Staying Focused with a Desk Job at Home

Do you ever feel like you’re going to lose your mind like Piper in that picture when you’re confined to your desk knocking out your to-do list?

When I first started working from home, I seriously struggled with ways to stay at my computer desk.  For those of you that know me well, you know that my mind runs a mile a minute, and I tend to jump from one task to the next.  When I was in the working world, going to meetings all day, planning photo shoots, and going from store to store, that worked beautifully. Being stuck behind a desk (and in the beginning, I did feel stuck), I had a hard time trying to manage my time.  I had less clients, less to do, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around sitting at my desk for 8 hours.

That’s not to say that I still sit here for 8 hours.  I don’t.  However, I’ve come up with a list (yep, a list – I kind of love them) of three ways to make staying at home, or your desk job, just a little more fun:

  1. Binge watch something. Anything that doesn’t require too much of your attention.  I re-watched The Office, Parks & Rec, Gilmore Girls – anything that I had seen over and over again.  Netflix and I have been best friends. I started a few shows, but it kept my attention while I was working – it kept me in one place to keep on task.  I know it sounds nuts, but sometimes the distraction keeps you focused.
  2. Play sing along music.  Not the boring stuff.  I’m writing this blog listening to Twenty One Pilots (thanks, friend) on Spotify (Ross, you changed my life with this one).  I might be dancing in my seat, but I’m getting things done – knocking out my blog, scheduling posts, writing emails – it’s 9:24am and I’ve already crossed three things off my to-do list since 8am.
  3. Give yourself a to do list.  A real one.  Mine’s a little more intense than most (I literally have lists on lists), but it shows me exactly what needs to be done today, tomorrow, and through the end of the week.  This way, if I want to work ahead, I totally can so that I can take a day off or hang out with the kids.  Everything I cross of the list is motivation to keep going.

I know all of this seems trivial, and easy stuff – but I swear, I have creatives ask me about it all the time!  Beyond that, I think it’s SUPER important that you schedule time to get out of the house when you aren’t working.  Go hang out with your friends.  Go to the waterpark with your kids.  Walk away. It’s SO important that you walk away every once in a while so once you do have that extra time to sit down (or you want to have normal working hours), you can really focus on the task at hand.

Everyone works differently.  It’s important to remember that.  While I have 6 windows open in my browser right now, and I’m working on all 6 of those things, that would drive other people crazy.  My way is not necessarily the right way, but it’s totally the way that I’ve gotten into my groove.  How else could I be checking email, watching over my to-do list, keeping up with Facebook, writing a blog, checking out a website, and handling a Word document at the same time?

  1. Judith says:

    So much YES!!! I’m a big fan of having bad reality TV on for background noise while I’m editing!

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