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How to Stay Focused Working From Home

Working from home is not something new if you are a VA, but it can be challenging to navigate the ongoing presence of distractions while trying to work, whether you live alone, with family, or just with your dog (whom you’ve told everyone by now, is your best friend).

Schedule Time For Breaks

For anyone who struggles with putting down their phone or laptop, this one’s for you. Scheduling time in your day for breaks can be exactly what you need to refresh your brain and briefly shift out of work mode. Even just a quick ten-minute break can do wonders for your mental health and overall mood - no-one likes that person on Zoom meetings that brings the whole vibe down.

Make Use of Phone Functions and Apps

Believe it or not, smartphones are pretty, well… smart. They have all these modern features to accommodate our brains, which are constantly being forced into work mode while they’re still focused on other things. So here are a few apps and features we recommend checking out on your phone that might help you fight off distractions (in the long run too) and that your brain will thank you for later.

  • Do Not Disturb and Screen Time: Turning your phone onto do not disturb is an excellent way to dial into work mode because it takes away our biggest distraction. Also, if you have an iPhone, checking your screen time is a very harsh reality check that most of us need to witness. It makes us realize how much time we spend on our phones and how much it takes away from doing other things (like that home workout you said you’d do last week). You can also use screen time to set limits for certain apps, such as social media or games.

  • Music: Turning on white noise – not your favorite song, but actual white noise - can help you to really focus on what is in front of you. This can drown out any outside noises from other rooms, and push your focus toward what is directly in your bubble.

Plan Tasks by Time

Organizing your daily to-do list in a way that reflects your attention span is crucial. For example, if you’re scheduling yourself for three long tasks that each span two hours, but you know you can only focus for 45 minutes at a time, this won’t work.

Instead, you can plan your day differently and in a way that reflects your focal needs, or you can change your to-do list; for instance, one 45 minute time block can be dedicated to one project, and another can be focused on the next project, and so on. Again, this is a personal preference but can make a significant impact on your overall performance.

Your Space Matters

Zen, calm, serene – whatever you desire. Having a clean, quiet space boosts your productivity so much so, you won’t believe us (you might as well just try it yourself). We have compiled a few tips for you to establish the ideal zen workspace:

  • Plants: Having plants around your workspace – whether it's on your desk, or just in the room – makes a huge difference. Not only are they total mood boosters, but they also look very modern and chic. Pro tip: Not much of a green thumb? Invest in some fake plants for under $5! They present the same effects but require less maintenance.

  • Scent: Candles are a great way to set a mood and decrease anxiety while working or preparing for a stressful call. Another option is essential oil diffusers, which boast their own benefits (i.e. lavender for calming, eucalyptus for when you’re sick). Not to mention, just enhancing the scent in your work space can elicit a sensory feeling that boosts our mood, therefore, making us more productive (you get more done when you’re happy!).

  • Less is more: Clear your space of anything that is taking up too much of your visual energy. Things that are cluttering your area, collecting dust, have not been moved in over a month – those can all go. Creating a workspace that your mind can focus on, and be present in, will be worth the minimalism.

Being a VA is such an exciting career! You now have the freedom to work remotely, allowing you to travel more, adventure, and enjoy your life. Stay tuned to our Instagram page for more information about upcoming courses, Q&A sessions with our VAs, and be sure not to miss the next blog!


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