Focus On Your Priorities

9 Tips On How To Stay Focused And Productive Working From Home Or The Office

Going from 8 to 5 to working from home

9 tips on how to stay focused and productive – Photo by Canva

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I worked from an office the majority of my life and then decided I wanted to be my own boss. The kids were younger and things were so rushed when working 8 to 5 with limited time to see your kids. After going to a skincare class, I decided to sign up and became a Mary Kay consultant and eventually a Mary Kay Director.

As my kids got older, my ex-husband and I got back together. He had moved to Northern California and my younger son and I moved in with him. My older son moved in with his dad. I loved working from home and having the time to spend with my younger son and the time to be more involved with school activities and sporting events. My husband and I were able to volunteer for various events.

After several years I realized I could take the skills I learned from Mary Kay and become a Realtor, so in 2004 when the market was booming I became a Realtor. I love helping people sell their homes and find the next home of their dreams.

When I was on Facebook, I saw where you could take a course to be a blogger for FREE, so I thought why not try it as blogging was becoming a trend for stay-at-home moms and people who had decided to leave a job they hated and became self-employed.

It took a couple of months to finish the course to get my blog ready with posts and be ready to launch. That was June of 2019. I wasn’t sure I was a writer but started to build my confidence when within a couple of weeks of creating posts and sharing them on social media, I was being nominated for blogging awards.

Once I believed in myself, I decided to retire from my real estate business and do blogging full-time. It was the passion I was looking for and a way to help others from what I write and experience.

Now that I have the feel of working from home, I wanted to do a post on tips on how to stay focused and productive. Since I had previously worked in an office I can share the ups and downs of being a single mom and what I learned to keep my life organized when it came to school, sports, and other activities to go smoothly, so the stress of a daily routine was reduced.

Here are 9 tips on how to stay focused and productive when working from home or the office

Start each day with a positive mindset

Start each day with a positive mindset – Photo by Canva

Start each day with a positive mindset.   I find that seeing the positives and not the negatives, gives you inspiration, motivation, and focus. 

Being positive helps you deal with obstacles you might encounter each day, and find a solution.  It also helps to work in a positive environment, which can be hard in an office setting, so start with yourself being positive and spreading positive vibes. 

If you work from home you could put on soft music to create a calm ambiance throughout the day.  I remember when we were going through the pandemic last year and people were going through hard times with so much isolation, I found creating positive posts was a way to give people hope.

 Don’t overload your tasks on your to-do list  each day

Focus on your priorities – Photo by Canva

Instead of wondering how many tasks you can do, focus on finishing the ones that really matter.  This means cutting down on your list and always writing it down and having it in front of you.   People always say they don’t have enough time to get things done and they stress when they are overwhelmed.

If they would prioritize what is most important and make your list smaller, you might see it is easier to accomplish more when you aren’t always fighting the clock.

I remember doing this when my sons were in school and played sports.  I worked an 8-hour job, then picked them up from school, and took them to practice or a game.  After that, we had to go home and do homework, eat dinner, take a bath, read a book and go to bed.  I look back now and wonder how we did all this and stay sane!

You can do two separate lists for family and work. This can also make it not so overwhelming when separated and help you as a family in allocating tasks.

When both parents work, someone has to help with homework, giving baths, making lunches, doing laundry, fixing dinner, doing the dishes, decide who takes the kids to school and sporting events and activities. I can’t believe I did this as a single mom! We can all learn from previous experiences and make changes as needed.

Do your list the same way you did your worklist, but with your family time, and events for the day, and include eating. If the two lists seem overwhelming, try to make the list smaller, but do as I mentioned above and prioritize. You are learning new habits so it might take time for it all to fall in place.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

Stephen Covey, American educator, author and businessman

Do time blocks

Do time blocks – Photo by Canva

When I was a Realtor, we were taught to time block. Time blocking is the practice of planning out your day in advance with specific time “blocks” for your important tasks and responsibilities. I have created Freebies that you can download, such as Time Block Daily To-Do Lists for this post, to keep your time focused on being productive.

I will have them grouped in sets of 7 for the whole week. On this list, you will write in the day and in the time block section, which goes from 5 am to 10 pm, and depending on how long your tasks are, you can block for 1 hour, 2 hours, or more.

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Schedule all your time into the increments you think will keep you focused and without distractions. Be sure and put it when you eat or snack as there is an area to log that in, and you can divide the block in half if you only use 30 minutes. Also, account for your breaks and if you go for a walk or run. 

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In the Today Priorities, you can time block in the hours you want to dedicate to your MOST important daily tasks, and in the Tasks To Do, the tasks that have less priority. You can schedule appointments, meetings, and phone calls. Make sure all the blocks are filled including when you are sleeping.

