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Ever since we started the Purple Ink blog, we’ve been posting about why working remotely can be a great idea for your business. Aside from the fact that working from home is becoming more and more common, we keep bringing it up because we work remotely, and we love it! But, as most of you who don’t go into an office every day probably know, sometimes it can be tough to stay focused when you don’t have an office full of people around to make sure you’re getting things done.
Does that mean you shouldn’t work from home? Absolutely not! You just might have to adjust your strategy to keep yourself on task. Here are some tips for getting your head in the game:
- Have a designated work space. Whether it’s a separate room you’re using as an office (ideal if you have the space), a desk in the corner of your living room, or just your kitchen table, have somewhere you go to get work done. I find it easier to transition from having coffee and watching TV to starting my work day when I have to physically move.
- Use your calendar as a to-do list. Schedule appointments on your calendar for tasks that you need to get done that day. You don’t have to stay with the calendar all day, but making appointments will keep your tasks in the forefront of your mind. Plan to accomplish the things that take more concentration when there will be fewer distractions (like when your kids are at school).
- Rock out. When I’m working, I almost always have my headphones on. They block out the noise from whatever’s going on around me so I don’t get distracted. Music helps keep my mind focused, plus it keeps me in a good mood! Turn on an upbeat playlist to stay energetic and cheerful, or try listening to some mellow music if you’re stressed and need to relax. If the lyrics distract you, listen to some classical music.
- Take a break. Studies show that people are more productive when they take breaks. If you’re feeling burnt out, or you just don’t feel like you can look at that spreadsheet any more, leave your work space. Do your laundry, take your dog out, or just go relax for 15 minutes. Then, go back to your work refreshed and ready to focus again.
- Don’t work from home. I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t I just say working from home is awesome? I did, and I think it is. What I mean by “don’t work from home” is that sometimes, you just need to get out of the house. If you’ve tried everything else and you just can’t focus at home, go to a coffee shop or library, or just go outside if it’s a nice day. Sometimes a change of venue can really help.
Chances are, at least one of these suggestions will help you keep your mind on work and off the distractions at home. Now go knock the rest of your work day out of the park!