Could single-tasking be the key to home-working success?
We’re all adjusting to new ways of living and if working from home is part of your new lifestyle, as much as it can offer more flexibility, it can also be overwhelming.
Feeling stress and anxiety has become the norm as our working hours merge with our home life, looking after children and supporting elderly neighbours and relatives.
With demands coming at us from all directions, we can naturally slip into multitasking mode to fit it all in, but maybe this isn’t the answer?
Let’s take a closer look at how single-tasking might be the solution to feeling more productive and helping to take care of your mental health at the same time…
Keep a to-do list handy
- We all get unexpected interruptions when we are working – from messaging colleagues or great ideas that suddenly pop into our heads – and these can derail us. By keeping a handy to to-do list nearby we can quickly jot down these things for review at a later time allowing us to focus on the current task in hand.
Timescale your priorities
- Block out time in your diary or calendar with your priorities for the day and during this time only focus on that task. If this is hard because you’re working in a shared living space, why not take your laptop (or a good old fashioned paper pad – we sell plenty of these!) to a room where you can close the door and get away from distractions around the home?
Turn off notifications
- It’s so easy to become a notification junkie, checking our emails and messages as they ping (just in case we are missing something important!). Why not set aside a time of day to check these when it suits you? That way you are more likely to complete your current task more efficiently and effectively rather than head off in a different direction.
Build in breaks
- If you spend too long on any task you’ll start to lose focus and productivity. This is where planning in breaks can help lots – stand up, have a stretch, walk around, or head to the kitchen for a glass of water (great for rehydrating and restoring energy). If it helps, set an alarm to remind you when it’s time for a break. Most of us can probably remember from our school revision days that 40-45 minute sessions were recommended for maximum focus!
Switch off at the end of the day
- It’s easier to stay logged on when you are working from home, but try to switch off when your working day is done to focus on time with your family, relaxing or doing some daily exercise. By sticking to a routine and dedicating this time to you and your loved ones, you can start to set boundaries and balance your work-home life to suit you.
And there you have it! Be realistic about what you can achieve given the circumstances, and relax when your work is done.