The pandemic has led to some unprecedented turn of events. While the vaccines have given us some semblance of hope, we aren't in the clear yet.
Still, people are getting infected daily – many recover – while some, especially those with compromised immunity, aren't that lucky.
To keep the show running despite stay-at-home orders, many organizations and educational institutes have allowed for working from home and distance learning.
For many, this makes things much easier as it has increased productivity. On the other hand, some people prefer a professional setting due to distractions at home, such as chores, pets, kids, and more.
Plus, staying indoors with zero to no social contact can get boring.
In short, despite all the tech advancements – like zoom school alongside dedicated LMS and remote work initiatives in place – the lack of a focused environment leads to distractions.
And that's what Superprof is here to address — we will highlight some tried and tested ways to ensure you remain immersed and efficient while working from home (WFH).
10 Ways To Remain Focused While Studying Or Working From Home
Things are much better, but these trying times taught us all a lesson: you can never be completely prepared.
This is why SMBs, large firms, and educational institutions have put protocols in place to encourage remote working.
The idea is to develop a practical WFH solution that can be implemented instantly when required, even after things go back to normal.
Let's get to it by highlighting how you can make the most of your online school or office:
1. Have Your Own Personal Space
Whether you are studying from school or working from the office, one thing is expected: you have your own dedicated space — an office, desk, or workstation.
The same has to follow through at home; you need to have a distraction-free area to concentrate on the task at hand.
Even if you don't have much space to work with as your apartment is small or there are too many household members, you still need a separate area.
Right now, it may seem like a good idea to work from your couch with the TV blaring in the background, but that isn't good for your posture and will divide your attention when you need it most.
- Get a desk and possibly
- A two-monitor setup
- Make sure that all distractions are kept at bay during work hours
- Ensure that no children are playing in the background, especially when attending video school or office
2. Don't Check Facebook, Instagram, And Other Social Media Accounts
Social media is perhaps the biggest distraction. Once you start scrolling through the feed, you won't be looking up for at least an hour.
If you accumulate your social media time, you would be surprised to find out how much time you're losing.
Despite that, we are still compelled to check our social media accounts. This is why you should put safeguards in place that limit activities.
For instance, while studying or working from home, you can switch your phone to optimized power settings: nothing apart from calls, messages, calculator, or browser facilities can bother you.
Meanwhile, some apps can even time your activity. Set a 10 minute limit on using Instagram, Facebook, etc. Once the time is up, you will be locked out of the app or browser.
StayFocused is a popular extension that can assist with this; once a limit has been crossed, the website cannot be accessed for the rest of the day.
3. Change Out Of Your Pajamas
Many favor home school and home office setups because it keeps them from their awful morning routines!
With WFH, no need to put on a suit, heels, tie, shoes, or even underwear! However, that in no way means that you should avoid showering or brushing your teeth in the morning.
Through routine behavior, our bodies and minds are tuned to function actively once necessary actions are taken. For example, you can rush to the bus in the morning because your cold shower jolts you.
To put it simply, even when working from home, stick to your morning routine: change from your night suit, have a cup of Joe, a refreshing shower, etc.
4. Prioritize Work Over Everything Else
Among the pros and cons of working from home, avoiding a 9-5 routine can be considered a benefit or a drawback.
While many have to be actively involved via monitoring software and video conferencing, some can decide their own hours.
The end-goal is to meet deadlines in whatever way you find feasible. This sense of empowerment can be quite fulfilling. However, it creates room for sluggish behavior.
You may be taking time off during the day – to run errands, meet friends, among other things – as you know you can continue later in the evening.
The problem is that you lose focus, and you can't function in an organized manner. Plus, the chances are that you would end up working longer than a 9 to 6 duration.
Therefore, even with WFH protocols in place, make sure to get work done during office hours and schedule everything for after.
5. Finish Tasks Now, Rather Than Later!
For most people, office hours are relatively flexible; they may put off work for later because WFH allows them that benefit.
There is always the chance of things going south and you being unable to meet deadlines. What if your laptop breaks, there is a power breakdown, or there is a family emergency?
To not fall prey to this, stop procrastinating; if something is due tomorrow but assigned today, get it done today!
Furthermore, if you're a student and find it hard to manage time, hire a private tutor to teach you your subjects while helping you learn how to set deadlines.
6. Work First, Chores Later
When working from home, it's tempting to multi-task between household chores and assigned tasks.
For instance, you may take a short break and do the groceries, fill gas, vacuum your place, do the laundry, or cook.
Sure it seems convenient, but in turn, it leads to lowered efficiency and productivity. Ideally, you should either schedule chores for later or designate a specific time for running them.
For instance, you can put 15 minutes towards running household errands at 10 in the morning, and you can allow another 10 minutes when you are done for the day.
7. Create A Schedule And Stick By IT
Having a calendar or to-do list to guide you comes in handy. It is the best way to stay focused, ensuring all tasks are completed on time, every time.
Scheduling and making an itinerary for an online school or WFH has definitely helped people maintain productivity levels and stay focused.
One can set reminders on their phone or laptop's calendar regarding tasks that need to be accomplished during the day, week, or month.
Also, ensure to schedule downtimes when you would be taking breaks. Follow this schedule religiously, and you can perform at your true potential.
Due to pressure at work and school, we have adopted a sedentary lifestyle, with next to no exercise. Constantly sitting is terrible for your health and is the gateway to many serious diseases.
Luckily, WFH allows you to exercise! You can do a few stretches now and then and move around a bit.
For instance, you can walk to the nearby grocery store rather than commute by car. Although we count that as a distraction, we can make an exception for a healthy cause!
Another way would be to schedule an online or in-person exercise session – like Yoga, Pilates, etc. – as they have a scheduled time that you can set aside from your work routine.
9. Schedule Informal Meetings
As most of the world is still following stay-at-home protocols, meeting face to face is not exactly a safe bet.
Other than that, even if your role is entirely remote-based – pandemic or not – you still need to connect with others on a more personal level.
A good way would be to schedule Zoom meetups with friends, where you can relax, unwind, and have a good time.
You should set aside a few minutes every day for social interaction. Apart from that, it would be best if you also celebrated events such as birthdays, work anniversaries, etc., over video calls.
The most fun solution would be to start gaming online with your friends. It's a great way to stay in touch and be entertained!
10. Work In The Assigned Hours And No More!
Since there is no one monitoring, and you don't need to be at the office to get work done, avoid being over-efficient and getting to work in your off time.
Sure, it seems like you are getting a lot done, but very soon, you will burn out and resent any work-related communications.
Therefore, remember to clock out on time and avoid coming back till the next workday commences!
Overall, there are plenty of pros and cons of working from home — you can take full advantage of the pros while turning cons into opportunities.
And if you are facing issues focusing on your zoom school and are falling behind the class: you can hire one of Superprof's expert teachers to help you in literally any subject!
Hopefully, our tips and tricks will help you maintain focus on your next work from home session or online school.