How to stay focused while working from home

Working from home has been proven to relieve stress in employees of all types of professions. Freelancers probably do it the most often, but working from home has increasingly become a full-time employee perk. While it can be relaxing to have no commute time, maintaining focus while at home can be difficult. Here are a few tips to consider.

1. Plan out your day

This tip can help you out during an office work day too. Make a plan for the day and budget your time accordingly. Say you'll work on that expense report for two hours and then focus on a new proposal for the two hours after that. Scheduling your tasks throughout the day will help make sure you get things done. The last thing you want is to look at the clock at 1 p.m. and realize you've barely gotten anything done. Without the office setting, it can be easy to slip and lose focus. Your plan will keep you on track.

2. Try not to sleep in

While it might be tempting to sleep through your usual commute time, don't do it. You'll only throw off your sleep cycle and end up being less productive throughout the day. Instead of sleeping in, use that time to ease into your day. Make a nice breakfast for yourself and read a book. Or go for an early morning run. Use the time however you feel will relax you and prepare you for the rest of the day. Taking some time for yourself in the morning will help you feel less stressed and rushed in the morning.

3. Work from a desk, not your bed

The best perk of working from home is never leaving your bed, right? Nope. Working in your bed will definitely not help your concentration. Instead, move to a desk or a table. Simulate your usual work station as much as you can. Your brain is already trained to work in a specific environment. It'll be working overtime trying to concentrate in your comfortable bed and you'll ultimately end up being less productive. Working at a desk solves this problem. If that doesn't work, try standing up.

4. Get dressed like usual

Especially if you have any video conferences scheduled, get dressed. You don't have to put on a full suit, but at least change out of your pajamas. Once again, your brain is trained to relax in your PJs and work in your office clothes. Don't make it work twice as hard just to be comfortable. You don't have to put on your high heels or business shoes, but having a full outfit on will improve your concentration.

5. Take a power nap

Right after lunch, your body generally wants to rest. In Spain, a post-lunch nap is the cultural norm. Since you're working from home, you can give into that temptation. Lay down and rest for about thirty minutes. You'll wake up feeling refreshed. Taking a short power nap will help you refocus on your work throughout the afternoon.

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