Cutting Distractions While Working From Home

By: Jenna Shelton
jshelton@lc.edu

With the current number of global confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, already past 1.5 million and deaths swiftly rising to 100,000, it is extremely important to limit exposure by remaining at home. This quickly became a governmental order, requiring billions of people to stay at home, closing unessential businesses and schools. When it was announced that citizens would need to work and complete school from home, there was a lot of excitement as people imagined the multiple ways that they could enjoy this time off. There was an idea that perhaps it was possible to breeze through their work and be able to have massive amounts of free time to do whatever they wanted.

For most though, the adjustment to working and attending classes online has been a huge adjustment. There is no particular schedule most of the time, as long as assignments or work is turned in by deadlines, and with warm weather gracing many areas of the country, there has been some procrastination occuring. It is easy to get distracted, especially now when one has so much work to do but is feeling overwhelmed and alone due to the self-isolation being faced. But there are ways to ensure that one stays on top of their work and still has time to enjoy oneself and do the Spring cleaning or other projects they may want to fit in right now.

One thing you can do is to stick to a schedule by getting up and going to sleep around the same times every day. It is so easy to get one’s entire schedule completely out of whack by staying up to watch another movie or season of whatever is on the binge list. Make a schedule for work hours and fun hours, ensuring that there is enough time to get work done without it feeling like work was all that was done in the day. Designating a work space specifically where only work is done there and separating the “work” life from the “home” life while they are both at the same location.

Leaving the phone and television turned off can ensure that there are no electronic distractions. Although there are people that cannot concentrate without some kind of sound, perhaps using a work playlist or relaxing nature sound can give one the distraction they need without pulling them out of their focus. Use sound blocking headphones or earbuds that block out the neighbors dog or the television of the beloved family member that always blares it as loud as it can go.

If distractions occur, take a break, but time it out and get back to work after resetting your attention. Take breaks regularly to prevent burnout, there is a possibility this may be how things have to be for a while and burning both ends does no one any good. Make sure to utilize video communication to not only socialize with people but to collaborate on projects and keep from becoming too lonely. Do not let cabin fever set in, get outside, walk down the street or get a bike ride in, maybe have a picnic lunch. It is a normal time to perform some spring cleaning, but it is also entirely possible to take on more than one should. Set limits and pace the process of what is trying to be accomplished, and remember that everyone else is feeling the same way, and reach out for help if needed.

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