How to stay focused might be the most important skill successful people must learn while adapting to an ever changing world. With millions of people forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, couch time corporate meetings could be fashioned into some sort of normal for many regular hard working Americans. But abruptly having to work in any new environment, including your living room, can pose a challenge for a lot of folks. Days can feel long and short at the same time, sleep patterns can become erratic, and distractions are now at an all time high. To meet and conquer these new challenges, it’s very important to train yourself to manage your time and your mind properly. There are many articles you can read about creating to do lists, and organizing your hours, and while both are very important (lemme stress VERY IMPORTANT! You should be making to do lists every day), this article isn’t about logistics. How do you actually stay focused when you’re working from home? How do you keep your mind, on your tasks while balancing home life? Here are a few tips that I’ve found to be particularly helpful with keeping my mind on task.
Gone is the habit of having to rush out of the house in the morning to beat the traffic or catch a train. When you first get up in the morning, drink water and eat something. If you aren’t a big breakfast eater, grab a snack or some fruit. The most productive hours of the day are in the morning, so tackling them hungry could lead to unfocused periods. Feed your stomach and let it feed your focus. You shouldn’t let your mind wander on food, when it could be focused on your to do list.
Find A Mind Game
Mind games have been popular over the years, but with the advancement of technology, they are easier than ever to access and THANK GOD. Your brain needs to be exercised just like any other muscle. Stimulating it on the regular basis is good practice, but when faced with all our new distractions it is paramount. Luckily, there are so many new ways feed the mind. With apps like Lumosity, not only can you play games, but they tailor them just for your brain! (How cool is that!?) You could always go old school and pick up a crossword puzzle or a rubik’s cube. Either way, get at least 20 minutes of brain gaming in a day and after 2 weeks see if you see a noticeable difference in your focus.
It is imperative that you take multiple breaks throughout the day. Giving yourself 20 minutes or so away from the computer or any work you may be doing is like a quick refresh for your mind. Stepping away from some things can also make certain problems clearer and can often give you the different perspective you need to solve problems. Your mind is a powerful tool. When you work a powerful tool too hard it can overheat. Give your brain the cool down time it needs to ensure you’re successful. You should take at the minimum 4-5 20 minute breaks a day (This does not include lunch.)
Get Your Heart Rate Up
Staying in the house all day is terrible for your blood circulation and your heart rate. You have to find some time to get the blood flowing. Everyone isn’t a hardcore gym rat and you don’t have to be. Instead, why not dance to a Beyoncé video? Or how bout you take a brisk paced walk? You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to get your heart rate up, you just gotta be creative. Find ways to work a sweat and try to do it everyday.
Check Out These Apps
Brain.fm has created a bunch of two-hour long soundtracks designed to help you focus, relax, or sleep.
Mindful browsing is a chrome plugin that will give you gentle nudges to get off of sites that time time guzzlers
Calm is a Mediation and relaxation app that will help you get better sleep and also lower stress and anxiety.
Staying focused isn’t a light switch, and there is no magic wand to keep your mind wrapped on one thing at a time, but with some practice of these habits and a little willpower, staying focused while working from home will be a challenge you humbly overcome as you become the best version of you. Stay focused my friends!