Updated January 2022
How to stay focused while working from home is one of my favourite subjects. The reason being, as I encourage you to do certain things it is a reminder to myself to continue to practice what I preach, as the saying goes.
For the past 12 years, I have worked from home in two different types of business. One business required very strict focus. The other allows for a little leniency such as time away from my computer. A small amount of time-out from any job can only lead to keeping well in mind and body.
It is a well-known fact among those working from home that after every 25 minutes, a 5 minutes break should be taken away from the office desk.
When we are absorbed with a particular task, those 5-minute breaks may not happen. But, whenever possible, it is sensible to move away from the desk.
Working at Home for Yourself or an Employer
People who work from home are not always working in their own business. It could be they are employed by a Company but it suits the employee and the employer for a particular job to do be done in the employee’s home.
There could be many reasons and we won’t go there now. However, I am aware this happens. In fact, it used to happen many years ago when owners of a small business would pay people to produce clothing and various items in their own homes. A friend of mine worked from home machine hemming handkerchiefs and tea towels. That type of work was plentiful and enjoyed by many, particularly parents with young children.
These days when we think of working at home, it is normal to believe the work will be performed on a computer or similar device. It is not necessarily the case and much depends on the global location.
Whatever the work being done in the home or how conscientious we are, without good planning and focus on the tasks to be done before we know it we can be running behind.
Keeping a Strong Mindset
I’m sure the majority of those who experience success would agree that without a strong mindset, keeping focused on the task at hand would not be easy.
For instance, when I operated my solo virtual secretarial business from home I could not afford to lose a minute. Ninety per cent of the time the work I did was wanted ‘like yesterday’.
It was also intensive work such as audio transcription and proofreading of educational documents, not to mention other tasks. Strict working hours, with regular planning, required strong focus.
Whether you work at home for an employer or run your own service-based business, you will have a dedicated commitment to other people
Working Independently From Home
I now work from home in my affiliate marketing business with no one to answer to other than myself.
Although this is entirely different to when I was a service provider, I still need to keep a strong focus. Without planning and focusing on achieving the necessary tasks, my affiliate marketing business would not be successful.
For anyone reading this post who is building a similar type of business, do make sure you plan and keep focused on achieving the goals you have set for your business.
Expanding Your Independent Work from Home Business
Staying with affiliate marketing as an example:
When you reach a level of success you may be qualified to start a business where you can build and manage websites for other businesses.
At this stage, you are no longer an independent worker. You are providing a service and will need to ensure keeping that level of focus so very necessary to a service provider.
7 Tips on How to Stay Focused While Working from Home
1 – Provide Yourself With an Area Especially for Your Work
If you have a spare room to use as your office or workspace, it is simple to set yourself up. If you need to work in a space within a room, make your surroundings comfortable with an adequate working area.
2 – Plan Each Week in Advance
- Decide the number of days in a week you will give to your business.
- Also, the number of hours in each day, allows you sufficient breaks away from your desk to refresh your mind.
- Deal with any challenging matters early in the day, as that allows for a clear mind to work on normal tasks for the rest of the day.
- Interruptions may happen unexpectedly. Deal with them as it suits you. Do not allow these to discourage you as they are part of daily life!
- At the end of your working day, set your tasks for the next day.
3 – Pay Attention to How You Dress
Some people promoting a work from home business say you can even work in your Pj’s. I do not recommend such attire while working. We don’t go out to work in our nightwear, so why live that way with a home business.
You never know who may come unexpectedly knocking on your door with a request for work to be done by you! It would not only be embarrassing, but it also would not reflect a reliable business image.
Dressing ourselves each day as we would when going out to work helps towards keeping a businesslike standard. However great it is to work at home if we let our standards go, including dress standards, this will reflect on our work and the quality we produce.
Although some say Pj’s are fine I recommend what hundreds of others say ‘Dress for Success.‘
4 – Meet With Other Business People
Whatever your type of business, make sure you meet other people regularly. This is an absolute necessity as it will help you with business ideas, learning new techniques and just general discussion along the line of business.
Make sure you include this in your weekly planning.
Business to Business, or B2B meetings as they are called, are available throughout most countries.
The Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand hold meetings usually monthly in most cities or regions.
Business Networking International (BNI) is worldwide. Weekly meetings take place usually set at 7 am. BNI is invaluable and certainly worth applying for membership. Each Chapter will accept one member only from each business category. BNI has a Facebook page which is great for members communicating worldwide.
