Remove obvious distractions
Although it seems simple, the first step to combat distraction is to stop yourself from procrastinating. Remove things from your work environment that will clearly distract you, like mobile phones, personal computers or televisions. Even blocking them from your view or working in a different room can help you resist the temptation to put off work.
Similarly, interactions with your family or housemates might distract you from your job. Try to set boundaries by making sure those you live with understand your work hours and respect your need for a quiet, uninterrupted workspace.
Remove hidden distractions
Some parts of a normal home workspace might be distracting. Second monitors, while often thought to boost productivity, may actually distract you if you do not use them effectively. For example, an inactive document or a busy email inbox can be distracting. Notepads, pens or sticky notes around your monitor might also distract you, so consider removing your monitor and any unnecessary clutter from your desk when you need to focus on a task.
Close unnecessary software
If you need your second monitor, make sure you close any software or documents that you are not using for your current task. This helps keep your digital workspace clean and your mind focused, ensuring you can find the information you really need.
Create a space to work
A good way to remove distractions is to rearrange your room to be more work focused. Try to create some kind of dedicated workspace in your home, even if you do not have an entire room for a home office. The simple act of placing a computer on a desk or table can mark that as a space for work-related activities. This mental trick may enhance your focus and productivity.
Change your workspace back into a living space
However, this strategy does not end with the workday. It is important to change your dedicated workspace back into a home environment when you finish. This involves putting away work items, which is crucial in small or shared living spaces. This helps you to create a mental divide between work and relaxation, ensuring that work does not enter your leisure time. This balance is key to maintaining productivity and preventing burnout.
Use headphones and listen to classical music
The benefits of listening to classical music while working have been well documented, with many experts reporting that it enhances focus and increases productivity. Headphones can also be a useful tool to block out unwanted noise and distractions, especially in a busy home environment.
Maintain your health
Prolonged work at a desk can cause neck, shoulder and lower-back pain if you do not stretch. In addition to discomfort and tiredness, sitting at your desk all day is likely to make you bored. To prevent injury, promote your health and boost your efficiency, get up for regular breaks to stretch, drink water and get fresh air. Once you return to your desk, you will feel refreshed and inspired to work.
For more tips to help you succeed in the modern world of work, check out our article on How to boost your productivity at work.
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- Publication date
- 24 November 2023
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
- Hints and tipsYouth
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