1. Fear of being offline

One of the sillier side effects of our digital culture is how addicted we’ve become to our phones. It’s even reached the extent where people go to technology rehab (and have to check in their electronic devices at the door). Stop the madness! If you have to impulsively pick up your phone every time it makes a peep, just switch it off. Don’t worry, it’ll get easier with time – it may even become a habit when you work. Unfortunately, you can’t switch off your computer when you’re working on it, but you can close unnecessary tabs, especially in your browser. If you don’t have YouTube open, you won’t be tempted to “quickly” watch a video.

2. Noise

If you can’t concentrate when there’s any sound near you, go somewhere quiet. If you can’t, try putting in ear buds and listening to music. If the lyrics distract you, get some music without any. Noise-cancelling headphones are great. Classical music is also a great way to relax and get your mind into a more creative space.

Did you know?
Some studies have shown that classical music relaxes cows and makes them produce more milk.

3. Stress

There are a number of breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques you could try to calm a busy mind. For instance, sit up straight in your chair with your eyes closed for just a moment. Breathe in deeply and feel the air rush into your lungs, counting four seconds. Hold your breath for 12 seconds and concentrate on how your heart beats. Release your breath for 8 seconds and imagine all toxic stress leaving your body as you do.

4. Sitting for too long

You’re already pushing your body into doing something it doesn’t want to when you make it sit still for eight-plus hours at a time (for those of us with office jobs, anyway). Our bodies are made to move, not keep still. The unhealthy consequences of all this sitting have become more and more apparent, and the experts have advised us to begin doing some work standing up. Not only does this have health benefits, but it is believed to be more productive in terms of thinking; walking is even recommended to do when studying since it gets more oxygen going through the system and to the brain. If you’re slightly horrified at the idea of spending so much time standing up, at the very least think of ergonomics. You have to get yourself a desk and chair that are comfortable – in other words your back is supported, and you don’t begin to suffer from backaches halfway through the day – this is absolutely not conducive to optimal focus. And remember, it’s not just about giving a certain amount of time to a task – you want to be at your best so you complete it as well as possible. Also, take breaks and stretch!

5. Lousy atmosphere

If you find it difficult to concentrate due to workspace that lacks inspiration, try working somewhere else – like outside in the fresh air. The move doesn’t even have to be permanent; sometimes we just need a brief change of scenery to cure the monotony. You could also spruce up your desk a bit. Get a plant – they’re known as instant pick-me-ups: studies have found that ornamental plants and flowers have a soothing effect.

We’ve hope we’ve shed some light on making remote-working a more balanced (and productive!) environment for you and your family.

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