It’s hard to remain focused when you’re working from home. There is work and life simultaneously happening within the same space, and it’s challenging to wear both hats at the same time. Many thrive in the home setting because they are in their most comfortable environment, while this same comfort is the reason others don’t thrive.
If you feel like you’re more distracted than productive lately, this checklist will help:
Block time for important tasks
Rather than just listing the things you need to do, actually look at your calendar to see the amount of time you have. You may want a separate calendar for personal errands and work tasks, or you could also choose to combine them since they are now both happening at home. Whatever the case, make sure you’re blocking the biggest chunks of time to the higher priority items, and plan them in a way that makes sense for your workflow. Know when your most productive work hours are, and dedicate those times to tasks that need you to be hyper focused.
Time blocking might take some getting used to, especially in moving things around for maximum productivity. Make sure you remember to allot time for seemingly trivial tasks such as cleaning up the dinner table or taking a bath. These are just as important as finishing your report for your next meeting, and that should reflect in your calendar.
Start-of-day or end-of-day planning
To give you a good grasp of what you have to do for the day, list down everything you need to accomplish. This list can be as exhaustive as possible, but after you have listed them down, determine your priorities. Some of them may not need to be done within the day, in which case you can delegate them to a “Someday” pile. The top three most important tasks should be your priorities for any given day.
It also helps if you have a notebook, whether physical or digital, where you can jot down the things you remember during the day. This frees up the clutter in your mind that is nagging you to stop what you’re doing just to accommodate this new task that you just remembered. Writing them down means you are acknowledging that you need to do them. Then, you can add them to your calendar or list of priorities for the next day.
Allow yourself some free time
And by free time, this means time that is intentionally carved into your schedule for you to just do anything you want. Take that nap, buy face mask online, clip your nails, prepare your desserts for the week, or watch a new episode of your favorite show. You get to dedicate how much time you need for this, but make sure you also have enough time leftover to get things done. Your free time should feel indulgent, but not at the detriment of your work schedule.
It’s understandable that you feel distracted when things don’t seem to be getting better. But they are, even if it’s taking some time for the improvements to be felt locally. For now, do your best to remain productive and focus on what you need to do.