When you’re self-employed, it could be that you work from home too, and it can be tricky to remain focused. So, for some tips for doing just that, you came to the right place…
When you’re self-employed, there’s a lot to think about. Once you’ve got the serious stuff out of the way, like your shareholders agreements, your taxes, and your payroll, what’s next?
Well, it’s also important to think about your own wellbeing. When you work and live in the same building, it can be difficult for the two not to merge into one. What’s more, being in the same place 24/7 can make anyone feel a little stir crazy.
So, today, we’ll be diving into the best ways for you to remain focused and engaged when you work from home. Stay tuned for some tips and tricks to keep the cogs turning in work, in-home, and in play…
1. Write a To-Do List
First and foremost, it’s so important that you write a to-do list for the day. Whether you do this in the morning, or the evening prior, getting all your thoughts down on the page is crucial. Not only does this help you to clear your mind, ready to focus, it really sets you up for the day.
It’s all about mentality. If you have a list of things to get done in the day, with tick boxes next to them to tick as you go, this should boost your productivity. This way, you can make your way through your list in a methodical manner, with a clear objective to work towards.
It’s also important to be realistic and write a manageable list. This way, you won’t feel deflated or disappointed when you don’t complete all the tick boxes. Again, this will help boost your positive mentality, so you remain focused and motivated to get it all done!
2. Set Timings for the Day
Setting up your timings for the day is also one of the most important elements of remaining focused. This not only includes deciding when you begin and end your working hours, but it also includes taking a designated lunch break.
This is super important so you don’t burnout, which could easily happen if you don’t finish each day at, say, at 5.30 pm. This could also happen if you don’t take time to eat lunch, relax, and have a break.
The importance of scheduling in these times just can’t be overstated. Ultimately, this helps you to achieve a good work/life balance, which is so important for remaining focused when you work from home.
3. Put Your Phone Away
Our mobile phones are one of the biggest distractions in our modern lives. The temptation throughout the day to check social media, to answer text messages or return phone calls can get in the way of our day-to-day focus.
Yes, you could put your phone on silent or aeroplane mode, but this doesn’t stop you from checking it. So, the best and most effective way to achieve minimal distractions is to put your phone in a different room. This way, you can make a point of checking your phone during your breaks, and won’t be tempted in any way during working hours.
4. Introduce Boundaries with Friends and Family
People with online jobs work from home, and this is a relatively new concept for the older generation. So, it’s likely something that your nearest and dearest don’t quite understand. Yes, you’re in the house, but no, you can’t stop and have a cuppa because you’re working!
This is why setting boundaries with family, friends, and neighbours is key to remaining on task. This could include making sure you keep everyone informed of your working hours, so they don’t disturb you. You could even go as far as sticking a note to your front door to avoid any disturbances.
5. Don’t Let the Post Person Know You Work from Home
It can be so tempting to step away from your desk when you hear the door knock. I’m sure, if you’re already lacking focus, this could even come as a welcome break to you.
But, fair warning to you; once you’ve accepted a parcel for a neighbour once or twice, your postman or woman will become in tune with who can take the parcels. Then, they’ll know to drop them off to you every time, and this is just an unwanted distraction.
So, as long as you didn’t order something for yourself, try to remain as quiet as possible when you hear the door being knocked. You don’t want to become the village post person!
6. Drink Water and Eat Well
This may seem unrelated to staying focused, however, it may surprise you to learn that exercise and nutrition have everything to do with it. For one, regular exercise is known to help energise and refresh your mind and body.
What’s more, eating nutritious fruit and veg, and the right amount of protein and fat, is also the perfect way to stay focused. By consuming all the appropriate vitamins and minerals your body needs, focusing should become a lot easier.
7. Get Out of the House
When you work from home, being cooped up in the house could make you a little stir crazy. You’ll likely have an office or somewhere separate to work in the house, but even this may not be enough of a change of scenery.
So, each day, something as simple as taking a walk around the block in the morning, at lunch, or in the evening could help. Maybe you could kill two birds with one stone and leave the house for some exercise! After all, a breath of fresh air never hurt anyone.
On another vein, perhaps you could use this time to walk to your parents’ or friends’ homes to have a catch up over lunch and tea. You could even use this time to go grocery shopping or get your hair or nails done. Whatever it may be, getting this change of scenery will do wonders for your focus when you’re at home.
8. Ignore Chores for Now
It can be very easy to head to the kitchen to make some tea and unload the dishwasher while you’re there. But, now is not the time; if you were in the workplace, you wouldn’t be doing that, so why do it here?
We’ve mentioned writing a to-do list, and setting timings for the day, and this also includes setting timings to do your chores. So, perhaps you could make a more elaborate to-do list each morning, including timings, work tasks, and chores that all need doing. Then, you can specify certain times of the day for certain tasks.
As you go, you can tick each one-off, and you’ll feel super accomplished by the end. As long as you factor in your days’ worth of work, and get those list items ticked off, that’s what matters.
9. Get Up and Get Dressed
The action of getting out of bed, having a shower, putting some makeup on, and getting dressed, even if it’s back into comfy clothes, is enough to get your head in the game. Not only does this stop you from picking up your laptop and doing work in bed, which is bad for your back, but it will also help you to get a good work/life balance.
By taking this simple step – getting washed and dressed – you’ll be able to more easily separate work from home. Again, it’s all about mentality, and this is where your positive mentality begins.
10. Take Regular Breaks
Finally, but certainly not least, is making sure you take regular breaks. When working from home, without the social distractions in the office it can be easy to fall down the rabbit hole of work, work, work. What’s more, when you’re self-employed and have a lot riding on your shoulders, again, it can become a habit to stare at the screen all day.
For one, this is really bad for your eyes; it’s even recommended that you take a break from the screen every 20 minutes or so to readjust your focus. Ultimately, though, just getting away from the pressures of work, for even just 5 minutes, can help you to refresh your thoughts. Then, you can get back to it with even more gumption than before.
Are You Self Employed?
I hope this list of tips and tricks is something a little different and provides you with some key tips to help you get focused. Once the novelty of working from home wears off, the fidgets will set in, so I’m hoping this will prevent that!
Do you work from home, or are you self employed, and struggle to remain focused throughout the day? What are your tips and tricks for keeping the wheels turning? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments down below; let’s help one another out!