Keeping your focus when working from home

I’ve been hearing from people all week about how difficult they find working from home. This article from the BBC has some suggestions that deal with motivation and work/life balance – which are good. But how do you deal with distractions? Truthfully, most of them involve turning things off. Here are my tips:

  1. Turn off your emails unless you are expecting urgent, time-sensitive information. Let’s face it. Most emails do not need to be read immediately. Set a timer to check your emails every hour or 1/2 hour.
  2. Turn off social media platforms and messaging apps for the same reason you turn off emails and check them at the same intervals.
  3. Turn off the TV. I’m the type of person who likes to work in a really quiet environment, so my TV is off anyway. And yes, this might be more difficult if you have kids home right now. But it’s really easy to get sucked into a TV programme, so just keep it off if you can.
  4. Create a workspace for yourself. Because I am self-employed and work mainly from home, the desk is mine. And because my business involves talking all day, neither I nor my husband, wanted to be sitting in the same room – so the dining room table not an option for him. Instead, we created a workstation for him in the bedroom with a couple of folding tables. Historically, my husband has struggled with working from home. Creating a little “office” for him has really helped. He sets up his tables in the morning, closes the door, and I don’t see him again until it’s time to refill his coffee.

How are you dealing with working from home – particularly those with children off school? (As empty-nesters, this isn’t an issue we don’t have to deal with!) Leave your tip in the comments below.

My name is Laura Marshallsay, and I help professionals improve their English so they can present themselves to the world with confidence. 

If you found this article helpful, check out my new online course, Complex Emails Made Simple. In this course, I cover email structure and formality, politeness and softening, and writing difficult emails. A great course to help you every day!

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