5 Ways to Stay Focused & Motivated While Working from Home

If lately work has felt like the least interesting part of your day, here are some tips to stay on task

  • Accept that right now isn’t normal, physically remove distractions, try to chunk your time, give yourself a fake commute, and speed through your email with Edison Mail
  • Download Edison Mail on iOS, Mac, and Android.

The world looks a lot different now than we last published a blog in honor of World Productivity Day. As we enter the middle of the year, to say 2020 has been a lot would be an understatement. But despite it all, life still seems to move on somehow. Assignments are still due, projects still have deadlines, emails still need to be replied to, and all of this leaves no time for doomscrolling through the latest news on social media. As we all (the writer included) have been having some issues concentrating on the tasks at hand, advice on how to remain focused and motivated seemed more important now than ever. So read below for some tips on how to remain focused when work can feel like one of the least interesting parts of your day.

  1. Remember that this isn’t normal

As you’ve likely been having a difficult time concentrating during the workday, it’s important to remember that none of this is normal. You’re not just trying to work from home, you’re at home in the midst of a global pandemic with worldwide unrest trying to do work. With that in mind, it’s important to forgive yourself for not being as on top of your work as you used to be in precedented times.

2. Remove distractions

Do you find yourself checking your phone for “just 5 minutes” but before you know it you’ve spent over an hour on Reddit or Twitter? Sometimes your will to fight the social media doomscroll just isn’t strong enough. So for those who can’t seem to fight the urge to pick up their phones, the answer is simple — physically remove the distraction. Maybe this means physically chucking it across the room or maybe it means walking to the other side of your house, placing it on a counter, and shutting a door between you and your phone. If you find yourself still reaching for it instinctively, it could help to put something good there instead like a glass of water so you stay hydrated.

3. Chunk your time

If you can’t seem to focus for very long, try to chunk your time. If you’re able to resist the temptation of using your phone, apps like Forest can act as a peaceful timer. How Forest works are that you set a certain amount of time you want to stay focused, and on your screen, Forest will show you the planting and growth of a tree. If you stay focused, the tree grows, if you touch your phone before time is up, your tree dies. On top of that, they partner with Trees for the Future to plant real forests, so your hard work is doubly rewarded.

4. Give yourself a fake commute

Many of us were used to our work and home lives being separated by a commute. Without this commute, this separation, you may have found that you’re carrying your work stress with you in your home. While some of us have a separate office space to do work, others have had to make do with strange setups on couches, on the floor, or just somewhere else in the bedroom. As studies have shown, carrying this much stress with you can lead to issues with productivity and focus. This is why having a daily ritual to signify the start and end of the workday is helpful to create a mental divide between work hours and rest hours. Maybe it’s as simple as making the effort to change out of your pajamas every morning or taking a walk around your neighborhood before and after your workday or at the end of the day putting away all work-related items. Regardless of what you choose to do, a mental commute can do wonders for work and home separation.

5. Handle one of the biggest productivity stoppers — email

Email is both one of the best ways to get work things done and also one of the biggest impediments to productivity. A study showed that people spend a whopping 50% of their WFH hours on email. As the creators of an email app, we love that people are using their email, but we also know that having to handle email is a daily stressor for many. This is why we’ve inserted many shortcuts for people to use in order to successfully manage their inbox.

If you’re using our Mac app, we’ve added in plenty of ways to help you get to inbox zero faster. Within our app, you can customize what kind of shortcut keys you want to use. We offer Edison Mail’s default keyboard shortcuts, those standards for other mail apps, and even allow you to design your own so you can breeze through your inbox in a snap.

On top of that, for those who are tired of the repetitive task of having to rewrite the same standard email over and over again, we offer Templates on both mobile and desktop. With these Templates, you can leave placeholders for whatever variable changes, while keeping everything else constant. So say you’re a freelancer tired of sending the same email about your rates, you could create a Template that looks like:

Hi [recipient’s first name],

Thanks for reaching out about [project]. My rates for [type of project] are $[xx] an hour. If that sounds good to you, I can get started shortly.

Best,

Joanne

Download Edison Mail on iOS, Mac, and Android.

Since launching on iOS in April 2016, Edison Mail has blocked over 1 billion read receipt tracking attempts for its users, sent 14 million+ flight notifications (i.e. on-time vs. delayed, gate changes, etc.), provided shipping alerts for over 115 million packages, and organized over 660 million receipts. If you have any recommendations or requests for features you think will help make email more enjoyable, tweet us @Edison_Apps or email us at mailsupport@edison.tech.

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