How to Avoid Distractions & Become More Productive While Working Remotely

Struggling to avoid distractions? The eye-catching glow of your phone or overhearing your coworker discussing your favorite T.V. show can be some of the most tempting distractions to throw off your focus. Whether you are in an office or working from home, these distractions are everywhere. When they catch your attention, you can quickly lose focus and lack productivity. This can cause you even more stress, as you may not accomplish your goals or meet your deadlines. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to avoid distractions, become more productive, and focus on your work at hand while working remotely.

Self-Awareness is Key

First, you must realize which environments result in your highest levels of productivity. This can be a trial-and-error process to discover what works for you. Some employees work best with subtle background noise, such as classical music, to drown out external sounds or conversations. Others require complete silence, and must find an environment that is suitable. Some workers are most productive in the earliest hours of the day, while others are night owls. Knowing yourself and your work environment preferences is key to determining where, when, and how you will be most productive. 

Create A Safe Workspace

Whether it’s an office, a desk, or a room at home, your workspace is one of the most critical aspects of your productivity. Start with a designated area that you only use for work. This can be more challenging if you work from home, but allocating a specific space will help you focus on your work when immersed in that environment. Maintain the space by keeping it clean and organized, as not to get distracted by unnecessary clutter surrounding you. Once you have your space, remove any extra distractions from the environment. As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” This applies to any potential physical distractions, most importantly your cell phone. If your position allows for it, turn your phone on silent or vibrate and leave it face down. Put it in an area you cannot see it, as this will help take your mind off the apps or text messages that appear to be calling your name.

Stick to a Schedule to Avoid Distractions

By making a strict schedule, you can prioritize your tasks while allocating time for your distractions. Listing out your plans can help you focus on one item at a time. When you accomplish something, reward yourself with something you look forward to. Relish in the satisfying feeling of physically crossing an item off your list.  The way you create and organize your schedule to be most productive is unique to you. You can choose to use a physical calendar or a virtual calendar like Google Calendar, or both. Be sure to also schedule in your breaks, when you can allow yourself to indulge in your distractions. However, when you schedule your breaks, set a timer so you don’t get caught up in scrolling through the internet for too long. Your timers will help you be more disciplined in sticking to the schedule. Also, share your schedule with those around you. Tell your coworkers in the office, or your family members at home, which times of the day you are busy. Creating this “do not disturb” environment will limit outside distractions and help you buckle down on your work.

Practice, practice, practice!

Building a productive work life and limiting distractions can be challenging. Some days will certainly be harder than others, but consistency is key. Practice focusing on your work for shorter periods of time, and eventually build up to longer extents. Through this method, you will continue learning what works best for you. Reflect on your successes and continue improving your time-management, discipline, and self-awareness skills. VForce is here to help you every step of the way while transitioning to working remotely. Take advantage of more of our top tips and tricks for maximizing success and productivity for remote teams here.