I remember when I first started working from home, and loved the idea of freedom and flexibility. I still do love those perks, but I’ve learned a lot since my first day. What I soon discovered, is that without discipline, it can be more of a detriment than a perk.
As a writer, it’s hard to have complete concentration all day, every day. This is especially true when creativity is important, which is most of the time as a writer, marketer, or even a web designer. So, I took note of what was distracting me, and also what I can do to get rid of it to help stimulate creativity.
Read on to learn what I did on how to enhance my concentration level each day.
Find a Space to Dedicate to Your Work
One of the most important things you should do is to find a space in your home that you can call your own. Having a dedicated work space, used solely for your work and not shared with the rest of the family is vital to concentration.
Even if you don’t have a complete room to call your own, separate the space from the rest of the room with a privacy screen. And, choose an area with low traffic and not used often by other family members. Or, you could consider a part of the garage or attic.
Also, make sure you set boundaries and rules for family members to leave your work area alone when you aren’t there, and to not interrupt you for frivolous issues when you are at the desk.
Put Away Personal Distractions
I know it’s tempting to check in with friends on Facebook and Twitter, but keep your personal pages closed down while you are working. It seems like a minor step, but taking a quick peek at what Cousin Cecilia is doing can lead to a half hour of chat or browsing…and a half hour less of work.
If you have a personal landline, turn the volume down on it so you are not tempted to answer personal calls while working. And, whatever you do…don’t answer the door if someone comes knocking, at least if you aren’t expecting anyone to stop by. And, why would you? You’re working.
Create Healthy Habits to Create Healthy Work
When visiting a website of bankruptcy lawyers, it occurred to me that there are many people out there in financial crisis…and a lot of it has to do with a health crisis, or chronic medical issues that lead to high bills and low income. Some of that has to do with companies not wanting to keep employees on, if they aren’t there much, or not producing well while they are in the office.
While it’s a scary thought that losing a job can risk your entire world, there is also that risk when being your own boss and working from home. The only difference is low overhead to worry about, and that it’s easier to work a little bit when you aren’t feeling well, when you have an office at home.
However, a ‘little bit’ of work won’t pay the bills either. So, let’s take a look at what we can do to create healthy habits, which will lead to healthier production:
- Eat Healthy – cut back on fats and sugar, and beef up on fiber and protein with vegetables and healthy meats. Sugars and caffeine can produce a false and temporary boost in energy. However, you risk an afternoon crash, as well as long term abuse to your health.
- Get Enough Sleep – Even though your new-found flexibility and freedom might tempt you to leave structured sleep habits behind, you might want to avoid that unhealthy trap. Going to bed and rising at consistent times each day allows for better and deeper slumber…and more energy the next day.
- Plenty of Fluids – Make sure you are hydrated for optimum health. If your body is dehydrated at all, it can lead to muscle pains and cramping, which will distract you from tasks you should be concentrating on, and could perhaps even shorten your work days. And, just so you know…coffees, teas, and soda are not hydrating. In fact, just the opposite. For every cup of coffee you have, drink 2 cups of water to make up for the dehydration, minimum. It’s easy…water, water, water.
- Get up and Move – Keep yourself in good condition with a regular routine of exercise. I am not saying you have to run marathons. But, it’s best to have a couple breaks a day where you either stretch out, or get some cardio in with a walk around the block. This is in addition to any workout you do on off hours. The stretching and cardio will re-energize your body as well as mind for better concentration.
By getting into some healthy habits, you will definitely improve your energy and concentration for better quality work time.
Taking the steps I mentioned above will help improve your quality of work, because you will be able to concentrate more on daily tasks. A fresh mind and body, one that is not subject to distractions, will boost your production significantly more than not taking care of yourself.
About the Author: As a freelance writer and Internet marketer, Mark Harris often looks to the Internet for inspiration for new projects. For example, while visiting http://www.travisblacklaw.com, he realized it would be great to tackle a series on how bankruptcy lawyers affect the entire family. Mark loves to be outside on the beautiful beaches in his hometown White Rock, B.C. Mark and his wife often tour their own town, as they feel there is so much to offer. He also enjoys hiking and kayaking.
Photo credit: Toms Baugis