How to stay focused working from home [4 tips]

May 04, 2020

How to work smarter, not harder 

Working from home brings challenges that an office setting usually doesn't. At Lytho we've noticed that getting the job done while working remotely requires more than creating to-do lists, taking breaks, and setting up an office space at home. In order to do your best work, you need to be able to focus. To help you do that, Team Lytho offers you four tips that help you work smarter, not harder.  
Most people have gotten into a rhythm with remote working by now. The first few days, maybe even weeks, were slightly chaotic for those who normally mostly work from the office and are used to face-to-face interaction. However, people are incredibly adaptive and will eventually find a new normal even in shocking or surprising situations like the one we are in now 
But working from home brings new challenges that normally aren’t present in the office setting when it comes to getting and staying focused. Your partner and children are at home, your Wi-Fi/VPN/etc. is switching on and off and your personal and professional lives are clashing 
In order to do your best work, you need to be able to focus. I bet you’ve read at least some guides that tell you to create to-do lists, take breaks, and create an ergonomic, office-like spot for working where you can focus. These tips are great and very useful, which is why they pop up in a lot of posts. In order to add value and share the good, Team Lytho has been taking these practices a step further to really help you work smarter, not harder. 

  1. Find your daily rhythm

    Some of us are night owls, some early morning birds and the rest are somewhere in the middle. Find out what your natural rhythm is, and if possible, plan your tasks around your brain’s peak performance. I, for example, am at my best in the morning, from 8-11. That’s why I try to schedule my creative and strategic work for the morning and focus on more operational tasks after lunch. You probably can’t do this every day, but I encourage you to try it out when you can.

  2. Allow yourself a change of scene

    When you feel yourself losing focus, change the scenery. It’s ideal if you can pop outside and have a breath of fresh air or walk around a bit but also just focusing your eyes on a new spot will help to stimulate your mind. If you normally spend 8 hours staring at a screen, the quickest way to get a change of scene is to focus your eyes as far away as possible for 10 seconds.

    Another good and quick way to wake your brain up is to splash some cold water on your face or arms. A sudden change in temperature makes for a nicesimple reset.

  3. Set small deadlines for batched odd jobs

    All jobs include little things that aren’t so exciting. Maybe you have to reply to a bunch of emails, work out schedules with a group of 20 people or find a certain piece of marketing material from a hard drive of 10,000 images. Whatever it may be, you know you still have to do it. Working from home can make it easier to push those tasks back until they become unmanageable.

    Setting goals or small deadlines will force you to work on the tasks and you will feel like you are working towards an end goal. Add a small reward after each deadline and you will fly through those repetitive tasks faster than ever before!

  4. Evaluate what you spend your time on

    While you are creating new habits to be more efficient, it’s a good idea to think about what really deserves your time. What gets you excited, what tasks are your favourite and why do you do what you do for a living? How much of your time do you spend doing work that allows you to use the skills and abilities that you have?

    Often, we start to take our tasks at face value and stop questioning how things are when we’ve had to adapt to them for long enough.  

Do you find that you spend 5 hours every week chasing people to confirm that your branding, logos, or other materials are up to code? Or do you struggle to find the right templates to create a banner for a campaign you are working on? These little things that we tend to get used to can add up to a lot of lost time that you could otherwise be putting into doing what you love.  
Do a serious inventory of your work and find things you could automate or do smarter. There are a lot of tools out there that can help streamline your work. Now might be a good time to investigate them. 
These are the tips that we’ve been implementing in our home offices! Good luck with your new routine and remember to be kind and understanding to yourself. Do what you can and use this time to reflect and implement small changes that will improve your professional life.

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