• Eva

How to remain focused while staying inside?

Coronavirus has paused life as we know it and challenges us to lead our daily lives from home. We can only guess when this period will end and what its impact will be on many areas of life, including careers. That’s why myShortlist recently shared a social media post asking our followers to share what challenges they’re facing due to Covid-19. The biggest struggle we seem to be facing while staying inside is how to stay focused and motivated, whether you’re studying, working or need to fill your days. In this article, myShortlist shares their five golden focus-tips to help you out.

Tip 1: Structure

Our first and most important tip is to create structure in your day. Make a schedule for when you are going to study or work and be sure to include enough breaks. Routine is important to stay focused during the working hours and to keep a clear boundary between work life and personal life. A good way to signal your body that work has started or ended is to have a morning and shut down routine.

“Finish your work day with a set task. For example, I prepare my to-do list for the next day. When you finish that task, your brain is signaled that your work day is over and you can switch to your personal life.” - Charline, myShortlist

Also try to find out what your focus zone is: Are you most productive before noon? Or are you a ‘morning thinking – afternoon doing’ kind of person? Find out what works best for you and include it in your daily routine to enhance your focus.

Tip 2: Optimize your working space

To improve your focus, you need to optimize your working space. Find a desk or table that is reserved only for working, not for fun: this is your working zone. Furthermore, invest in a solid desk chair and a laptop stand, and make sure you have a strong wifi connection. To ensure good teamwork, provide a shared storage platform and a joint chat program. Make sure your working space is suited best to your personal needs. Do you thrive best when listening to classical music? Great, do whatever works best for you!

Tip 3: Remain in touch with others

Coworkers or fellow students might be an effective form of ‘social police’ and ensure productivity when sharing a working space. Interaction with colleagues, friends and family is essential to stay motivated and work towards a collective goal, or just to have a little chat to lift the spirits. This lack of ‘social police’ and uplifting chats from others can make it challenging to stay both focused and motivated while working or studying from home. That’s why it’s more important than ever to keep in touch with your peers, especially through video calling.

“Make time for personal chats with colleagues, through a collective Skype lunch or by calling a different coworker every day.” - Jeff, myShortlist

Tip 4: Remove distraction

This tip can help you remain focused and productive, even when you’re not at home. Whenever you want to get some good work done, try to remove every distraction possible. We understand that this is even harder from home, with family roaming around, your dog wanting attention and the fridge within your reach. Here are some tips to avoid distractions at home:

  • Make sure your family understands you need some quiet time to work or find a working space where no one can disturb you.

  • Take enough time in your schedule for breakfast, lunch and dinner and don’t forget to eat healthy snacks during your breaks. That way you won’t be distracted during your work hours to open the fridge every once in a while.

  • Close social media tabs on your laptop and turn off notifications on your smartphone.

Tip 5: Set daily goals

If you feel like you never get your task done, setting some daily goals might help. A to do list is a great way to stay motivated to keep working on your tasks. Write down what you want to do each day and check it off whenever it’s finished.

"Work in chunks and take a short break after each chunk.” - Malou, myShortlist

If you have a bigger project, break it up in smaller parts and try to work on each part for a committed amount of time. Don’t forget to take enough breaks in between to stay focused and motivated! Check?!