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Daily hacks to remain focused while working from home

Article by: Percy Bharucha
Written on 2021-02-12T05:31:22+00:00

It’s rather ironic that those of us who began work from home thinking we’d get so much more work done compared to the office are the same ones struggling to get half as much done. It’s hard to categorize work from home as an art or as a science. It’s a little bit of both. It’s calibrating work assignments with home chores and fitting in video calls with family time. It’s about finding a dedicated workspace, setting up boundaries and even if you manage to conquer all of these you still have to fight the biggest source of distraction itself: your seventy-two-tabs-open-at-once mind. If you’re looking to focus and cut out all the noise, the following tips can help:  

Do not multitask 

When you’re working from home it’s easy to fall into the trap of multitasking. Put the food in the oven, do a work call, while heating the milk for the kids, it never works. Household chores, demands of family members, device notifications all of these can be a constant source of distraction. But when you multitask trying to get to them all at once, your mind gets even more confused about what’s important. A confused and distracted mind fumbles, it takes even longer to get work done. Not all of these decisions are equally important. Curt Steinhorst, author of Can I Have Your Attention? says that “distraction is actually just confusion about what matters.” 

What can you do? 

These are extraordinary times we live in. It’s easy to get caught up in the feelings and thoughts not only about your personal but also our collective future. The more time you waste ruminating over things that you cannot control the longer it takes to get back to the task at hand. Trying to exert control over problems that are beyond your reach can lead to stress and anxiety. Indulging these thoughts can lead to fear and stress, the mind responds to these emotional states with distraction. Distractions which take the form of TV shows, or binge eating, etc. All of this derails your schedule by hours and the day just gets longer. 

Don’t get triggered 

As a work from home employee, you’re also constantly surrounded by family members. It always helps to know at this point the behaviors and statements that trigger your stress or end up in time-wasting processes. If you can’t identify your situational triggers- introspect, ask yourself what was it that last stressed you out? What were you trying to avoid recently? The answers to these questions will help you the next time these situations arise. You’ll be better prepared than to turn to Netflix or YouTube for a solution.  

Put away the extra screens 

When you’re concentrating on work, try putting away and switching off all the other screens and devices around you. If you’re working on your laptop, keep your iPad, Phone, the TV switched off and out of sight. Ensure no notifications, popups, sounds, alerts can distract you from the work screen in front of you. It’s so easy to lose track of time on social media or the internet scrolling through photos, personal feeds, news sites, etc. Most devices are a huge source of distraction and should be kept away if possible while you work.  

Separate time and space

As much as you might like to sometimes work and personal life cannot be integrated. If you’re working from home you need to set boundaries and communicate them with your family members. Set certain hours or signals that you can put up when they can’t disturb you. Set up a dedicated time for work and spending with them. Also, create a separate space for work which is your dedicated work zone where you are to be given your privacy and space. Set up a schedule with your partner to handle the kids, if he has work calls in the morning you take over the chores and in the afternoon both of you can swap.  

One of the biggest disadvantages of working from home is the lack of colleagues around us. Their presence serves as reminders and creates a healthy sense of competition in terms of getting work done. It’s important to keep in touch with them, getting updates about their work. Knowing that you’re not alone in going through these daily struggles can be a source of comfort in these stressful times.

blog

Daily hacks to remain focused while working from home

Article by
Written on 2021-02-12T05:31:22+00:00

It’s rather ironic that those of us who began work from home thinking we’d get so much more work done compared to the office are the same ones struggling to get half as much done. It’s hard to categorize work from home as an art or as a science. It’s a little bit of both. It’s calibrating work assignments with home chores and fitting in video calls with family time. It’s about finding a dedicated workspace, setting up boundaries and even if you manage to conquer all of these you still have to fight the biggest source of distraction itself: your seventy-two-tabs-open-at-once mind. If you’re looking to focus and cut out all the noise, the following tips can help:  

Do not multitask 

When you’re working from home it’s easy to fall into the trap of multitasking. Put the food in the oven, do a work call, while heating the milk for the kids, it never works. Household chores, demands of family members, device notifications all of these can be a constant source of distraction. But when you multitask trying to get to them all at once, your mind gets even more confused about what’s important. A confused and distracted mind fumbles, it takes even longer to get work done. Not all of these decisions are equally important. Curt Steinhorst, author of Can I Have Your Attention? says that “distraction is actually just confusion about what matters.” 

What can you do? 

These are extraordinary times we live in. It’s easy to get caught up in the feelings and thoughts not only about your personal but also our collective future. The more time you waste ruminating over things that you cannot control the longer it takes to get back to the task at hand. Trying to exert control over problems that are beyond your reach can lead to stress and anxiety. Indulging these thoughts can lead to fear and stress, the mind responds to these emotional states with distraction. Distractions which take the form of TV shows, or binge eating, etc. All of this derails your schedule by hours and the day just gets longer. 

Don’t get triggered 

As a work from home employee, you’re also constantly surrounded by family members. It always helps to know at this point the behaviors and statements that trigger your stress or end up in time-wasting processes. If you can’t identify your situational triggers- introspect, ask yourself what was it that last stressed you out? What were you trying to avoid recently? The answers to these questions will help you the next time these situations arise. You’ll be better prepared than to turn to Netflix or YouTube for a solution.  

Put away the extra screens 

When you’re concentrating on work, try putting away and switching off all the other screens and devices around you. If you’re working on your laptop, keep your iPad, Phone, the TV switched off and out of sight. Ensure no notifications, popups, sounds, alerts can distract you from the work screen in front of you. It’s so easy to lose track of time on social media or the internet scrolling through photos, personal feeds, news sites, etc. Most devices are a huge source of distraction and should be kept away if possible while you work.  

Separate time and space

As much as you might like to sometimes work and personal life cannot be integrated. If you’re working from home you need to set boundaries and communicate them with your family members. Set certain hours or signals that you can put up when they can’t disturb you. Set up a dedicated time for work and spending with them. Also, create a separate space for work which is your dedicated work zone where you are to be given your privacy and space. Set up a schedule with your partner to handle the kids, if he has work calls in the morning you take over the chores and in the afternoon both of you can swap.  

One of the biggest disadvantages of working from home is the lack of colleagues around us. Their presence serves as reminders and creates a healthy sense of competition in terms of getting work done. It’s important to keep in touch with them, getting updates about their work. Knowing that you’re not alone in going through these daily struggles can be a source of comfort in these stressful times.

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