates on your Social Media channels is not really the best way to stay focused. If you cannot keep your hands off your phone, try an app that blocks social media for a specific time frame. Let Instagram, Facebook and Twitter wait until you are done. There are several aids, which can even block entertainment apps such as Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon, and much more. Some Social Media blockers are „Freedom”, „FocusMe” and „AppBlock”.
Most of us are not the most pleasant human beings when it comes to hunger. Hunger can quickly turn into anger and that is the last thing we need while trying to stay working while working from home. So here comes a quick and easy tip – food is not to be skipped! You can prepare your meals the evening before or even in the morning and additionally put some snacks aside. As snacks, we suggest you stick to healthy options such as fresh fruit, veggies, dried berries, nuts or seeds. This will ensure that you always have some brain-food available. Related to the tips of the Harvard Medical School concerning the „best brain foods” you should stick to
As important as it is for your brain to get enough food, it is to stay hydrated. Drink as much water as you can to stay hydrated. You can also add some tea or small doses of coffee to maintain the caffeine as already mentioned.
One of the most important things when it comes to staying focused while working from home is getting enough sleep. Especially young people tend to stay up late, sleep less than 7 hours but then expect their brain to stay focused while working from home during the whole day. Indeed, some people may not need a certain amount of sleep but most of us do. To function on their best most healthy adults need between 7 – 9 hours’ sleep per night.
By the way – did you know that the most significant sleeping-hours are the ones before midnight? So, grab your pillow and duvet and get your brain some sleep!
Organizing your tasks by writing them down can really help to structure your day and focus on the important things which need to be done till the end of the day. A structure can also support your brain on staying focused. Try to find tasks that are similar to each other so that your brain gets used to a specific type of thinking. With a little training, you can easily improve your workflow.
The key to successfully stay focused while working from home is to create an environment and process that works for your individual needs. Be open to experimentation to find your perfect work-at-home groove to be successful at your remote internship.