Whatever type of business meetings are available in your area, I recommend enquiring and requesting an opportunity to visit. BNI is usually happy to accept visitors.
5 – Plan Time-Out From Your Business
In addition to attending business meetings, plan some time out either weekly, fortnightly or monthly to have time with friends. Perhaps meet for a coffee, or take a little longer and meet for Lunch. It is important to take a break from your office. This helps to revitalize your energy and refresh your mind.
6 – Short Breaks Away From Your Desk
I am aware that several studies have been done on how often to take a break away from your desk. One recommendation that came from a study is every 25 minutes stop your work and take a 5-minute break. This is something I try to do, but admit I fail more often than I succeed with these breaks.
Taking a break from my computer happens when I feel the need to do so.
If you are new to working at home, I recommend you start with a plan of taking breaks away from your desk. Try the 5-minute break every 25 minutes. If it works for you, that’s great. Otherwise, make a plan according to what suits you best.
7 – Television and What You Need to Know for Your Benefit
Yes, I too read ‘don’t watch TV when you should be working. I admit I found that a little hard with one program I really enjoyed watching. It showed each morning at 10 am. ‘I’ll just sneak this in and call it a coffee break.’ So I tried it for a while and soon realized I didn’t need that program. I could live without it and give that time to my business. One hour per day and pretend it’s a coffee break. Who was I am kidding!
There are many more tips I could add here, and I’ve read more on other websites.
However, I’ve stated only these 7 tips because they are from my own experience. They are what I’ve done, or do, in my independent affiliate marketing business.
I wish you great success with your business, be it working for an employer, providing a service or working independently.
Remember to keep that strong focus.
And if you would like to learn about working independently from home, you are very welcome to read my review of the Wealthy Affiliate program.
Please leave your comment and questions below.
10 thoughts on “How to Stay Focused While Working From Home”
Great article. Very well written and informative. Everyone who has a home-based business should read this article. I like all of your tips on how to stay focused especially “Plan Each Week in Advance” and “Pay Attention to How You Dress”. I do both of these myself and will start doing the others.
Hi Peter, I’m pleased you agree with the seven tips listed in the post. It’s good to know you are using similar methods in your work day. Without forward planning important matters can easily get overlooked. Good planning and dressing in a business like manner is a great combination for leading to success.
Wow, such a great article. I wholeheartedly agree that you need a work space separate from the main living room. Kids, TVs and video games going in the background just create massive distractions all-round, causing a massive burden on your productivity, especially over a long period of time. You have some great tips here, I’m going to take them all on board!
Brandon, you add a valid point which is something I didn’t consider when creating the post. That is ‘kids, TVs and video games’ in the background. My family have long grown up and flown the nest, so I no longer have those distractions to cope with. TV is fully under my control and I’ve watched fewer and fewer programs in preference to working on my business.
Thank you for visiting this post and leaving your comment.
Great tips in this article! I especially like the one about “dressing for success”. I agree, a work-from-home business is like any other business in that you have to plan, set goals, and stay on track. I, myself, would like to implement more of the suggestions you mentioned, especially in regards to planning out my weeks. Thanks for encouragement!
Hi Janna, thank you for leaving your comment. Dressing for success is one of the most important values of a home based business, and particularly so if you market locally as well as online. Even though a business address may not be published, people have the knack of tracking down a business if they want something done in a hurry, and your business has been recommended to them. I have experienced such occasions and was always grateful I was dressed appropriately for business.
I’m pleased you enjoyed some of the other tips and wish you all the best with implementing those you choose to improve your business.
I agree strongly with these. I have noticed I have more focus when I don’t stay in my PJ’s all day, especially when I am working. It somehow feels like I am being more productive and not “lazy.” Do you have similar feelings about this?
Hi Gabriella, I most definitely feel as you do in respect to dressing correctly for business. My Pj’s don’t do it for me. I’m one who can’t connect night attire and business. They just don’t go together.
Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving your comment. It is much appreciated.
This is a great list. Working from home takes a lot of motivation because you don’t have anyone to keep you on track. I have never heard of number 3. I am going to implement these tips and see how they change my work performance. I like scheduling my week, I admit I don’t do that either, I just work every day as I can. Thanks for this list!
Hi Melissa, thanks for leaving your comment. I’m pleased to know you are going implement some of the tips. Everyone has their way of working and sometimes I slip into an unregulated space for a while. That’s usually due to work overload. It takes time to get back into working to a schedule, but it’s incredible the extra work that can be achieved with planning and keeping to the plan.