One of the most important secrets to success when working from home is to stay focused on the task in front of you. So much stress is put on multi-tasking in our world, but the truth is that while multi-tasking may increase productivity, it decreases the quality of the product, and it can also decrease the quality of the customer service you provide your customers. In this post, I’ll discuss three tools that you can use to help you stay focused when working from home.
RescueTime – this website and app records the amount of time you spend on different websites and using different programs. You can check your stats and see if you’re spending too much time on certain websites that might be distracting you from your work, such as Facebook or news websites. You can start using RescueTime by going to their website and creating an account. Once you’ve created an account, you’ll want to download their desktop app and also add the extension for the web browsers you use. After you’ve gotten a few days of data on the amount of time you spend on different websites and using different programs, you can log into their website and see how much time you spend where. Then you can use the next tool I’m going to talk about to limit the amount of time you spend on the websites that are most distracting.
Stayfocusd – You can use this Google Chrome extension to limit the amount of time you spend on websites that are timewasters for you – these could include email websites and news sites. You can block an entire site, or just part of a site – for example, if you only want to limit the amount of news you read on Yahoo, you could just block the Yahoo News site. If you wanted to block the entire Yahoo site, you could block the entire site.
Cold Turkey – This Windows program can be used to block websites from being viewed on any browser for a certain amount of time or until a certain time. In addition, in the pro version you can also block distracting applications like games, schedule blocks for certain applications, and use wild cards in domain names to block or allow certain parts of a site. You can also block the entire internet, and then add exceptions for certain sites.
These are just a few tools that you can use to stay focused when working from home – there are many others. If you have any other tools or techniques you use to stay focused and productive, I’d love to hear about them – please feel free to comment below.