Remote work is an excellent way for many people to work. The freedom and flexibility of working from home offers are appealing to many workers, but it is not as easy to work from home as it may seem. Working from home presents new challenges that you are less likely to encounter in a traditional office or work environment. When you work from home you’ll soon find yourself wanting to stop procrastination and distraction, the two most common issues you will run into while working from home. Thankfully, you can combat these challenges with smart office ideas that will help you stay focused and productive.
How to Stop Procrastinating By Limiting Distractions
Working in a traditional office is generally free from significant distractions, as everyone in the office is there to work. When you work from home, you have to contend with your housemates or even your kids, and the noises they make. It will be much harder to focus and far more tempting to put off work if you can hear your roommate watching TV in the other room or if your kids run in to say hello every few minutes. You can talk with your housemates to set ground rules for when you are working, but accommodations and compromises can only go so far. Tune out the tempting distractions and stop the urge to put off work in favour of doing something more fun with a pair of wireless headphones.
Putting on music or a podcast can help you focus while limiting distractions. Instead of procrastinating to watch TV, listen to a talk show while you work. Find the right audio content or music genre to keep you on task while making work more enjoyable. Be careful that the audio you choose to listen to isn’t replacing distractions with a different distraction; listening to content is supposed to help you focus, not further hinder your productivity.
Comfortable, But Constructive Environment
When you work from home, you should build a designated work area that helps you stay on task. You want your workspace to be comfortable, but not venture into lounging territory. A reliable office chair, desk, and computer are the bare minimum for a home office, but adding more personal items and comforts will make spending time in your work area more enjoyable. Avoid bland or all-white rooms as the lack of visual interest is likely to make you bored and want to do anything other than work. You can easily add semi-permanent dye to a neutral colour pillow or blanket to add colour to your workspace or houseplants are beneficial for both health and visual. Visual interest will make your home office comfortable, but constructive so you can stay on task without being overly bored.
Set A Schedule
Working from home has likely upset your typical work schedule, so you should create a new schedule that reflects your new work environment. Having a regular schedule gives each day predictability so you can layout your work plan accordingly. Start work at the same time each day, just as you would if you were going to the office, and try to end work at the same time each day so you can stop yourself from losing track of time and overworking. Your daily schedule should also include breaks beyond a single lunch break. Even working in an office, we need short breaks every so often, and working from home is no different.
Short breaks help your brain reset so you can come back to your work with a refreshed mind. Pushing through mental struggles will lead to decision paralysis where you can’t seem to make a choice, and the quality of your work will suffer. There is no shame in stepping away for a few minutes or taking a movement break by walking around the block, and taking a break when you reach your limit will likely make you a better worker overall. Short breaks also help you stave off procrastination by making your workday more relaxed with less pressure to grind away without stopping.
Working from home can be fantastic for some people, but working remotely is not without challenges. The drastic change in your work environment can make you more prone to procrastination, but by employing smart tactics to stop procrastination in your home office, you can stay focused and productive. Limit distractions by replacing bothersome noise with helpful audio, create a comfortable home office with visual interest to make the space more welcoming, and set a schedule with breaks to keep you on track while avoiding burnout.