Print them out and put them on a board if at home or in a planner if working from the office. I understand tasks can change throughout the day, but still focus on the most important ones. Try to keep separate forms for your tasks for personal and family tasks.

One thing I learned, in the beginning, is that I attended too many meetings and seminars, taking me away from what was producing productivity. This was before there was Zoom, Facebook live, and all the other video venues, so you can view it on your own time.  

Be sure and take the morning to focus on yourself

Get up early if you walk or run and if you have a dog walk them with you – Photo by Canva

Get up early if you walk or run and if you have a dog walk them with you. When you get home make sure you drink plenty of water and eat a healthy breakfast.  

I am retired and as a blogger start early on social media, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and whatever else shows up on the Threads. I use Canva to create my Instagram posts and do this the night before.  I have a part-time hustle I do from 8 to 10 PST.  and when I finish my shift I go back to social media for another hour or two.

In the evening I focus on my blog and try writing a new post every two weeks.  If you work an 8 to 5 job you might have more of a schedule I had when I worked. 

I found it to be quicker to make lunches the night before for the kids and myself, as the mornings can be quite hectic.  Make easy healthy breakfasts.  You want everyone to start their day off relaxed, so when they get to work or school they have a positive attitude.  Decide who is driving the kids the night before.

Try doing the bigger tasks before lunchtime

Try doing the bigger tasks before lunchtime – Photo by Canva

I am a morning person, so I try to do the more important tasks early when I am still fresh.  That is why I asked for an early shift on my hustle job.  I am on the phone for those two hours.

You can save the busy work for after dinner when the kids are in bed and now you can check emails and respond to Facebook posts, return phone calls or texts.  Don’t let the phone become a big distraction and keep you from the productivity you were striving for. 

This one can be hard for some people who are attached to their phones.  Try putting your phone on silent or mute and in another room while you are working on an important task.

If you aren’t a morning person, you can change your schedule around until you find a comfortable timeframe that works for you.  Remember family time is important so be sure to schedule that in.

Create a plan

Create a plan – Photo by Canva

If you have developed bad habits, it is time to change and create good habits.  Work on creating a system that works for you, where there are fewer distractions, times you can be away from your phone or texts, with the notifications off. 

Keep changing it up until you find the most comfortable plan that allows you to be productive and accomplish your goals for the day.  Sometimes we use busy work as an excuse as to why we didn’t hit our goal, just remember the important tasks first! 

When I was younger I would multi-task, and at times I would have all these tasks going, and would not finish any of them.  Don’t overwhelm yourself and create unneeded stress.  

Be sure and take breaks during the day

Be sure and take breaks during the day – Photo by Canva

Don’t wear yourself out by not taking breaks or eating lunch.  If you are in front of a computer all day or on your phone, you need to rest your eyes and brain and give yourself a needed boost by meditating for a few minutes, going for a short walk, eating lunch or a snack, or taking a nap for about 10 minutes.  Then when you get back to work your body is refreshed and you will be more productive.

Create an organized work area away from noise and distraction

Create an organized work area away from noise and distraction – Photo by Canva

If you work from home, find an area in your home where you can set up a desk with a computer or laptop, a printer, good lighting, a calculator, supplies that you will need and have access to, and a comfortable chair. 

If you are in front of a computer for long periods, it might be advised to get computer glasses that can help prevent tired eyes and headaches. I have found the best deals on Amazon. Be sure to have your work and desk area organized so you can find what you need immediately.

These are a few places I like to shop for office products at good prices: Staples, Ikea, Office Depot, and Costco.

Most people do not have landlines anymore as most of us communicate with our cell phones. Make sure the phone does not become a distraction.

If you have an office where you work, hopefully, you can get into an office of your own, instead of the open cubbies.  I found if it was an open office area, employees spent a lot of time socializing instead of working, and not being as productive as they could be.

Set and meet deadlines

Set and meet deadlines – Photo by Canva

Know your deadlines. First off, have an organized plan ready before you start the task.

Understand what is expected of you on the task and have all information you need. If you aren’t clear on the project or you run into a problem, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get them answered so you can move forward.

Work on your most important tasks first or you can discuss the order of tasks. Make sure everyone is clear on the deadline and don’ wait until the last minute as you want this to be a smooth process to the end.

Work in a space or room where there are no distractions and let people or your family, if working from home, know you are on an important deadline.

Deadlines need to be set but spread out enough to where you will finish the task.  Manage your time so the task is not rushed and of high-quality standards.

