How To Stay Productive And Focused When You Work From Home

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30 Rock via NBC

Here's how to work remotely without getting distracted.

Working from home is is on the rise for many employees and often preferred; there is no commuting in rush-hour traffic, no managers breathing down your neck, no pesky coworkers distracting you, and no drama over the perfect thermostat setting. Working outside of a traditional office setting does, however, come with some challenges.

Remote work definitely isn’t for everyone. Some people would find the solitude isolation, while others would just be tempted to stay in bed and watch Netflix all day.

For others, remote work offers them the ability to set their own schedule, work anywhere in the world, and have a better work/life balance.

So just how do you stay focused and productive while working from home or remotely?

Here are some helpful tips:

Get Out Of Your Pajamas

It's important that you start your day off right. Have breakfast, have a shower, get dressed. Your body associates pajamas and daytime TV with lazy weekend mornings. If you want to be productive, you'll need to kickstart your body into thinking it's work time, not sleep time.

Prioritize Your Daily To-Do Lists

There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing items off of a to-do list. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and helps you visualize how much you've already accomplished. By prioritizing your to-do list with the more important and difficult items first, it will be a weight off your shoulders and help you push through the easier tasks at the end of the work day.

Set A Schedule… And Stick To It

It may sound silly, but if you want to have a focused day of work, pretend you’re not working from home. You need to set a schedule and try to stick to it every single day. Working from home often means you’re not confined to a typical 9 to 5 schedule. Without the structure of a traditional office, it can be easy to lose time procrastinating. Whether you work 8 hours straight or break up your workday into different segments, make sure you stick to the same schedule every day so you’re as productive as possible.

Set Reminders If You Need To

Without your boss barking orders at you or sitting right beside you so they can check on your progress, you may inadvertently take longer to accomplish your daily tasks. Setting timers and reminders on your phone or computer so you don’t spend too long on any one project will keep your momentum going throughout the work day.

Get Rid Of Distractions

When your boss isn’t breathing down your neck, it can be easy to get sidetracked with Facebook, Instagram, and texting your friends all day. While it’s fine to check your phone occasionally and browse social media on your lunch break, avoid these distractions when you are in the middle of work. You can even download apps that will lock you out of your social media sites for a set period of time to remove all temptation.

Have A Proper Setup

It's not a good idea for you to lounge on the couch or in your bed with your laptop all day long. You need to have a proper work station with an organized desk and a comfortable chair. A tidy workspace helps keep a tidy mind, which helps make your day more productive.

Take Strategic Breaks

Because you won't have coworkers to socialize with, you may be tempted to plow through your work without stopping. But it’s important for your health to take a 30 to 60 minute lunch break every day. Research has shown that the most productive workers focus for 52 minutes, then disengage for 17 minutes. These rest periods help the mind come back refreshed and better prepared to see new angles on challenges. Taking short mental breaks throughout the day will also help you stay productive and make the long work hours go by faster.

Get Out Of The House

While it might be tempting to never leave your apartment, it's often beneficial to have a change of scenery. Working in a bustling coffee shop a couple times a week will refresh your creativity and productivity.

Know When To Stop

Don’t work late into the night. Set defined times when you’re going to work, and then when it passes, stop. You can have a bit of leeway here, but make sure that you don’t end up letting work run your life.


SHARE your tips for how to stay productive while working remotely!

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