Having an-house studio can be a blessing, but it definitely does not come without it’s challenges, especially when it comes to staying focused and avoiding distractions. Whether it's the lure of social media, household chores, or family members interrupting your work, there are many potential distractions that can derail your productivity. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to limit distractions and stay on task while working from home.
Create a designated workspace.
One of the most important steps you can take to reduce distractions and boost productivity while working from home is to create a designated workspace. This should be a separate area of your home that is dedicated solely to work. Ideally, it would have a door than can act as a boundary (closed when you don’t want outside distractions, open when you are open to company). It can even be one table in your house or a chest that houses your art materials. Having a designated pace where you can keep things organized and where you can “turn-it on” when you enter and “off” when you leave is a key part of working from home.
Set boundaries with family and roommates.
It can be difficult to establish boundaries with family members or roommates who may not understand that you are still working even though you are at home. Many artists I️ work with are mothers and fathers. They run into the distractions of children running in and out, or getting pulled away to do other household tasks. I also talk to many artists that have roommates that don’t understand that despite you being an artist and working from home, you in fact are still working and need quiet time and space.
To reduce these distractions, it’s important to communicate your work schedule and expectations with those around you. Let them know when you will be working and ask them to respect your designated workspace and time. You may also want to consider using noise-cancelling headphones or a “do not disturb” sign to signal when you need uninterrupted focus time.
A tip for parents: this can be especially challenging if kids are still at home. Treat this as a learning opportunity to show them that you are at work and this is how we act at work. Maybe give them a “job” or create a designated area for them to play while you work so they can feel involved.
Use productivity tools and apps.
There are a variety of productivity tools and apps available that can help you stay focused and on task while working from home. I️ love noise cancelling headphones, time blocking in my calendar, apps that set timers and create “focus time”, and more. Experiment with different tools to find what works best for you and your workflow.
Take breaks and move your body.
It may seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks and moving your body can actually increase your productivity. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to fatigue and decreased focus, so make sure that you periodically build in breaks to get up and walk around. Go for a quick walk, step away to do another task for a short period of time or call a friend. Short rest periods are vital to staying alert and motivated.
Establish a routine and stick to it.
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is the lack of structure and routine that comes with a traditional office environment or even a group studio where you have to make yourself get dressed and show up every day. To combat this, it’s important to establish a routine and stick to it as much as possible. This includes setting regular work hours, taking breaks at the same time each day, and creating a designated workspace that is separate from your personal living space. By establishing a routine, you can create a sense of structure and consistency that will help you stay focused and productive throughout the day.
If you are an artist working from home, I️ hope these tips help you to be more productive during the day!