You’re doing it! You’re teaching online, working in one of the most fulfilling jobs available. Teaching and tutoring from home offers you the opportunity to work in an environment that you are very familiar with. That can be a wonderful thing. It can also be a very distracting thing.
As many ‘work from home’ professionals will tell you, staying focused and on task is the biggest challenge with working from home. We’ve compiled some of the best techniques to help you make working from home the dream you’ve always wanted it to be.
The Virtual Office
Some of us have the space for a home office. A place where we can shut off the distraction of the home and just do the work. Whether you have the physical space in your home or not, creating a ‘Virtual office’ is important. A ‘virtual office’ may be a dining room table, a garage workbench, or your sofa. The beauty here is it doesn’t matter. You are creating a mental space that is yours and yours alone for the sole purpose of doing your work. But how do we do this?
Turn off the Noise
Our homes are full of delightfully exciting distractions. We know this because we put them there. The magazine subscriptions on the coffee table that could always use a little flip through. We make frequent pilgrimages to the cool coffee machine we got for our birthday to give ourselves a “tiny break.” Oh, what's this? A charming chime has just alerted me to a new “like” on my most recent Instagram post!
-The “do not disturb” setting on your phone is ideal when working. Many phone manufacturers allow you to customize this setting so that you will only receive calls and texts from the people you select.
-Timing Trackers are a great way to set and adhere to work goals. Set one of the many timing tracker third-party apps to the number of minutes you want to work before a break and it will not only track that time for you, but many will also block applications from distracting you. You can set them to prevent messages, email, and even specific websites from being opened until your work time is completed.
-Clear the sound. Noise cancelling headphones are a great way to, well, clear the air of unwanted distractions. If you’re a person that likes a little music or even ambient noise while they work, you can find hundreds of playlists on almost all the subscription services that cater to every conceivable auditory desire. Whether you listen to music or seek some silence, noise cancelling headphones can help you focus.
Dress the Part
Sarah is a financial analyst for a multinational bank. Every Friday Sarah works from home. Friday morning, knowing she doesn’t have her regular hour-long commute to work, Sarah sleeps in a bit. That is the only significant difference in her morning routine. She still showers and dresses as if she is going into the office. These routines tether us to the mental preparation for doing our work. Regardless, if that work is in an office, school, or at our dining room table dressing for the job is one way help us mentally separate home from work.
These three simple steps are a great way to start you on your journey to making online teaching from home more enjoyable and productive. Soon you will develop your own techniques to make your experience even more fulfilling. Be sure to check in with us frequently for new blog posts on topics that can help, sign up to receive blog alerts via email: https://twosigmas.com/blog/email
Want to know what it is really like to teach online? We think this post should fill in the blanks for you: https://twosigmas.com/blog/what-its-really-like-to-be-an-online-english-teacher/