Working From Home: 6 Ways to Stay Focused
As yesterday’s snowstorm brought us up to 13.2 inches of snow in some parts of New York City, many of us were urged to work from home. To those who don’t have the luxury of working from home regularly, this probably seemed like the best thing ever and super motivating. But by the time 6 o’clock rolled around, they may have found themselves feeling pretty lazy and unproductive instead, as they spent most of their day getting caught up on social media, watching shows on Netflix and answering emails here and there.
So how do you stay focused when you’re working from home? Here are some ways I’ve found to work best for me, as someone who does it pretty frequently in the real estate business:
1 – Get comfortable but not too comfortable
Let’s be honest, a lot of us didn’t bother to change out of our pajamas, do our hair or put on makeup. And I’m definitely guilty of this sometimes as well. But in order to be truly productive, going through your morning routine will help keep you in the mindset of it being an actual workday. You might not put on shoes and a suit jacket, but you do want to be polished and ready for business.
2 – Make a list of top priorities for the day
This will help you stay on track. Although distractions are bound to happen — like reaching for that remote or playing with your dog that’s thrilled you’re home — having a list to hold yourself accountable to will ensure high-priority tasks get completed. To take it another step further, schedule times to complete these tasks on your calendar along with reminders.
3 – Get the distractions out of your system
Take a picture of the snow for Instagram, cook yourself a five-star breakfast and then get back to work! Enjoy the change, but not for too long. Try not to put the TV on, as that’s a surefire way to get sucked into a Netflix binge.
4 – Create a dedicated workspace
I find it important to aim your sight of vision toward a window or wall. My workstation is set up so that I’m looking out of a window while I send out emails, schedule showings and pull together listings for clients. There’s not too much going on outside to distract me enough to impact my work. Now if I was facing my living room, I might see something that could pull me away from my work.
5 – Stay in communication
It’s important for your colleagues to be able to easily reach you. Since we use Google Apps at my real estate firm, I like to make sure Google Chat or “Gchat” is on in case I need to talk to someone. Sending an email might seem like a waste for a quick question, and a phone call or text message can be ignored. If you’re on an instant messaging platform, it’s quick and easy to respond and also hard to ignore because the sender knows you’re online.
6 – Take breaks
For the workaholics who don’t have an issue with being focused because they’re so focused that they forget you need to get up to stretch and drink water, you’re working from home today — enjoy it! Perhaps make yourself your favorite tea, it’ll keep you feeling hydrated and the two-step process of boiling water and then pouring it over your tea bag will guarantee you get up at least twice.
Hope you found these tips helpful! If you or someone you know needs the help of a real estate professional, let me know! I’d love to help.