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Overcoming Distractions: Tips for Staying Productive at Home

Working from home, or even taking classes online, has become the new norm since 2020. While many of us have adapted to this vast change, there still is a lot to learn about overcoming distractions and staying productive at home. Keep reading for my tips and tricks on how to stay motivated while working from home.

Create a designated workspace: Set up a dedicated workspace that is comfortable and free from distractions. This will help you maintain focus and productivity. While it can be tempting to convert your bed to a desk during the work day, this is a prime example of how a nap could sneak its way into a meeting.

Stick to a routine: Try to maintain a regular schedule, including regular working hours, breaks, and mealtimes. This will help you stay on track and avoid burnout. It is easy to take the leniency of being at home all day as opportunity to complete tasks at different times each day. Stick to a schedule though, and I promise your productivity will not falter.

Dress for success: While you do not need to dress as formally as you would for an office job, it can help to get dressed and groomed each day to signal to yourself that it is time to work. Staying in your pajamas is tempting, but to your mind you are not in work mode until you are changed and groomed.

Minimize distractions: Turn off your phone notifications, close unnecessary tabs on your computer, and let family members know when you are working so they don’t interrupt you. Without the watchful eye of leaders around, it can be tempting to take a quick TV break, but this makes it that much harder to get back on track with your work day.

Take breaks: It is important to take regular breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout and maintain focus. Get up and stretch, take a walk outside, or do some other form of physical activity to help refresh your mind. When you would normally take a bathroom break or converse with a coworker at the office, now take that time to be with yourself, away from work.

Communicate with your team: Make sure you stay in touch with your colleagues through email, chat, or video conferencing tools. This will help you stay connected and feel less isolated. This will also hold you accountable for completing tasks throughout the day.

Set boundaries: It can be easy to blur the line between work and personal time when you’re working from home. Set clear boundaries around when you are working and when you are off the clock to help maintain a healthy work-life balance. It is also acceptable to voice these boundaries to those you live with and those you work with.

Practice self-care: Working from home can be isolating, so it is important to take care of your mental health. Make time for activities that you enjoy and that help you relax, such as reading, listening to music, or taking a bath. I would especially recommend planning time to get out of your house, so you are not confined to the same four walls for days on end.

Working from home, or taking classes online, is not for everyone. It is important to acknowledge that. While these tips and tricks should help with keeping distractions at bay while working from home, there is no guarantee this is the lifestyle for you. Always take that into account and advocate for yourself and your personal needs.


Gabrielle Krick is a senior Business Administration major with a concentration in Management and minor in Marketing at Millersville University. Her interests include human resources, social media marketing, and content marketing. When she graduates in May 2023, Gabby hopes to work for a large company’s human resources department, specifically representing minorities and the LGBTQ community. She hopes to either stay in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area or move somewhere near Rehoboth, Delaware.  

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