Be sure to stick to the deadline and make it more manageable by making the tasks smaller.  This way you will see progress sooner and it is easier to stay focused on achieving your goals. If you find you will need more time, be sure to tell your boss and colleagues so the time can be extended.

Closing Thoughts

I hope you find these tips helpful in keeping you focused and productive! My favorite way to stay focused is doing the time blocking that I did when I was a Realtor, it keeps you on track the whole day, but you need to be flexible when possible changes arise.

When I was younger I thought I was getting so much done multi-tasking, but researchers have shown that multitasking can actually reduce productivity by as much as 40%. Focus on one task at a time and you should see more productivity.

I love working from home, but distractions like the dog barking when I am on the phone and family members coming into my work area are the worse distractions, that I am working on minimizing, so do your best to retrain the family in respecting your work time. If you work at an office it might be more difficult to diminish the distractions. See what you can arrange with your boss or supervisor.

Keep the daily to-do list in front of you at all times to remind you of how to attain your goals for the day, personally and work-wise. Once this list becomes a habit you and your family will see life in a more positive way with harmony, reducing stress and frustration. Working at home or in the office will make your day smoother and flow with an organized plan.

Have a positive mindset as that will help keep you focused on what you want to accomplish, even with obstacles that might arise. I remember when we were going through the pandemic last year and people were going through hard times with so much isolation, I found creating positive posts was a way to give people hope and it helped me stay positive when I saw other positive posts.

It gave me the energy and inspiration I needed to focus on my blog and find other avenues to keep me busy, make money, and stay focused on the important things that needed to get done. Find the inspiration that will give you a positive mindset!

If you can think of other ways to stay focused and productive that have worked for you, please share in the comment section below.

9 Tips On How To Stay Focused And Productive Working From Home Or The Office – Photo by Canva

If you enjoyed this post and found it to be useful information, please share it with family and friends, and social media. If you want to leave a comment, please go to the comment section below.

Here are some other posts you might enjoy – Steps To Set Succesful Goals in 2021

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Posts may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases and collect a small commission at no cost to you. This helps my blog to keep going. Thank you! For more info, read my disclosure policy.

16 thoughts on “9 Tips On How To Stay Focused And Productive Working From Home Or The Office

  1. My biggest issue is that I overload my to do daily list so at the end of the day I feel like I haven’t done much despite I actually did.

    1. Thank you for viewing my post, Maia, and yes, we need to do smaller lists and pick the most important tasks, so we don’t become overwhelmed.

  2. I’ve been trying to go to the office as much as possible lately for many reasons but have had to work from home this week and I’m so unproductive! These are good suggestions; I’ll try to get disciplined and follow them

    1. Thank you for viewing my post, Carly, and yes, working from home takes a lot of discipline and avoiding distractions. It takes time to make something a habit, so even starting with small steps daily should eventually get you going in the right direction.

    1. Thank you for viewing my post, Nadia, and glad you liked the tips. I hope they can be a useful resource in your daily work and personal routines.

  3. These are great tips! I find working from home so distracting especially with ADHD. I’m going to try and work these tips into my everyday!

    1. Thank you for viewing my post, Rachel, and that you liked the tips. I hope you find them useful where you can stay focused and avoid distractions.

  4. I’m so guilty of overloading my to-do list. I end up trying to do too much and not focusing on the most important ones. Thanks for these tips.

    1. Thank you for viewing my post, Natalie, and hope the tips work for you. It seems that people overloading their list is a common problem, so try to go smaller and prioritize the most important tasks, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Do whatever will keep you productive!

  5. That is a great post full of helpful information! I find creating a plan the most useful one as it helps me be much more productive.

    1. Thank you for viewing my post, Laura, and that you find it helpful. I agree that creating a plan is very useful. Time blocking is one that keeps me focused to be more productive. We just have to find what keeps us motivated and moving forward!

  6. I really appreciate this post. You have included some great encouraging realistic tips that can be implemented. I agree that time blocks really help. There will always be distracted because let’s be honest ‘life happens’ it’s all about continuing in establishing priorities. Again thank you for a great post. 😊

    1. Thank you for viewing my post, Pastor Natalie, and glad you liked the tips and find them encouraging. Yes, distractions will always be there and it takes a lot of discipline to ignore the distractions, but if you try to isolate yourself, it makes it a little easier.

  7. Great, helpful tips. I find that creating a small to-do list works best for me, letting me prioritize what’s most important for the day. Thank you for laying out a few easy steps to staying focused and productive.

    1. Thank you for viewing my post, Ana, and glad you find the tips helpful. Yes, the smaller lists and most important tasks keep people from becoming overwhelmed, where they lose motivation and don’t achieve the productivity they were looking for.

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