Homeworking – How to Remain Focussed

Picture of Tom Greet

Tom Greet

πŸ’₯πŸ‰The Rugby-Playing Recruiter!

In the last few years, hybrid and home working have both become very popular. Whilst there are a few out there who are in careers where it’s almost impossible to do their jobs remotely, as well as those who just love being office based, many seem to now be used to working either a hybrid or remote model with their current companies.

Now, 3 years ago, I was very open about how I felt about hybrid/remote working. To me, as a relatively alien concept, I just couldn’t see how being remote could be anything other than distracting. I thought that I would never be able to do it, as my job performance would diminish as a result of working from home.

And then the pandemic hit. And I was forced to start working from home for the sake of my health and others around me. In fact, nearly everyone in the recruitment industry had to do this.

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Some were furloughed (like myself), but when I was unfurloughed, I was now in a different city, over 100 miles from my office, and had no choice but to work remotely. I had a laptop, VOIP system, LinkedIn and a kitchen table. And it was weird, very weird.

But in reality, this is ALMOST everything you need to do the job. There are still some alterations that need to be made, both in the workspace and mindset, for you to be able to do the job to the best of your abilities.

In this article, I will detail just how a taught myself to remain focused when working completely remotely. I have tried to tailor my day around all the following points, and am now in a routine where I am 100% comfortable being fully remote within recruitment. If these tips help just one person who may be struggling, then it was worth taking the time to write this article.

So, let’s go for it! Here’s few helpful tips for remaining focused and productive when working from home:

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1.) Start The Day Right

The easy thing to do, if you start work at 8:30am, for example, is to roll out of bed at 8:25 and go to your workspace. And I would be lying if I said that I’d never done this in the past few years.

However, that simply won’t give you the motivation and concentration that you need. Typically, it can take between 30 and 90 minutes to wake up properly in the morning, so I’d always suggest waking up before 7am in order to maximise your productivity for the day. Oh, and have breakfast. There’s a reason it’s called ‘The Most Important Meal Of The Day’

2.) Shower And Dress Properly

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Hands up – how many of you have started work in your Pyjamas? πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ. I’m assuming most of you. However, the mind up until this point will associate pyjamas with relaxation and sleeping. So, therefore, you may not be totally focused on work if you’re wearing these.

I’d say wake up early, have a shower and dress as if you’re going to the office. My own trick is to put shoes on as well, as I wouldn’t be barefoot in an office, so why would I be when working from home?

3.) Exercise

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Whether this is before work, during your lunch break or at the end of the day, this is so important for two very different reasons.

Reason 1: Exercise is vital for improving your overall mood and better cardio fitness increases your energy levels (obviously), which in turn will mean you will be able to concentrate on your job for longer and not feel as tired sooner.

Reason 2: It gives you time away from your desk, and indeed your home, to have a new environment and not have to think about work for an hour or so. Sometimes, you just need to reset your mind to get back the focus.

I personally like to go on lunch, as it’s right in the middle of the day and breaks it up nicely.

4.) Take Breaks From Your Computer

Staring at a screen for 9 hours a day can not only be bad for the eyes, but it can also give you a headache and scramble your mind. Therefore, it’s important to step away on occasion.

The way I do this is by utilising the above – I go to the gym on lunch, alongside a 15-minute tea break at 10:30am and 3:30pm. Luckily, my other half works from home too, so we can have a natter about work during this time. And that brings me to my next point:

5.) Remain Sociable

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It’s no secret that working from home can give you that feeling of ‘Cabin Fever’, where you feel isolated and have no one to talk to.

If you feel like this, arrange to have chats during the day with your teammates, or fellow industry professionals. Sometimes, just talking to someone about nothing in particular is not only a good way again to break up the day, but it also allows you to maintain that social element as if you were at the office.

6.) Stay Hydrated And Eat Properly

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It’s a simple one, but an effective one. Drink 2 litres of water per day whilst at your desk, and make sure you have a decent lunch.

I personally meal prep all my lunches as if I were heading to the office every day. They’re in the fridge and are ready to reheat at lunchtime. This also saves time on your lunch break, so that you can focus on relaxing at that time.

7.) Have A Dedicated Work Space!

Now this one is not as easy to do if you live in a flat or smaller house. But if you have a spare room, I’d suggest thinking about converting it into a home office.

This will be your work sanctuary. It’s somewhere that, at the end of the day, you can just shut the door and not have to think about it for the rest of the evening. It is also a mindset trick too – if all you do in that room is your job, then there’ll be minimal distractions when you’re in there.

8.) Keep Your Personal Mobile Out Of Sight

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Again, this a tricky one to manage if you don’t have a work phone. But keeping your phone beyond arms reach will stop you from browsing social media, Amazon, eBay and just about anywhere else during the working day. Leaving you completely focused on the task at hand.

9.) Have the Radio on

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Every single office that I’ve worked at has music or at least the radio on. So why not have it on at home? Music that you enjoy can be a great motivator and a mood-booster

And there you have it, a few helpful hints that I use myself to make home working as productive as possible! If you have read this and have any others that you think may help, please feel free to leave them in the comments. I would love that.

Thanks for reading, and have an amazing day!

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