Working from home is something most people have had to suddenly get used to this year. For many it has been easy and they don’t want it to change. For others, it has been a long, hard slog trying to get into a routine and work in a way that doesn’t sort of bleed into every other area of your life until you’re not sure where work ends and where your life begins.

If you’re still struggling to figure out how to work effectively from home, or you would like to try it at some point, knowing how to stay focused and get things done is key. Below, you will find a number of smart ways you can increase your focus and productivity when working from home – without really trying. 

Take a look for yourself and see how you can become more productive without trying too hard!

1. Take Time To Get Into The Zone 

Don’t immediately hop onto your computer and wonder why you’re not in the zone. Although you might feel guilty for not spending the entire hours of 9-5 working, there’s really no need to do this when you work from home. 

Take time to get into the zone by developing a routine that you enjoy. Your morning routine could consist of anything, from yoga to reading a chapter of a book. Just make sure you thoroughly enjoy it and that it makes you feel like starting your day. Starting your day on your own terms is important and allows you to feel more in control of your time.

2. Put On Some Headphones 

Headphones have been proven to help us get more focused – even when there’s no music playing! Putting on some headphones could help you to get in the right headspace to work. If you want to play some classical music or music that helps you to focus, then that could help even more. However, any music that helps you to feel ‘in the zone’ is absolutely fine.

Noise cancelling headphones can be great if you live in a noisy household and don’t have a home office. Depending on the work you’re doing, you could even try out a podcast. A great podcast always makes the day go faster. 

3. Choose 3 Things 

If you fill your to-do list with things that aren’t a necessity, you will likely get overwhelmed and struggle to get things done that day (unless you’re like me and add a couple easy things to accomplish so you can stroke those off and feel accomplished!).

By only putting the things on your list that you really need to do, you will be able to prioritize. Just pick three of the most important things you want to do that day and focus on them. If you complete them, you can give yourself a huge pat on the back and reward yourself with something you enjoy. Plus, if you do happen to get anything else done, it’ll be a big bonus and you’ll end up feeling even more accomplished.

Don’t overwhelm yourself, even when working from home. Your worth is not tied to your productivity, so don’t burn yourself out to prove something. 

increase productivity

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4. Schedule Your Breaks 

Having breaks is just as important as scheduling time to work. You might spend longer working, but that doesn’t actually mean you are being productive or getting more done.

Figure out how you work best. Should you have a 30 minute break after working for an hour, or a 10 minute break after working for 30 minutes? Some people do better with shorter, more frequent breaks as it helps them to stay focused. If you know exactly when your next break is going to be, you’ll be able to easily keep your attention on the thing you’re supposed to be doing. Be generous with your break times and don’t feel guilty for it! 

If you are spending a lot of time staring at a computer screen it is important to rest your eyes. So while on your break try not to look at and other screens. If you need glasses when at a computer invest in some comfortable glasses, there are many websites you can find great designs.

5. Have A Change Of Scenery 

Even working from home can become tiresome if you never get a change of scenery. Research the Work from anywhere (WFA) trend and see if you become inspired to get out of the house or even just to change rooms. This small trick is very psychological and can have a big impact on how much you get done. A few places you could try:

  • Your bed (some freelancers swear they get distracted less in bed)
  • The library
  • A coffee shop
  • Your kitchen table

My favourite place to do work is on our front patio. I love writing out there and it allows me to change things up and feel like I’m taking a break even though I’m still working.

6. Invest In Equipment To Help You Stay Comfortable 

Equipment that helps you to stay comfortable can in turn help you to stay focused. For example, an ergonomic desk chair can protect your spine and help you to focus on your work without struggling to get comfortable. A laptop stand could also help you to work better on your laptop without having to invest in a proper monitor. 

7. Write Things Down To Look At Later 

It can be especially difficult not to complete all your work if you work on the computer, with all the notifications, etc. If a random thought pops into your head, 9 time out of 10 you are going to want to look at it for instant gratification.  

If there is something that comes to mind that you feel like you simply must remember for later, write it down on a piece of paper next to you. You can then go back to focusing on the work at hand. 

increase productivity

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8. Know When You Are At Your Most Productive

Everybody is different. You might be most productive in the morning, while another person may be more productive in the evening. Knowing yourself is the key to getting more done. If you want to work at night, then do it! 

9. Move Your Body

Many people find exercise in the morning wakes them up and helps them to get focused. It could even be effective if you take an exercise break in the afternoon to avoid the afternoon slump. Dance around to a funky song and have some fun to get your brain working again! Try not to sit for too long – you could even try placing your laptop on a windowsill so you can stand and work. You’d be amazed at how this can help your mindset and enjoyment! 


What is your favourite productivity tips? Share in the comments!