Keeping Healthy and Productive While Working from Home 72

healthy and productive while working from home - let's reach success

This is a guest post by Katherine Luk, Community Outreach Coordinator for HP’s Small Business Solutions team.

You can’t be productive without a productive workspace.

Although working from home doesn’t always come with a traditional office, it still requires productivity and focus.

There are a ton of simple steps you can take to create a productive space for your work, both physically and mentally. Check out some of my best tips for getting in the zone and staying there!

Separate Work and Play.

The age old question: is working in your bed less productive than working at a desk?

It turns out that it doesn’t really matter; according to an article from McClatchy DC, researchers found an equal split between bed and desk study locations amongst top-performing students.

However, be wary of working directly before bed and disturbing your circadian rhythm–just two hours of screen use can reduce your body’s melatonin levels by up to 22%, decreasing energy levels and restfulness.

Do yourself and your body a favor–leave work for work hours!

If your home is anything like mine, there are probably a multitude of distractions standing in the way of peak productivity.

A Canadian survey found over half of respondents working from home experienced interruptions from family members wanting attention, while over a quarter cited lack of access to proper office equipment.

As tough as it may be, try setting boundaries with family members and make sure your workspace is fully equipped to stay in the productivity zone.

Keep your Peace of Mind with Backups.

Having all the equipment to get your work done is essential for working at home. Without the resources of a full office to draw on, self-sufficiency is critical for productivity, especially for freelancers or small businesses.

When your whole business is on one laptop, hardware or data storage failure can be devastating to your bottom line and peace of mind.

No business is too small to incorporate a few security tips to put your mind at ease. Take a look at the U.S. Small Business Association’s top ten cybersecurity tips for easy steps to keep your data safe.

Plus, business laptops are often built with extra durability and hardware security features for working on the go. And services like Dropbox keep your business-critical data backed up whenever you’re online.

Mental stress can hamper productivity just as much as office distractions, and with these simple solutions you can keep on working knowing your work will stay safe and sound.

Pay Attention to your Body.

I know, I know: we’ve all heard that your daily morning routine should include the most important meal of the day. Some agree, others have found we make up for it by eating more calories over the whole day.

Regardless, we know that breakfast helps kids study better in the classroom, and hunger can be one more distraction to your morning workload. So why not grab a banana just in case, or another healthy snack?

It keeps you from being distracted by a growling stomach. In addition, it’s a nice way to take a quick break from your work and gives you a chance to exercise your creative thought muscles.

Discover your Personal Work Rhythm.

It turns out the taking breaks actually helps you get more done!

Working continuously sets a high bar for your brain to continuously operate at and can lead to diminished concentration. A recent study from Cognition shows that short breaks help you focus when you need it and let your brain reset to keep your performance levels high over the course of the day.

This same trick works for writer’s block too. Try walking around the block or even taking a shower to refresh your creativity. Studies show these activities release dopamine, which helps boost your creative drive.

At the end of the day, working from home can be challenging for anybody. One of the most important things you can do is just stay positive!

While these tips can get you started on the right track, willpower and a good attitude are powerful drivers for success.

So take deep breath, clear your workspace of distractions, and get to it–you’re ready to be your most productive!

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest
Directly into your inbox every Monday.
Previous ArticleNext Article

How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted 4

How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted

All people have been interested in studying at one moment in their lives. There are different goals set for diverse learners and each of them requires serious learning at one point in time.

Successful learners are those with full concentration during their studies as this helps them in remembering what was learned and apply it in the undertaken tests. However, irrespective of the reasons as to why people study, most of the times one would have his mind invaded by different thoughts distracting his concentration.

It is also possible to have one diverted by noises and stories made by one’s roommates, children, and neighbors among others.

With these intrusions, an individual would lose focus and this is what is required to be successful in what one was reading. It is therefore important to identify possible issues that can lead to distraction in order to come up with the most appropriate ways of remaining focused. Here are some tips:

1. Pick the right time and place when reading.

This helps in getting rid of the clear distractions.

For instance, a person would not easily focus if he chooses to study in the presence of friends who are engaged in other activities. Similarly, one would not read well if with music, television, phone, or computer on.

Once the phone vibrates or rings, an individual would be tempted to answer and this would divert his attention.

