How to focus – work at home


Whether you have been working at home for a long time or are just starting on this journey you will have noticed that keeping focussed on what you have decided to do is a challenge to say the least.

The work at home environment is so different in many ways to that of “the office”.

  • The environment is your home – with all its distractions (TV, Books, Family, Children).
  • There is no boss to please and
  • No deadlines that will affect your pay check if they are not met
  • You can take a break any time you want – this can be a good thing actually
  • Does it matter if you start late and finish early – not really.


We are calling the shots aren’t we? You know we are the ones who are setting the deadlines and so if it slips that’s not  a problem.

Well if you believe that fine. But in reality this is not fine at all, unless of course you don’t actually need to work. Most of us, me included, are not in this situation and we need to work to make money and so live  a life – sound familiar? Okay you and I are on the same page.

So let’s go back to the focus thing and see what we can do at no cost to ensure we do focus.

What drives us?

Let’s just talk about this for a second as this is important.

Rewind to the office environment. When did you feel great in the office.

  • When you left for vacation – okay
  • When you left for the weekend – yes
  • When you achieved something – ahah!

Yes we all felt good about weekends and vacation time because we didn’t have to go to the office but IN the office we get the best feeling when we actually achieve something such as:

  • A project comes in on time and budget – we are in the team
  • We get a pay rise and a great review from our boss and our colleagues.
  • In a meeting we have a ground breaking idea which gets everyone’s buy in
  • Okay back to  the work at home venture. Most of the above are missing because there is only you right?

Okay so we need to recreate the office feeling.

How do we do this? Two key routines really.

  1. The note book
  2. The to do list.

Before we get into the details why?

Well  what we need to do is to set up a benchmark or baseline for our work which we can achieve or better. If we reach this  then we will have achieved and this will give us a sense of doing something, or even excelling. This in turn will mentally push us on and we will focus. Simple right?

The notebook

Is to capture all those ideas and things which we think of when we are not in the home office – and if this sounds crazy bear with me. So you are on the school run and into your head pops the solution to that problem you were wrestling with yesterday. Happens, I know , been there. If you are like me you will forget this in the next minute. So make a note and when you get back to the home office write it up. The note book can be pen and paper (yes they still exist) or the blackberry, or your iPad, doesn’t matter – it is important.

The to do list

Is that old chestnut we either love or hate. But wait this is a different one. When you list all your daily tasks, including the school run, try prioritising them as follows:

  • Put the most important ones at the top.
  • Break these down into the smallest chunks you can
  • Mark those that you don’t need to work on at all and remove them

Now try focussing on these tasks only and see how you go. At the end of the day see what a difference it makes to do what you must do first. This is achieving and the feeling you get when you do  will make you focus.

Try it – I did and now I have no problem in focussing.

Yours in Work at home business


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