As the world embraces the ‘new normal’ of a much more remotely based workforce, many of those who are not used to the practice of working from home may find challenges with maintaining focus and possibly discipline in the execution of their day-to-day tasks. Here are some tips on how to remain focused and disciplined from your home office.
As the global workforce shifted rapidly to adjust to the quickly-changing situation of the global pandemic, many of us were forced to quickly adapt to a new physical working space – our homes. Those who were not set up for this – i.e. those who do not have a dedicated office in their home – made do with what they had. Kitchen tables and rec rooms quickly became the new ‘office’. While having the laptop, the monitor and a headset is all one technically needs to remotely conduct their work, the surrounding environment can often provide constant distractions. Doing your best to give yourself as much of a simulated workspace in your home as you had in your office will do wonders for your focus and productivity. While I’m not advocating you start construction on your new home office, be creative in how you can keep your workspace as work centric as possible.
Clear Delineation Between Work and Home
I’ve shared this before as I started to work remotely full-time years ago but one of the biggest struggles that individuals deal with when transitioning to working from home is having a clear separation of ‘work’ and ‘home’. Remember that you are working from home, not living at your office. While you are physically in your home full-time, you need to shift your mindset to ‘work-mode’ when working then ‘home-mode’ when not. Try to not work in your off-hours if you don’t need to – this will lead to quicker fatigue during your real work time and less focus.
Routine, Routine, Routine
One thing we all had when physically commuting to an office was a semblance of routine. Up at 6am, shower, breakfast, drive, coffee, work. When our world changed and our ‘commute’ only involves putting on our slippers and making a pot of coffee, it throws our entire routines that our minds and bodies became accustomed to out the window. Since we are creatures of habit, in order to ‘trick’ our minds and bodies into maintaining the same level of work productivity that we had while in our physical offices, we should try our best to set up a pattern of routine with our home offices. Get up, go for a walk, come back and go to work. Get your morning drive-through coffee then start work. Anything that resembles a routine will vastly improve your ability to transition into ‘work’ mode.