Dealing with distractions and staying focussed has become even more important for our modern-day lives. However, getting rid of all of them is just about impossible when we’re now almost always available. Cell phones, email, and messenger apps are used more than ever and are even more essential to us who work from home.
To do our best work, we need to go through times of deep concentration. But how do we achieve it when we are so reliant on all this distracting tech?
A focussed day needs a plan
One of the best things you can do to help keep your day focussed is to begin with a solid plan of what you need to get done that day. Think about this in relation to what is optional but not as important.
Once you’ve figured this out, you’re already well on your way to having a much better chance of a focussed day. Your distractions like emails or slack messages can be better dealt within the time for your optional activities. You know exactly when you need to focus and for how long, but also have time scheduled to deal with distractions.
It’s a sprint, not a marathon
One way to take your daily plan to the next level in helping you focus is to think about how long you will be spending on each task. I’m sure you’ve experienced spending hours on a single task, but begin to lose track and focus the longer you work for.
That’s why we recommend that you schedule your day into 25-50 minute sprints. 25 minutes is enough to get some focussed work done, and 50 minutes is about the maximum time you can work on a task and really concentrate.
Making your day into blocks of these sprints is key to staying focussed working from home. It can even help if you schedule your sprint sessions with a coworker or friend. That way, you’re both held more accountable for the time and are likely to become more focussed. We even arrange these deep work sessions ourselves, so head here to sign yourself up and give it a try.
Don’t let the room distract you
Tidy room, tidy mind. You may have heard the phrase before, but it’s not just an urban legend! Making sure you keep your workspace clean helps you to focus and concentrate on your tasks, and not the mess getting in the way.
The best way to keep on top of this is to clean as you go, or at least make sure to have a good organize at the end of your working day. If you have to take time out your schedule to clean up your desk to find important documents you need, then you’ve already managed to lose focus.
Again, think about putting some time in your daily plan to keep on top and have a beautiful, organized, and clean work space!
Think about your fuel
Part of keeping ourselves focussed isn’t just to do with the environment around us, it’s also what we put into our body as fuel. Sugary snacks, chips, and other unhealthy items over time can lead to us feeling more lethargic and prone to losing focus at work.
Keeping hydrated by drinking water regularly is of course important, and much easier on your mind and body than regular sugar crashes from drinking soda. It’s not a complicated tip to follow, but making sure you’re eating healthily and well is easily overlooked when it comes to ways to help you focus.
Distractions can still happen
Even after following all the tips above, there probably still will be distractions than make you lose focus. Over time, you might even spot a pattern of when and why it happens. It’s common to feel a post lunch slump and then find yourself distracted easily by social media.
It could happen that you feel less focussed when doing a certain task like basic admin. Start writing down when you notice these patterns. Just writing it down is a great first step to begin tackling it and eradicating the distraction from your day!
Focus on the bigger picture
Focus can be a funny thing. Sometimes it feels like it can come from nowhere and you get completely sucked into a task. Sometimes you can become distracted no matter how hard you try not to be. Focus is something we can practice though.
Putting good habits into your day will give you the best chance at doing this, and minimize the distractions that aren’t absolutely necessary. Working from home gives you a lot of flexibility in how you work, so make the most of it to your advantage.
We also think that focus can come from having the right people around you too. To get the benefits of this community and remote work in one place, we’ve started our own supportive network in Remote-how Virtual Coworking. It’s where we run our deep work sessions too! If you’re looking for the next step to take in improving your focus, productivity, and other remote skills, then come join us on the journey and be a part of our community.