Are you working remotely and finding it difficult to stay productive? Getting distracted by
texts, chats, phone calls, and social media notifications?
Dana Stone, certified life mastery consultant who’s been working remotely for the last 5
years, agrees with this sentiment, “it’s so easy to get distracted. The key is in reducing
these distractions as much as possible”.
There are many ways to stay focused while enjoying the freedom of remote work. Stone
shares three insights to help you stay productive while working remotely.
Show Up Like You’re Going to an Office
For many professionals, working remotely is a dream come true. We no longer have to
commute in traffic. There is more flexibility when it comes to working schedules, but
when working remotely, this flexibility is the exact catalyst for distractions.
To remedy this, Stone suggests keeping your normal routine and doing what you would
normally do to get ready for work- exercise, shower, coffee, breakfast and get dressed.
“Dressing the part is a signal that it is time to work and it makes you feel ready to take
on the challenges of the day,” Stone says, “yes, your pants can be more comfortable
than what you normally wear to work. But let the top half be ready for the camera should
a virtual conference call pop up”.
Irregular sleep and meal schedules may hinder your brain’s focus. As well, wearing
wrinkled clothing doesn’t trigger high self-esteem or confidence. So even if you’re
working at home, show up like you would for a day in the office.
Create a Schedule That Allows You To Rest More
Everyone working remotely has been there. It’s 10:00 PM and a phone rings. There is
an email from your boss and they want it done as soon as possible. You tell your family,
“I need to finish this up quick, it will take 3 minutes”, as you return to the computer. The
work ends up taking 3 hours.
When working remotely, that work-life balance gets obscured as your home is also an
office. It’s much easier for your schedule to experience interruptions and distractions.
That being said, you have to create a schedule that balances rest and work.
“Schedule your breaks in first so that you can stay committed during working hours,”
Stone says, “schedule breaks for yourself where you can stretch, walk, take some deep
breaths or get refreshments. Don’t forget to schedule a lunch break”.
Schedule a break for lunch and take a walk. When you’re back at your desk, don’t use a
trip to the fridge or a pile of laundry as a distraction. When your workday is done, set
priorities for tomorrow’s day and wrap up your workday.
Stone suggests having a transition activity, “at least 5 minutes of yoga or stretching, a
short walk, or exercise will do the trick. Then go enjoy your family or friends, a nice meal
Create a Comfortable and Organized Work Environment
Having a dedicated work environment isn’t just a trend. It is a must for any working
professional looking to stay focused while working remotely.
Stone shares the importance of a private place to work in minimizing distraction, “having
a dedicated work environment at home is a good way to establish boundaries for
yourself, your family, and your pets. It signals to everyone that you’re working”.
Figure out what you need. Do you need desk space for meetings? Do you want plenty
of natural light? Are there any stationaries you use? Any additional furniture?
In the hustle and bustle of the workday, it’s easy to get distracted. Having a dedicated
work environment will allow you to stay focused on your priorities and ensure you’re not
spending all day checking social media feeds.