How to stay focused and healthy when working from home

Concentration and relaxation tips

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As part of my Consulting work, I recently completed a gig where I was based at home for 3 weeks out of every month. I’ve had previous gigs where there has been an element of working from home but not one where working from home was the standard way of working.

A number of people hate the thought of working from home and can find it isolating and distracting. However, if you can make it work for you it can give you a huge amount of time back each day and strike a balance between work and personal life.

Whether you work from home on an occasional basis or full time, here are some ways to stay focused and healthy while working from home:

Be clear on your intentions for the day and what you need to get done, what your work priorities are and when you get it done. When at home it’s tempting to extend your working day to make up for what you haven’t done during your working day. You’ll end up beating yourself up and will be miserable

Set a clear transition for when you finish work or like point 1, you’ll extend your working day to do more. Shut down your computer and transition to a different activity which signifies the end of your day such as exercise, going for a walk or playing with your children.

Get moving. You’ll be surprised how much you move when travelling to and from work and moving around an office building. You need to replicate the movement to prevent yourself from becoming sedentary. I’d recommend that you:

  1. Purchase a standing desk

  2. Take phone calls standing up

  3. Go for a walk

Keep away from the fridge. It’s going to be tempting to snack but avoid the temptation to consume junk. If you’re a snacker, make sure you have something healthy at hand and make sure it’s not something that will deplete your energy such as sugary snacks.

Use an internet blocking tool such as abc, and add in the sites that make you distracted such as the social media favourites (Facebook, Twitter), Netflix and News sites. This will help keep you focused and stop you from getting distracted

Use the time you save from your commute to do something that you want to do but haven’t had time for; such as learning something new or a side project.

Use noise cancelling headphones to stop sounds around the home to distract you, especially when the children arrive home from school.

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