In understanding how to stay focused, it is recommended that a reader has conducive environment bearing in mind that different learners would stay alert at different circumstances.

This is an indication that no single environment fits all types of students. The right time would also involve studying at the moment when a learner feels comfortable with the schedule such as in the evening or very early in the morning.

The place chosen should not be the classroom or bedroom. But rather a quiet and nice place with a relaxed sitting position such as the library or the office.

2. Take frequent breaks.

How to Increase Your Productivity No Matter Where You Are

In addition, tips for students indicate that instead of succumbing to distraction, a pupil has to take short breaks.

When engaged in 45-minutes of learning, the student should take breaks of between ten and twenty minutes. Taking longer of breaks of over 20 minutes are dangerous for they might lead to forgetting what one was initially studying.

By planning breaks with an alarm, you not miss them or accidentally take longer ones.

Breaks are considered very crucial because they help the brain to recharge after processing the earlier acquired information. Breaks involving walking around should also be taken as an opportunity to improve recalling memory and test scores.

Breaking in between reading is, therefore, a good way of ensuring that a reader does not overburden his brain/mind with information that would not be processed. Taking pauses in between the reading session refreshes the brain and makes it possible to read for long and wide volumes.

3. Staying focused while reading is also linked with staying motivated.

As stated on EssayZoo, there are different forms of distractions for varied learners and this can be addressed by understanding the reason behind one’s studying.

This is done by taking a test or exam as something meant to challenge the reader’s learning. Since a person’s learning would eventually be rated, the process should start by setting a goal.

Even though the set goal should not be unrealistic, it should be challenging so that the learner can perform better than he has been found in the past tests or maybe better than people expect.

Once an individual is able to surprise others based on their expectations, he would feel motivated to continue studying.

Additionally, learning should be motivated with a reward, which acts as a form of self-control by ensuring that a student is compensated for hard work, studying well, being prepared, and performing well in an exam.

Encouragement should also be done by understanding what learning is important, which is different for diverse readers but all meant to enhance attentiveness to achieve personal goals.

4. Getting enough sleep during studying is a vital way of improving concentration.

What It Really Takes to Write a Book [+Free Documentary]

Even though many of the times pupils learn under pressure especially when exams are near, this does not mean an individual should read without sleep.

Just like taking breaks during a day of reading, sufficient sleep refreshes the brain and makes it ready to be fed with and process acquired information.

Learning is successful if one can remember and apply the learned information during a test. This is possible if a person is able to actively concentrate during the planned hours of studying.

According to tips for students, studying for long hours without break or sleep is on strenuous and does not bear the expected results.

Dedicating at least 6-8 hours of sleep ensures that a person wakes up fresh, alert, ready, and relaxed for the day’s scheduled learning activities.

Once ready to learn, a student would be organized and in an ordered place with only the reading materials a person requires, aware of the number of hours to spend on a topic, and the number of breaks he will take including their times.

5. Stay calm to concentrate.

Lastly, remaining focused when learning can be done by practicing concentration.

Once a student has everything he needs on the table, he should not postpone the learning exercise. It is advisable that a pupil is aware of the most crucial information to study first before proceeding to the rest. This is to ensure that one is guided by key concepts that would make the learning enjoyable and encouraging.

Also, practice concentration by not panicking, minimize computer and phone use, don’t listen to music unless it aids in studying, and remaining on topic.

It is notable that by panicking, one would make mistakes.

So make sure you remain calm, take deep breaths, and convince yourself that you read, understand, and pass the exams.

Further, a student should turn the computer, Internet, and the cell phone off to ensure maximum concentration. This is to avoid responding to text messages or searching via the Internet things that are not related to the topic of study.

It is arguable that listening to music when learning acts as a distraction because the learner is provided with additional information to process thus interfering with the real intention of the learning process.

In order to stay on-topic, you shouldn’t explore different subjects at the same time more so when studying boring, complex, and unexciting topics.

Studying would thus be effective if a person remains focused in order to achieve the set goals. Nobody enrolls for a course or learning institution without a goal. This would be achieved if concentration is always at its maximum.

While there are major ways of enhancing attentiveness, the discussed ones in this essay are picking the right time and place, instead of succumbing to distraction, taking short breaks, staying motivated, getting enough sleep, and practicing concentration.

The aim is to ensure that a learner understands the importance of learning and is committed to achieving his intentions.