Tips to avoid distraction and stay productive

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GRAHAM KREWINGHAUS

Staying productive can be difficult given the many distractions that accompany staying home.

Working at home during quarantine can be difficult. Whether it be getting phone calls from friends, your family popping in your room to say hi or the urge to check social media, distractions are everywhere. It is hard to just sit down, get focused and be productive. But there are many ways to overcome those distractions and get work done.

 

Tip #1:

Separate your working life from your non-working life. For example, try not to get up in the morning and dive immediately into your work. You have a lot of time on your hands, so use some of it to fully wake up, eat breakfast and get ready for the day before tackling your work.

 

 

Tip #2:
Create physically different spaces for working and relaxing. Try to avoid doing work sitting in your bed or on the couch in front of the TV. Instead, do work at a desk or maybe at the kitchen table. This way, when you are at your designated workplace, your brain will know that it is time to be productive and you will be in a better mindset.

 

Tip #3:

Make sure your workspace is neat. Cleaning up and decluttering your work environment will do wonders for your concentration. If your desk or workspace is piled high with books or work, it is often very distracting and breaks your focus easily. Tidying up your work area will help you fixate on your work.

 

Tip #4:

Stay organized and create lists. Writing out a list with pen and paper of all of the tasks you need to complete for that day helps you sort out your thoughts and keeps your mind less cluttered. Furthermore, the act of physically crossing out a finished task is very satisfying and can be an incentive to complete more work. If you have a bigger task that will take more time, try splitting it up into smaller, more manageable tasks to make it less stressful or daunting. Also, having a more structured plan of what you’re tackling for that day is really beneficial. Living without the structured schedule of work or school can be a big adjustment, so creating one for yourself not only eases the transition from working elsewhere to working at home, it also keeps you on track with your work and eliminates distractions.

 

Tip #5:

Take a break. It not only helps your concentration and productivity, but mental health as well. Set aside time to make yourself lunch, go on a walk or do some at-home exercises. Giving your mind time to rest and be away from work for a bit will prevent burnout and tiredness. Going outside can help clear and refresh your mind, which ultimately helps with productivity, along with avoiding cabin fever.

 

 

 

Tip #6:

While you should definitely take advantage of this time away from work or school to catch up on sleep, maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is vital. This can look different for everyone, but going to bed or waking up too late can impair our ability to focus and do work. Getting more sleep is encouraged, but be sure to keep it balanced and regular.

 

 

Tip #7:

Lastly, eliminate distractions connected to your phone and social media. Set aside a few hours in the day to shut off your phone entirely and power through your work. Constantly receiving notifications diverts your attention away from your work, so if your phone is out of sight and turned off, you’re likely to get more work done. Instead of going back and forth between work and screen time throughout the day, give yourself a stopping point for the day to put away all your work and relax.

 

This transition is difficult for everyone, and adapting to a different working lifestyle is perhaps the hardest part about it. Taking advantage of the extra time you have in the day and sticking to a schedule can really help you be productive and acclimate to this new way of living.