Our new normal can be a struggle for someone who is not accustomed to working remotely. Just like the article states, “it can be touch to channel the same level of focus that you might have in an office setting.” If anyone is like me, although I am used to working remotely, I am not used to doing so while teaching school and having kids run around, so staying focused is something I MUST do to get my work done! Here are a few steps the article suggest to help you stay focused:
Establish clear working hours
Not only have I done this with myself, I have done this with my kids also. I start between 7-8am, the kids start between 9-10 am and we eat lunch between 11:30 am – 1pm to give us all a much needed break and boost!
Close non-work-related tabs
This is a must for us all to be productive. Online shopping is SO easy for me to get distracted with. (Haha) The kids also get distracted with wanting to watch TV or if it is a nice day, wanting to go outside!
Write things down
I have ALWAYS lived by this rule. Writing my to do list down and crossing things off when they are done makes me feel accomplished!
Tidy Up First
This is for sure a major distraction for me! Dirty dishes, a pile of laundry, or a cluttered desk will be the first things to keep me from being productive! First thing each morning I tidy up, start laundry, organize my materials for the day, and lay out dinner (because who doesn’t love to check that off their to do list early!?)
Change out of your PJ’s
This is one I sometimes do and sometimes do not do.. while I am guilty of wanting to be comfy while I work, I do find if I shower and put on some actual clothes it helps me feel better, in return, making me more productive!
Establish a designated work area
Many people, like myself, do not have an actual office. I utilize my kitchen table. I always make sure that my area is tidy and only has my work things on it. I can also help the kids if we are all working together at the table. If they see me being productive, I am setting the example of what is expected of them also!
Eat your meals in a different room
While it is hard for me to do this since I am utilizing my kitchen table as my home office, I do make it a point to clear the table of work things so we can have lunch. Then we set up again once lunch is eaten and cleaned up!
Step outside to rest
Anytime it is nice outside, we are sure to take a few breaks and get out and stretch our legs! Weather it is 15 mins on the swingest or a quick bike ride anything helps to refocus once we are back inside!
Take a real lunch break
I love this one! Many people will just work right through lunch while eating and look up and are exhausted because they have not had a real break. We put work away and eat. Whether we all chat or watch a show together while we eat, it is a nice break from our work to help us refocus when we get back to the daily tasks.
Start your day with mindfulness/Incorporate bursts of movement
This one is new to me. I have recently started working out for about 10-20 mins a day to help with practicing self-care! I can tell a big difference already!
Open the window
I LOVE when I can open the windows in the house and let the fresh air come in. Not only is it a mood booster for me, it helps freshen up the house and the fresh air seems to be contagious in helping everyone’s spirits!
Staying connected to teammates
One of the things you have to learn quickly when working with a remote team is to stay connected! I love group chats! Not only do we text a few times a day, I chat on the phone a few times a week with people from my team, and we all do a video zoom call once a week which helps keep us all connected!
Whether this is your normal, or your normal for now, I hope these tips and trick will be beneficial for you as we all work together to stay safe and healthy!