Working from home, or teleworking, is a modality that can be comfortable and productive if we know how to exploit it. How to do it if you are not used to it?
Last update: February 02, 2022
Those who are used to working from home, every day or a few days of the week, know that in order to obtain good performance and satisfactory results, some problems must be taken into account. In this article we present some strategies for focusing when working from home.
Those who have never done their job in this way have concerns about it and may make mistakes while performing their duties.
Some strategies can be invaluable to prevent the problem. We expose them in the following lines.
Working from home: a challenge for concentration
It is important to keep in mind that working from home does not always translate into an idyllic landscape of loneliness, maximum concentration, creativity, agility and productivity. On many occasions the concentration fails, there is noise or agitation around.
Even for those used to it, the work can be hindered by all sorts of distractions. Those with young children will know that interruptions are often inevitable and this, like it or not, hinders the ability to focus on homework.
Likewise, for those who are not used to it the distractions can be numerous. Not all types of teleworking are created equal, as some require a higher level of concentration than others.
In both cases, need to focus correctly and while this may be a challenge, it is possible to do so.
Strategies for focusing when working from home
Regardless of whether we are used to working from home or not, it is good for all of us to know and put into practice some strategies to have a good organization, take advantage of time and increase effectiveness and productivity.
The first thing to keep in mind in order to have an order that allows us to concentrate is the planning of the work. Therefore, it is necessary to spend a few minutes drawing up the roadmap.
We can do the planning on Monday, before starting work; on Friday when we finish the day or we can give ourselves a few minutes even on Sunday. This will depend on the individual person.
It pays to be clear about the tasks to be done during the week, establish dates and priorities. For example, which calls to make, how many videoconferencing meetings can be held in the week, reports and emails to write and send, data to review, etc.
- To set priorities, we can make a first distinction: urgent, important tasks and which ones can wait.
- It is very important to organize the day. Depending on the number of hours we will work, we will schedule that time with the tasks to be done for that day.
- It is useful to keep an agenda to consult the list of activities.
It is worth dedicating at the end of each day to plan for the next day. In this way we will have a greater sense of control, therefore less stress.
This, in turn, will avoid possible overloads of work and help to keep in mind all the daily goals, without neglecting any of them.
2. Choose your workplace well
Another key strategy to focus on when working from home is choose carefully the place to settle. This point is as important as the previous one, because the place we are in will facilitate our concentration or not.
We have to look for a comfortable space; and if we have children at home, we must be even more careful in choosing the workplace to avoid being constantly interrupted.
It would be good to opt for a home environment free of disturbing elements. For example, a room where we can arrange a desk or similar piece of furniture and a comfortable chair. There should be only what is needed to work.
Of course, the place should have good lighting and a pleasant temperature, as we will spend several hours of the day there.
3. Define a work program
The hours can be the same as at the workplace. It should be noted that it would be especially convenient if we are not used to teleworking, as it allows us to maintain the same routine that we have outside the home.
However, one must avoid that the established schedule does not exceed the daily working day. By having all the tools at hand, we may tend to work longer than we should.
Outside of these hours, it would be good to turn off computers and similar electronic devices, to be able to disconnect, get distracted and not be saturated the next day.
The rest of the time we have to use it to do something else. For example: housework, some sport, family free time, rest, etc.
We need to differentiate our working hours from the rest, so that from home it is easier to focus on work. It is also important to leave at least one full day off during the week.
4. Take breaks to focus when working from home
One way to avoid distractions is to set up breaks to be used for rest. Minutes to do something else or just look out the window.
The ideal is to work in periods of time between 25 and 60 consecutive minutes. It is not recommended to work more than an hour at a time without a break, but this, of course, will depend on the person and the task to be performed.
After the minutes of work, it would be better to rest between 5 and. We can also resort to the tomato technique. Rest is important for concentration. Let us remember that while we focus on work, the brain consumes glucose, which it replenishes while we rest.
For this reason, shorter study or work time with breaks is more effective, as the ability to focus and concentrate decreases as the day progresses.
During breaks we can get up and stretch a little, change rooms, do some other small task that helps us to disconnect a little, such as reading the news, visiting the children, having a coffee, etc.
5. Maintain healthy habits in general
Following a correct diet, resting well and the right number of hours, avoiding night work, doing physical activity, respecting schedules and maintaining social contact, even if virtual, are important habits to keep the mind active and healthy.
By maintaining correct lifestyle habits, we will be able to focus whenever we need it. Not only in time of quarantine and teleworking.
6. Techniques for focusing when working from home
To improve our ability to concentrate, we can devote a few minutes a day to perform some of the following activities related to mindfulness exercises:
- We can focus on the breath for 1 minute. If we disconnect, nothing happens, we breathe again and focus only on that.
- Alternatively, we choose an object of the house and focus our attention only on its contemplation for a couple of minutes.
- We can also find the differences between two identical pictures, solve sudoku puzzles, word search puzzles, etc.
Working from home isn't always idyllic, but it's not a mission impossible either if we know how to put some strategies into practice.
As you learn to be more productive, it's important to allow yourself to make mistakes, take notes, and try to do better next time. After all, it is always possible to improve.