How to stay focused while working from home
Working from home during the COVID-19 can bring new challenges
During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic you may have begun working from home on a full-time basis. Working from home can be both rewarding and challenging, and learning how to make the situation work best for you can take time. You may find that on some days you have more motivation for work than others, this is completely understandable as there are many different factors that can influence your day to day experiences. If you are having difficulties working from home, it may help to speak to someone in your work about it as they might be able to offer you advice on how to improve your situation. If you would like to share your experience of working from home during the pandemic with us, get in touch and we will work with you to publish your story on our site.
6 ways to stay focused while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic
Have quiet space to work
One of the challenges when working from home, can be getting used to treating your home as a work space and not behaving in it in the way that you usually would. If you can, setting aside one place in your home for work can help you to stay focused when in that space. If you do not have the room to be able to separate out a “work” section, try to find a space such as in your kitchen, where you can work at a desk or table instead of sitting on a bed or a couch. Although it may be tempting to sit somewhere you think of as comfortable, working at a desk can be better for both your posture and your concentration. If you sit on your bed while you work you may then find it difficult to relax and switch off in that space properly in the evenings.
Have set break times
Living and working in the one space can make parts of your daily routine seem to blend together, and it can be easy to let this happen. Structuring your day, such as taking your lunch at a certain time and not using your laptop during that period, can help you to recharge and be able to focus again on your work after taking your break. Depending on how flexible your work schedule is you may have a set lunchtime or be able to take it when it suits you throughout the day. If it is up to you when you can take your break, it can be useful to make yourself take it at the same time each day so that regardless of how busy you are you use your lunch time to recharge and focus on yourself instead of your work.
Set goals of what you want to achieve during the day
At the beginning of your working day it can be helpful to set out the tasks that you want to achieve that day to help guide your work. Prioritise what you need to do in order of importance and if you find your attention slipping during the day check back in on the list to help focus your attention. It can also help if at the beginning or end of a week you set out what your work will be for the week ahead, to have an overview of what you need to achieve. If you find that one day you have not been as productive as you would like to be, you can then look at your plan for the week and rearrange it to help you achieve your overall goals.
Reward yourself when you complete a task
When working from home, you may find yourself moving from one project to another without taking much time to reflect on the work that has been achieved. This can easily happen when you are busy or when you don’t have people around you to celebrate the achievement with. Rewarding yourself when you accomplish something can help you to recognise all the work you have achieved while working from home during a global pandemic. Remind yourself that you work hard and deserve recognition and enjoyment from what you do. Try to show support to your colleagues by acknowledging their achievements also.
Find time for exercise
Whether you can find some time for it in the morning, during your lunch or after work in the evenings, exercise can be hugely beneficial to helping you stay focused throughout your work day. Working from home means you may find yourself moving less than you normally would without having to commute to and from work, so it is important to try and find new ways to add at least 30 minutes of exercise to your routine each day. Check out our article on free exercise resources or visit our Exercise category to find ideas on workouts you can do at home or in nature.
Download apps that stop you from using your phone
If you really find yourself struggling to concentrate throughout the day it may be a good idea to download an app that can help you stay off your phone during work. There are different options available to you that can help you. A timeout from your phone during certain times of the day can help you be more productive. Check out the app store on your phone to find an option that will suit you best.
Feeling overwhelmed or anxious?
If you feel overwhelmed by the current situation and need someone to talk to, our anonymous, 24 hour text line is always open. You're worth talking about and we're here to listen and support you.
- Get anonymous support 24/7 with our text message support service
- Connect with a trained volunteer who will listen to you, and help you to move forward feeling better
- Text SPUNOUT to 50808 to begin
- Find out more about our text message support service
Need more information?
We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.