Stress, attempts to multi-task, lack of sleep, busy environments. These are all top indicators your home is too distracting to work in. However, we live in a culture of distraction, so it's highly unlikely your home is completely free of the aforementioned triggers to lost focus.
Now that distance learning has most of us at home, parents need to collaborate with their students to create an environment that's productive for in-home work completion. Even the simplest hacks can work, such as eating the same meal for lunch every day, or crafting a daily schedule.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, over 50% have grown worried about the household distracting from their work. Here are some specific hints your home may be too distracting for work, as well as their corresponding remedies.
Push notifications come through during work time.
The Problem: Americans spend much of their day checking emails (3+ hours for work, 2+ hours for personal). Yet, only 3 of every 26 minutes spent replying to emails turn out to be task-related.
The Solution: Turn off notifications during work time using "Do Not Disturb" or by powering down devices that aren't needed to complete work.
Do Not: simply put your phone on silent. Vibrations and awakened screens can be just as distracting as sounds.
You don't prioritize breaks.
The Problem: We need breaks to avoid burnout. Once feeling burned out, it will likely be even more difficult to return to focus.
The Solution: Take a 15 minute break for every 2 hours of screen time.
Why? Looking away from your screen allows your eyes to rest from digital exposure.
You (or your child) is sleepy during work sessions.
The Problem: 1 in 3 American adults sleep less than the CDC's recommendation of at least 7 hours of nightly rest.
The Solution: Sleep more!
Why? Prolonged lack of sleep could go on to destroy our brain cells. Fun fact: when mice are deprived of sleep, neurons in their brains start to die (According to the Journal of Neuroscience).
There's no routine.
The Problem: On average, 20% of each person's workday is wasted on distractions.
The Solution: List out tasks. Write them down, and rank their importance from least to most. Focus on what is most urgent and avoid time-wasting habits.
Why? This can help get ahead of distractions before they happen.
By nature, we're wired to be lured into distractions. Although we can't change the way our brains perform, we can get ahead of setbacks before they emerge. What does focus mean to you, and what steps have you taken to ensure your home is well-equipped for a distance learner?