Keeping Focus When You Work Online From Home

Keeping Focus is Important

keeping focusI’ve written extensively about working from home, and for a good reason – I’ve been doing it for a dozen years now and I think it’s a great way to have a career.  You are your own boss, and you get to decide what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, and when you’re going to do the work.  These are all good things for independent-minded people, but the transition can be hard for those accustomed to regular scheduling, as keeping focus can be difficult for those who are new to the “do it yourself” thing.

When you work a regular job, you ordinarily won’t have a problem keeping focus, as you have other people, such as your supervisor, pretty much insisting upon it.  If you manage to stay on task and get the work done, you’ll stay employed.  If you don’t do your job or become easily distracted, you’ll quickly find yourself out of work and you’ll soon see someone else doing your job instead of you.  So how can you manage to make money online while keeping focus?  I’ll offer a few tips.

Tips for Keeping Focus

Every person is different and each person requires different motivation and different working conditions.  What works for someone else may not work for you, so keeping focus largely involves discovering what works best for you when it comes to finding your tasks and staying on top of them.  As with any change, when you first start to work online from home, you’re going to have to adapt and it will likely take a bit of time to learn what conditions work best for you.  Still, there are a few things that seem to help most people, so I’ll cover a few of them below.


Minimize email and phone distractions – Studies have shown that a tremendous amount of time is lost in the workplace to the simple task of checking email.  Even if you get a single message and it’s nothing but junk or spam, you have to stop what you’re doing, look at it, take action of some sort on it, and then return to your task, where you’ll likely find yourself asking, “Where was I?”  Email may seem innocuous, but it’s actually a huge distraction.  I have my email program set to check my messages every ten minutes, but I really receive fewer than a half a dozen messages every day that require that I take any meaningful action with them.  I have a hard and fast rule – when I’m working on a particular task, I don’t check the email until I’m done.  It may take me 20 minutes or so to write this post, and in that time, I might receive email on two or even three occasions.  It can wait until I’m done with the blog post.

The same comes with the telephone, especially if you’re using a smart phone and do a lot of texting.  If you have to, keep your phone in the next room while you’re concentrating on a task.  Get it done, and then you can get back to the calls or the texting.

focusNo television or talk radio – I like to listen to music while I work, but I tend to listen to music that isn’t overly distracting.  For me, that’s music that’s largely instrumental and not overly aggressive.  A lot of people, on the other hand, like to keep the television or talk radio on in the background while they’re working. This is a sure-fire way to get distracted, especially if you’re listening to overly provocative talk radio.  You’ll end up screaming at the radio when you should be getting some work done.  You need to learn what sorts of sounds you can have in your working environment without them becoming a distraction.  In time, you’ll figure it out.  It might even be silence, which is how I spend about half of my day.

Take regular breaks – A lot of people set up a literal schedule, allowing themselves a ten or fifteen minute break after an hour of nonstop work.  I don’t schedule anything quite that rigidly, but I do have a few non-work-related Websites that I check on throughout the day, but I make a point of only doing that in between tasks.  You might even want to take a short na at some point during the day.  Studies have shown that a short (less than 20 minutes) nap can actually leave you recharged and ready to get back to the job.

stay focusedKeep pets and children away – Sometimes that’s unavoidable, depending on your work at home situation, but children and pets can be a huge distraction and they’ll both take up as much of your time as you allow them to.  Try to make it clear to both that you’re getting work done and that you’re not to be disturbed.

Find your own space – I have a dedicated office in my home. Nothing goes in on in that room but work.  When I have to, I’ll close the door.  The office is for work, and when I have to work, I do it there.  By having a dedicated space to do your job, you’re helping to establish a routine.

Make a list – Not everyone needs one, but some people simply get more done and find keeping focus easier to do when they make a list of things they want to accomplish during the day.  Just create that list first thing in the day and then scratch off each item as you accomplish it.  This not only helps with keeping focus, but it also gives you some sort of measure for what you’ve accomplished during the day.

Keeping Focus Summary

When it comes to keeping focus and working efficiently, everyone is different.  We all have different motivations and we all have different distractions.  While some people may get a lot done with talk radio going on in the background, others will find that they can’t get anything done.  What you need to do in regards to keeping focus is to find out what set of conditions work best for you, establish those conditions, and then stick to them.  Keeping focus is a vital part of your career in affiliate marketing.  Find it and keep it.


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