If you work from home, one of the most difficult challenges you face time and time again is getting and staying focused. Somehow, this becomes an even bigger problem when you have to reach deadlines or want to create new products or services. When big project is due, a product launch is pending, or your website updates are in the midst of completion focusing can be particularly difficult.
Here are a few tips and secrets to improve your focus and stop distractions.
#1 Work when it makes sense to work. Trying to force productivity in the middle of family chaos just doesn’t make sense. Children banging on your office door, pets needing to be fed and walked and a spouse who is wondering where the car keys are don’t help you accomplish a thing.
Find your quiet time. Those quiet moments alone are the best times to be productive. Capture these moments or create them. Get up an hour earlier in the morning or stay up late if it makes sense.
#2 Prioritize. Sometimes we’re focusing on the wrong things. Answering emails during your productive time isn’t a good use of time. Writing blog posts or articles during that quiet time makes more sense. Create a list of priorities and focus on them during your quiet work times.
#3 Use a timer. It might sound silly but timers really make you focus on what you’re doing. All of the distractions take a back seat to your task at hand. Set the timer, a kitchen timer will do, to the amount of time it should take you to complete the task. Now, get to work. Knowing the clock is ticking forces you to pay attention to what you’re doing.
You can also use the timer for more creative ventures like brainstorming and planning. Simply set the timer for the amount of time you have to devote to the task. When the timer rings, stop what you’re doing and move onto the next task on your list.
#4 White noise. Some people find great success by creating some sort of background or white noise to work by. Music is a common tool to use. Don’t listen to music that makes you want to get up and dance but rather find soothing music that seems to “sit” in the background. Instrumental music is often a good choice. Classical, jazz and even alternative music or soundscapes can work quite well.
#5 Set goals. This is similar to the timer method because it uses a quantifiable measurement to help you stay on track. For example, if you have a few hours in the morning and you have a report to write, your goal might be to finish and deliver the report before you take your lunch. If nothing else, hunger will motivate you to focus on finishing the report quickly.
Determine what your biggest challenges and obstacles are.
- What’s preventing you from focusing?
- What distractions commonly interrupt you?
Once you know what you’re facing, you can adopt the best method for overcoming them. When you’re able to focus and eliminate distractions, you’ll get much more done. This leaves free time in your calendar for fun, family and perhaps even more work. To your success!