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Top 5 Tips for not being distracted while WFH!

1) Dedicate some space for working in. Even if it is only for part of the day. Even if it is only a make-shift table or window seat. We can all dream of converting the garage into a high spec studio with wooden floors, plan chest storage, cubbyholes for all the paint we'd ever need, and canvas after canvas hanging......sorry I'm getting carried away....but the reality is that for most of us, we need to make do with what we already have. Separating ourselves from the the rest of the home will help to create the distance needed to focus the mind. Add an inspirational quote like this one, and you can't lose!

2) Meditate. If you’re anything like me, the mess around the house can be a major distraction, and all those 5 minute jobs end up taking the best part of the morning...My tip is to get into the habit of meditating every day. Just 5 minutes can make a massive difference to your mindset. It helps you focus on the tasks at hand, rather than being distracted by everything else going on around. If you've never meditated before, I recommend learning with an app. I started with Headspace, then moved on to Insight Timer. The latter has loads of free guided mediations and talks, and you can filter them by length so you can fit one or two into your day (although the best time to meditate is the first 20mins after waking, when the brain is most receptive).

3) Plan. Everything. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Think about the whole day, and plot in things you might not take into consideration - like food prep, breaks, lunch, dog walking, school run - as well as the real nitty gritty business of actual work. Plan your meals in advance, even if that's in the morning, or the night before. Plan your snacks so that you don't overindulge on the biscuit tin. Dedicate some time to prepping meals at the weekend (or whenever you have the time). I plan by breaking up my day using 15 or 30 minute increments. I find using the calendar app on my phone really useful. I can plot in weekly, biweekly, and monthly tasks, which then allows me to just get on and do what I need to do. Everything is there, I don't have to think about it, I just look and go.

4) Dress for the occasion. Slobbing around in PJ’s is a great novelty when you start working from home, but I definitely feel more motivated and confident when dressed appropriately - be that in splattered painting clothes, joggers, or a smart shirt. I also like to dress my room for the occasion. If I'm in the studio, the paints and easel are within reach of each other, and inspiration for the artwork I'm creating within full view. If I'm at my 'desk', I like a vase of flowers, a pot of tea, an inspiring painting to look at, and of course, the obligatory cat on the keyboard to get me focused.

5) My final tip for staying sane and not being distrated while working form home is...distract yourself! It may sound counterproductive, but taking regular breaks throughout the day, will keep your mind in check. Outside is best, so take a walk, breathe in the fresh air, look for some nature, and appreciate the fact that you can just step out, even if it's raining. Sitting at a desk all day, or even just being in the same room, can bring you down. Your body needs to move around. Think if you were in the office; you'd be moving to different meeting rooms, the toilets would be a good walk away, you'd walk to the cafe for lunch, or pop out for some shopping. Working from home doesn't tend to allow for those 'luxuries' so it's really important to plan in physical breaks. If outside is not an option, then play tug with the dog, laser tag with the cat, jump on the exercise bike, do 20 push ups, or 10 minutes of yoga. Just make sure you do something physical if you can and all encompassing. That way, when you return to your work, you will be focused, alert, and less achy.


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