Having a home-based job is a great opportunity to be in because you get to work at the comfort of your own dwelling. However, there are many things going on in this kind of environment and it’s not that easy to get in the groove.
In this article, I will share with you what it will take to have and maintain focus if you’re going to pursue a career in your own household. My primary goal here is to help improve your productivity and ensure that you can attain success in this type of job.
Work at Home Might NOT Work for You
By definition, your home is supposed to be a “place of comfort”, not a place for work. It was only until recently that the trend of work at home jobs became significant and was considered a “dream job” by some. But it’s not all heaven like what most people think.
There are many reasons why I would say this, but the most obvious one is dealing with distractions. For instance, take a look at these typical activities you do while in the house:
- Watching TV shows or YouTube videos
- Sitting in your comfy couch
- Lying down in bed (and falling asleep)
- Checking your social media news feed
- Reading emails and text messages
- Chatting with family members or friends
- Taking care of the kids
- Taking your dog for a walk
- Attending to your chores such as laundry
- Preparing food for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Outside noise from neighbors, passing trains and airplanes
If you want to handle all your tasks at work successfully, then you have to find a way to adapt to your surroundings. What you need is FOCUS.
But if you’re the sensitive person who just can’t get anything done with distractions, then there are other alternatives where you can carry your tools and work. Try staying at coffee shops, coworking spaces or simply any place that has an Internet connection and is comfortable enough to work at.
Also, you must take into account what type of work you will be taking, whether you’re blogging, doing Fiverr gigs or any remote work for the company. But for this article, I’ll be assuming you’re a blogger so some of the techniques will be tailored for you.
But no worries, most of my techniques are actually applicable to all types of home jobs and that the rules of focus don’t differ much as for those who work on real offices.
Try These Home Productivity Tips
Focus can be directly linked to productivity because it’s responsible for getting things done and right. So if you decided to stay at your house, then you should consider the following tips.
1. Ask for Support
Perhaps the very beginning of any work at home gig is making a decision to work and telling it to your family and friends. Explain the pros and cons of what you will be doing and clearly explain what your goals are when you pursue this career.
If you are working for a client or company, there’s a sure income that will come. But if you run a blog, you will be experiencing drought. You see, the exciting part of blogging is when it starts to pay off in the future. That’s why before the big break comes, you should let others know that you need their support while the event is still far off.
2. Acknowledge the Distractions
There’s no such thing as a distraction-free home. Even if you can get everyone on the same page with your job, there will still be obstacles along the way that you have no control over. I’ve found out that trying to resist such misfortunes would only lead to frustration in my part, so I just acknowledged it and move on.
What you can do instead is plan your schedule around the boulder. Whether your available time is a scattered 3-2-3 hour session (8 to 11 am, 2 to 4 pm, and 7 to 10 pm, for example) or a 4-4 session (8 to 12 nn and 6 to 10 pm) or any other distribution, you can plan your work to fit any schedule. Just believe it.
3. Find a Neat-Looking Workspace in Your Home
I assume that you work with your laptop and some office tools by your side such as notebooks, pens, smartphone, books, post-it notes and so on. If I got it right, then what you need is a working area in your house where you can put all these items within reach. Have a desk and utilize the drawers that come with it. You can also invest in a comfortable chair that you will love sitting on for hours.
Once you’ve done all this, it’s VERY important that everyone will treat the area as a “workplace” or else it will lose its meaning. Don’t do anything else that is not related to your job such as playing Candy Crush or reading your newly-bought novel. It would soil the place and take the focus off your job.
4. Organize the Room Where Your Workspace Lies
The room where your computer and tools are situated should also be managed in such a way that induces productivity. If the place is in your bedroom, make sure that your bed looks neat and the pillows are well-arranged.
Another great practice is to provide adequate lighting for your work by opening your windows and if possible, try to orient your desk or table in the direction of light. Also, dust off every section of the room so that you don’t get irritated because after all, you will stay there for hours.
Once done, how about considering a pimp with your home office? Give it an upgrade by having a cabinet for placing books and notebooks (bloggers have to read after all) or something called the “vision board” (for visualizing your goals). Just about anything that will make your room much better will do.
5. Attend to Your Physical Condition
You must listen to your body and brain if it wants you to stop. If you don’t pay attention to it, you will inevitably wear out physically and mentally. Try to relax or de-stress for a bit by taking short breaks (find your optimal breaktime). Eat if you feel you need to and never skip an important meal for the day (breakfast, lunch, & dinner).
Also, make it a habit to include exercise in your routine especially in the morning because it will help liven up your day. Jog outside, ride a bike, go to the gym, or any activity you want. Another practice is to wear working clothes and not just your nightwear when blogging or working, it will help boost your confidence.
6. Develop Good Habits and Systems
Maybe before you came to this page, you think of focus as something that increases or decreases with time like an up and down cycle. However, it doesn’t have to be erratic like what you think. By starting good habits or routines around your dwelling, it’s possible to harmonize your focus once they have been established.
By the way, you’re not going to do it all at once because that’s impossible. You start off with one single task to systemize and do in small amounts. Gradually increase its intensity until it reaches your desired goal for it. Once automatic, you then move on to the succeeding tasks. It will be a slow process, but once it sticks, you won’t miss it anymore.
7. Set Priorities on What Matters
Not all tasks are created equal. Some are more important and some don’t require that much attention. The challenge therefore is to identify those tasks that will really get you forward and only focus on that. Josh Kaufman calls it Most Important Tasks, which are few select activities you need to do that you think will produce great results.
As a blogger for instance, the most important responsibilities that you might have include generating topic ideas, doing keyword research, researching on the content, writing blog posts on a consistent basis, promoting that content in article directories or social media, or tracking your analytics for more improvements. Choose two or three of these tasks and focus on them.
8. Tag Some Friends Along and Focus Together
If you know friends or someone online who work at home as well, then tag them along and work together by connecting with each other. Reach them through Facebook, Google+, or some other web platform that you can agree on. What’s great with having someone alongside is that you don’t feel bored and isolated when you’re with them.
They might also have something to share with you and you to them. In my case, I hang out at Wealthy Affiliate because it’s a platform where all successful bloggers and online entrepreneurs hang out as well. Whenever I feel alone and bored, I simply mingle with them and sometimes I help others who are feeling down as well and give them a boost.
Definitely, You’ll Get Used to It
The wonderful perks of working at your own dwelling can get much better once you’ve learned how to harness focus in such an environment. At first, trying to acquire focus might get intimidating, but eventually, you’ll get used to an ideal routine if you never give up.
Observe, experiment, and apply these productivity techniques at home and combine each of the advice here until you find what works for you and immediately discard what doesn’t.
If you think one technique made you slower and less productive, then switch to the next method. What I’m really offering here is merely advice that works and not a silver bullet for focusing better at home.
Always remember, focus must be done on only ONE thing at a time. Simply put, multitasking won’t work in improving your productivity so you’re better off with putting everything but one in the queue and work on the most important thing first.
Check out my other blog posts to learn more:
What job do you have right now at home? How do you keep yourself focused at work? I appreciate if you share your answers in the comments below.