How to Stay Focused at Home

8 ways to stay focused

Your house has a lot of distractions. There are your hobbies, your entertainment center and your people. This means that it's a challenge to stay focused when you need to clean and organize. 

Our homes can become cluttered, and our minds can become unfocused and overloaded. That’s where a little stress relief is needed to help us stay focused all summer long.

There are two keys here:

  1. Enjoy yourself. Have a plan to let your mind wander, pursue creative pursuits and make your summer more...MORE enjoyable. Lean in to your hobbies and your downtime so when it’s time to get to work, you have the energy.
  2. When you are working, whether it’s on your home or at the office, the key is to stay focused on the task at hand for short bursts of time and not over-tax yourself to the point where you throw up your hands and just quit. Slow and steady!
  • 01 of 08

    Go easy and work at 30 minute intervals.

    DIY Garage Peg Board Wall from the Creativity Exchange
    Photo / Creativity Exchange

    Working in 30 minute increments seems to please most people; it's very doable, whether you're working at home or in an office.

    When I was studying for a class, I would plan to study for 3 hours going 30 minutes "on," and then 10 minutes "off." I set the timer on my iPhone to 30 minutes, and once in a while I would check it, thinking "I need to stop." I found it motivating to be able to think about taking a quick break at the end of the 30 minutes, rather than...MORE thinking about sitting there studying for 3 hours. "I can go 12 more minutes" is much more motivating than "I have to study for another 2 hours and 48 minutes." More on this in How to Focus at Home.

  • 02 of 08

    Take breaks.

    Little Brown Pen - April in Paris
    April in Paris. Photo / Little Brown Pen

    During your breaks, do something that takes very little thought, like tidying your desk, wiping down the counter top, or pairing socks. This will let your brain rest and re-charge your energy a bit.

  • 03 of 08

    Be specific.

    Gadget Wally Organizer by Kangaroom
    Gadget Wally Organizer by Kangaroom. Photo by Kangaroom

    Have a goal as specific as possible; if your plan is to “organize the bathroom,” then focus it to “put holiday linens in storage,” “empty hamper,” “purge old medications.” A vague plan will allow you to wander, not focus.

  • 04 of 08

    Concentrate on the good that will come of your task.

    Clipboard by The Macbeth Collection
    Clipboard by The Macbeth Collection. Photo / The Macbeth Collection

    Stay positive through complicated or tedious tasks by focusing on the good that will come from completion: a clean house, respect at work, or simple the satisfaction of a job well done.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Reward yourself.

    Vinea Magazine File
    Vinea Magazine File from Franklin Covey. Vinea Magazine File from Franklin Covey
    At the end of your 30 minutes, reward yourself. If you're at home you could read a magazine, email a friend, or a glass of wine. At work, plan to grab a cup of coffee or tea, cross something off your To Do list, or call a favorite coworker.
  • 06 of 08

    Play music.

    Aaron Lindberg / GettyImages
    Music is a wonderful motivator and will keep your energy up, and listening to Mozart is said to raise your IQ.
  • 07 of 08

    Use fear to motivate.

    Grass Charging Station from Organize.com
    Grass Charging Station from Organize.com. Photo from Organize.com

    Yes, you read that right, use fear as much as possible to keep yourself motivated. Impending layoffs, an upcoming appearance on “Hoarders,” the eventuality of having to wear a bathing suit on vacation; fear can motivate you to stay focused on the task at hand like no other emotion.

  • 08 of 08
    Stay focused during the summer
    Elizabeth Larkin

    Believe it or not, one of the best ways to stay focused is to regularly indulge in a hobby. Did you know that creative hobbies like drawing, doodling, painting and yes, even adult coloring books are found to be therapeutic and a major stress reliever? That’s why whenever someone is looking to de-stress so they can focus it’s best to start with making time for a creative project to help settle your mind.

    Spending a few hours a week doodling and coloring will help you de-stress, be more mindful,...MORE and set you up to focus better when it’s time to work. Think of it as a way to make your summer more colorful. And if you have kids, it’s a great way to spend time together unwinding.