Since the pandemic, working from home has become the norm for many people. For the most part, many employees enjoy the flexibility in their schedules. A survey by Tracking Happiness surveyed 12,455 employees and found the ability to work from home increased happiness to 20%. 1 However, it can be difficult for some to stay focused at home. With the holidays coming up and more family being around, here are some tips for staying focused.
Take breaks – small or large
A break can be anything from 10 minutes to a week off. It’s essential to take small breaks during the day to stay focused. According to Forbes Magazine, 40% of Americans feel uncomfortable during work breaks.2 Taking short breaks increases focus and concentration. The best break is taking away from your computer and phone. Going on a short walk a few times a day helps you mentally and physically. Taking walks can also decrease your blood pressure if you are stressed. If you need to take a longer break, a week is the perfect amount of time recommended to take off. Make spending time with family a priority if you have them over during the holidays.
Limit social media/ phone consumption.
Social media is the number one distraction for remote workers. Spending 2 hours throughout the day loses you over 40 hours of productivity a month. According to a Pew Research Study, “Social Media in the Workplace”, 34% use social media to take a mental break and 27% to catch up with friends and family.3 If you have a smartphone, limit notifications on social media apps or your time with focus apps. You can also put your phone in a different room from you to help with distractions.
Work earlier or later in the day.
Take advantage of the extra time you have and work around the clock. If you have a family with a slow schedule at the house, consider working outside the traditional 9-5 pm. Most remote jobs do not require workers to work 9-5 pm; instead, they are based more on when they complete their work. If you’re a night owl, take advantage of that. Sometimes people like working outside of traditional hours, so they stay focused on messages from coworkers throughout the day. If you are working remotely, consider asking your boss if you can work outside the traditional hours when you don’t have meetings planned.
Eat healthy food and snacks throughout the day.
Be sure to be well-hydrated and eat throughout the day. This is a no-brainer, but be sure these foods are healthy and will help you focus, not make you crash. Snacks that will keep you energized and focused throughout the day include blueberries, green tea, avocados, fatty fish, leafy greens, dark chocolate and nuts.4 With more food around the holidays, limit yourself when you can eat tasty treats.