More people are working from home than ever before. As much as we may love getting to spend more time with family and pets, the distractions are overwhelming and can kill off our ability to work. So instead of isolating yourself away into a closet to be distraction-free, the following are the top tips to help your mind get to work!

Create Your Quiet Area

Distractions are a productivity killer. The average person takes five to seven minutes after a distraction before their mind is entirely focused on work again.  These distractions might be as minor as seeing the mail just got dropped off or as large as hearing your kids and partner playing loudly down the hall.

To keep out these distractions, you have to create a work bubble for yourself. The top ways to block them are using sound dampeners, whether it’s on the walls or building yourself a work cubicle in a room and some sheer curtain over your window.

Sound dampeners work by absorbing any extra sound and enveloping you in a quiet and peaceful area.  You can boost their utility by playing a work playlist that you only put on while you’re at your desk.  This could be soothing ocean sounds or even a lo-fi study playlist that will let you feel like you’re listening to music without having lyrics you have to think about. Office desks should be an oasis for work where we can slip away and only focus on the task at hand.

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Ensure Your Goals Are Clear and Visible

What goals do you have for work?  Although most of us keep a digital or physical planner, your dreams are basically out of sight and out of mind once you close these.  Correct this by using a whiteboard or pinboard to keep your aspiration in view.

With these boards, divide up portions based on your goals.

Immediate goals are things that you need to do either that day or within the week. These goals can be complex or straightforward, but you have to complete them quickly to move on with your week.

Short-term goals are anything that has to be completed within the next four months. If it has to be done this quarter, you need to ensure it takes up space and you see it every day. Home office furniture like whiteboards is helpful to keep us on task for this because it holds that visual reminder.

Long-term goals are any aspirations that go out further than six months.  This might be a promotion you’re working towards or a large project that’s going to take up a lot of your time.  You must keep some more minor parts to help you reach it within your other goals for this goal.

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Greenery To Breathe Life Into The Space

Plants are a must-have in any home office!  Not only do they allow you to put minimal effort into something that gives back endless beauty: caring for them helps us produce serotonin!  Here are a few tips if you have problems growing plants and have a back history of accidentally killing them.

The number one reason plants die is that they either get over watered or under watered.  Think about how often it rains where this plant is from, and if you need to water it as often as you think you do.  For most plants, you have to touch the top of the soil.  If it’s dry feeling, then water!  This tip is different for succulents and cacti, which need significantly less water.  You can get away with misting the soil of these plants once every month.

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Flexibility to Ease Restlessness

The most common issue workers have while trying to do their job from home is that they can’t seem to get comfortable or stay still. The urge to slip away from your desk and work in a comfortable bed or couch can feel overwhelming at times. So what part of these pieces of furniture are so alluring?  For many, it’s the comfort of getting to lounge or quickly change position.

You can achieve this at your desk!

To do so, you have to have an office chair that’s both comfortable and adjustable: and an adjustable monitor arm that can swivel to where you can see it.  Of course, if you’re on camera, this won’t look professional, but for those who are mainly typing and using their mouse, it can take away the daily need to go to a more comfortable part of your home.

Keep a comfortable blanket in your office, and every once in a while, relax and lean back in your chair while you work.  If you catch yourself getting sleepy: immediately change back to sitting up straight with your feet firmly planted on the ground.  Of course, couches and beds are alluring, but at least in an office chair, you can correct yourself before you accidentally nap!

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Reconsider Lighting and Colour

Although blue light is harsher on the eyes, we all know that the warm and soft lighting that most of us have throughout our homes can leave us feeling comfortable and relaxed.  Unfortunately, that can make it so that we’re less productive.  A home office is a part of your house, but that doesn’t mean it has to be held to the same rules and conventions.

An excellent place to start is to swap out the light bulbs in your home office for either blue or white light.  If you have a window in the room, avoid putting heavy curtains over it, and instead use a sheer white curtain that will allow the natural light through without exposing you to all of the distractions of the outside world.

From here, you should consider what colours you fill your office with.  Look for blue, red, or yellow decor for your office, since these colours are found to inspire creativity and increase productivity. Of course, you should still look for items that make you happy and visually attractive to you: but don’t forget to plan around what colours will help keep your mind going.