This is how I stay focused in my home office

No, this is not how I stay focused. But when I have been focused for a week, this is relaxing time. There are challenges in working from home and here we go through just 4 simple tricks.

It’s all about how to feel satisfied with your week when having a beer on a Friday afternoon, knowing you did everything you should. These 4 things may help:

  • Change of environment
  • Make yourself ready to work
  • Take your breaks, away from your desk
  • Be disciplined!

Let’s go through them.

1. Change of environment

I like to move my workspace around in our apartment. It’s partly because I have the smallest desk known to mankind and it’s easily shoved around. But also because I like to work in our living room instead of the bedroom, but it depends on day and feeling. The change of environment makes me more creative. And it’s not only me saying that. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Fast Company:

“The enemy is whatever is static. So just making changes sometimes, very small changes, can make a huge difference,”

From the Fast Company podcast, where they explore why your surroundings have a crucial role in our creative life. Link here.

Just to change ever so slightly is a good way to create an atmosphere that helps you to produce the most awesome stuff. For myself, it’s moving my desk from the bedroom to the living room that makes the surroundings change. You can read more about it here.

2. Make yourself ready

The recent virus has changed a lot of peoples working routines. Many of us have wished and searched for a job where we don’t have to “go to work”, but now we realize that we still need to do just that. So can you feel like you’re somewhere else when working most of the time from home?

Yes. A Swedish blogger/copywriter that used to live in New York was in an interview in a Swedish online newspaper a while ago and she made some really good points. Sandra Beijer has been doing what we all try to do during the lockdown for 10 years and is a role model. Also a blogger for Elle Sweden.

Translated to English the gist is this: make your bed, do the dishes, brush your teeth, put on makeup, take a shower. Do all those things that we usually do when going to work. They are crucial to make your home a creative atmosphere.

I am a guy. Still I like to take an extra look in the mirror in case I get an unexpected video call. I dress in a shirt and jeans. Morning hair is never professional.

Sandra also says some people even walk around the block in the morning just to get a feeling of going to work. I tried it the other day, and I can’t complain! It was a good way of waking up. The full interview is here. I think she has a point.

3. Take your breaks

Heard of the Pomodoro-technique? Of course you have. I have tried it, and I think it works. Put the timer on 25 minutes, then you follow that with a five-minute break. And once every two hours, take 15 mins break. It’s important, and written about all over the internet. Here, for example.

Scientists have even found out that a 52 minutes working period followed by a 17 minutes break was ace in staying focused. To do what you should during those minutes, nothing else.

When you disrespect your hour by texting, checking e-mails, or doing a quick Facebook check, you defeat the entire purpose of the approach.

This is from the blogpost “There’s an optimal way to structure your day—and it’s not the 8-hour workday” on Quartz at Work.

So to be disciplined is something we all need to work on. Speaking of that, here is number 4:

4. Be disciplined!

To stay disciplined is not always easy. But do not fear! People have been distracted and missed deadlines for thousands of years. Take these tips from a Designer at Dropbox paper to heart, they will save your day.

Much distraction can make you miss the deadlines or not feel good about yourself. So learn to say no if you can’t make it.

Now: Time for beer

Yep, it’s Friday afternoon and I just launched my new design on this site. Time to go to the pub, it’s on an arms lengths distance.