How to Stay Focused When You’re Working from Home
- When you want to be as productive as possible, working from home isn’t always ideal.
- Changes to your workspace, adjustments to your work habits, scheduling breaks and taking focus supplements can all help boost your concentration.
- Follow these tips to optimize your work-from-home setup and crush your to-do list.
If you had to rush into your work-from-home arrangement, you probably didn’t get to work out the kinks. And unless you live in a cave with WiFi, your home isn’t a distraction-free zone. Does your neighbor’s dog start an hour-long barking fit at 2:00 p.m. when the mail is delivered? Are you wondering how to focus when you keep getting distracted by your phone/laundry/bed?
Real talk: You probably need a few changes to make the best of your new normal.
Set aside time to try the things on this list, and you might save yourself tons of hours in the future. Small changes in your space, process and ability to concentrate can make a huge difference in your productivity.
How to focus better when you’re working from home
1. Optimize your workspace
Make sure your dedicated workspace is somewhere different than where you sleep or eat. To reduce the potential for ergonomic or technical problems, invest some time to optimize your office set-up.
Get rid of distractions: First, put your phone in the other room. According to an Udemy workplace study, 62% of those surveyed admitted they spend an hour of the workday distracted by their phone. With no boss looking over your shoulder, that distraction is even more appealing. Facing a wall can also help you stay on task, as opposed to the temptation of a window or a hallway.
Check desk ergonomics: The Mayo Clinic’s how-to guide on office ergonomics has a great diagram to help you align your workspace to avoid physical problems for you down the line. It offers gems like raising your monitor to eye level and adding a footrest — tips that can help you avoid feeling creaky by the end of the day.
Block out the noise: To avoid having your meeting drowned out by the sound of the garbage truck, invest in headphones with a good mic. For productive periods, find some soothing white noise to help you focus. In one study, kids with attention problems found listening to binaural white noise (noise recorded with two microphones to create a 3-D sound effect) made it easier to get through their homework. Try this free binaural beats playlist.
2. Focus on one task at a time
So you think you can get the laundry done while writing a long report? Think again.
A Stanford study showed that not only are people better at doing one thing at a time, but those who thought they were good multitaskers had more difficulty staying organized and were slower at switching tasks when they multitasked. Another study of 36 emergency physicians observed that interruptions, multitasking and poor sleep were associated with more mistakes.
Instead, write a to-do list, and structure your list so you can tackle your highest-priority items, one at a time. A recent study showed that making a simple list of unfinished tasks clears our heads and eliminates the anxiety that can surround unfinished goals.
3. Take a break
Stepping away from work clears your mind to help you get a fresh perspective. Whether you use a time-management app or a system like the Pomodoro Method or the Rule of 52 and 17, make work breaks a priority. That’s the case at Bulletproof — everyone has a block on their calendar from 12-1 p.m. so people can take a walk, exercise, grab lunch and come back to work feeling refreshed.
After returning from a break, you might find you’ve suddenly got the solution to the problem you’d been working on for hours. Stockholm University researchers studied people given a 2.5 hours off work during the work week and found that those who spent the time exercising were more productive at their jobs — and even sick less often.
Related: Constantly Snacking? Nutrition Expert Shares How to Eat Mindfully
4. Do more with your morning coffee
The easiest thing you can do to power up the day is to add a cup of Bulletproof Coffee to your routine.
Whether you make it when you roll out of bed or during your first break of the day, this creamy, frothy drink tastes like a latte and kickstarts your brain. It contains Brain Octane MCT oil, which rapidly converts into ketones to power your brain with high-performance fuel.
Bonus: The quality fats in grass-fed butter and MCT oil keep you full and curb cravings so you can power through work until lunch.
5. Take a focus supplement
If you’re having trouble concentrating, you might be tempted to reach for energy drinks and supplements.
It’s true that caffeine can help you feel more alert. But too much caffeine (more than approximately four cups of coffee) can tip the scales in the wrong direction, making you feel more anxious, jittery and irritable. The other problem with caffeine — if you have it too late in the day, good luck getting a good night’s sleep.
Do focus supplements work? Reach for a focus supplement that works on your neurotransmitters — the chemical messengers that help your brain perform at its peak. You also want to look for ingredients that support antioxidant mechanisms in your brain and help you think more clearly. And if you want to take it any time of day, you want a supplement made without stimulants.
Bulletproof Smart Mode covers all the bases, and then some.
This holistic, cognitive-enhancing supplement contains a unique blend of 10 brain-supporting nutrients to promote concentration, focus, memory and processing power. Its science-backed formula features pantothenic acid for brain neurotransmitter support, the amino acid N-acetyl L-tyrosine for stress and exhaustion, artichoke leaf extract polyphenols to promote brain cell function and rosemary extract for memory.
What does that mean for you? Take one serving to get in the zone and turn your to-do list into to-done.
If you’re working from home for the near future, at least you can make the most of it. With the right adjustments, your workspace will have you working smarter and more focused than you did in the office — maybe even enough to even squeak a midday workout into the routine.
Read next: 9 Morning Habits to Level-Up Your Day During Self-Isolation
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