Anyone else out there feel like some days working from home are like riding the struggle bus hard? There’s a lot of days where I crush my list and can knock a lot of stuff off my list. And others, it feels like I can’t keep focused on any one thing. Working from home has a lot of benefits but the focus piece can be a total motivation killer if I’m not careful. Over the last year and a half, I’ve found a few things help me refocus and keep track of what I need to accomplish. Maybe they’ll help you too!
So, this one is super personal. Some of my friends can’t listen to music while they work. But I can. And I find with something on in the background, I can zone into what I need to. It really just becomes noise at some points, but it’s helpful. I don’t hear clocks ticking or the animals breathing. I just listen to some of my favorite albums and write. I also use it as a way to set “timers” for myself (see the next tip!).
Set timers for yourself!
For me, sometimes it’s actual timer on my phone or sometimes it’s the end of an album I’m listening to. I use these end times to remind myself to get up. Being at home, my “breaks” are usually about getting a snack, refilling my water bottle, or throwing a load of laundry in. I try to walk for a few minutes before sitting back down. Sometimes just that simple stretch can be huge in helping me refocus for another hour or two. We aren’t meant to just sit for five hours straight! Give your brain (and your eyes) a break.
This one has been tough for me. I thought for a long time i had a great organizational system for managing the work from my clients. But I’ve now found over the last 6 months that my new system is way better! I look crazy with a lot of lists, but they all help my brain keep track of what’s going on. For me, I use Trello
to manage where my clients’ social media scheduling ends, my various blog ideas, and other notes to myself. I use a weekly notepad for listing out which blogs will go live when for clients (and so I know which I’ve added to their bill too!), and then I have my Simplified Planner for overall to-dos, like writing newsletters, random tasks that come up, and other personal to-dos that aren’t recurring daily or weekly (like calling a doctor or renewing my car license). For household tasks, I have my card system, which I’ll write about later. But I’ve found that having a system for me and my work keeps my brain way less frantic and allows me to focus on what I really need to do.
Everyone organizes differently, but finding a system that works for you is imperative. Mine is a combination of written and electronic. Different lists are for different tasks. From the outside, it may seem like a lot but it keeps me from feeling unfocused. Using music and setting timers to get up and move also really helps me be able to make the most of the limited hours I get at my desk everyday. I’d love to hear what works for you!
Need help organizing your workload or looking to outsource some of your tasks? Kristina is a virtual assistant located in northern Virginia who works with business owners nationwide to help them find more time to do what they love. She focuses on blogging, social media scheduling, and content creation.