Out of Office

Melissa Hincha-Ownby: Five ways to stay focussed when working from home

Melissa Hincha-Ownby has been working Out Of Office since the 1990s, so has a lot of experience on how to stay focussed when working from home. Melissa shares her top five tips:

  • Set up a productive workspace: choose an ergonomic desk and comfortable chair. Background music can help drown out external noises. A door excludes distractions.
  • Use a task-management program: there are many useful tools for task management; Melissa uses OmniFocus for Apple products, I use Hasmter on my Linux desktop, and Gihan uses a mind-mapping tool on his smartphone.
  • Set work hours: having a set work schedule helps educate others as to when you are at work and shouldn’t be disturbed.
  • Get out and get moving: a quick walk around your neighbourhood helps clear your mind and stretch your muscles. If the weather precludes going outside then at least get up and out of your chair.
  • Schedule brain-storming sessions: set aside some time at least once a month to capture new ideas. If you work in an organisation then include colleagues. You can meet face-to-face or on-line.

As with all such tips, your mileage may vary, so choose the ones that work for you and forget the rest.

Read Melissa’s full article on MNN.com.

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