Coworking spaces have become hotspots for startups, venture builders, and freelancers. While being surrounded by like-minded people from various industries is often seen as a pro rather than a con, it isn’t uncommon for solo workers having trouble to stay focused in a coworking space.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your coworking membership and maintain a certain level of concentration, so you can get your work done even with the distractions.
What is a coworking space?
Coworking spaces are places in which workers from different companies and backgrounds work solo or together. In contrast to traditional office spaces, coworking arrangements allow for a more cost-efficient sharing of common infrastructures such as utilities, equipment, and space.
The closure of many traditional offices during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic led office employees and the self-employed to seek out other forms of workspaces, including the coworking space. While the competitive corporate ambiance that the place offers is enough to drive anyone to want to succeed, to get tasks done and stay focused amidst all the activities is another thing entirely. Fortunately, you can still concentrate on your tasks by simply following the tips we have here.
10 Tips To Stay Focused in a Coworking Space
Remember, strategy is just as important as performance when it comes to building a professional career! Just keep these tips and tricks in mind and you should be able to stay focused even in the busiest of coworking spaces.
1. Clean your desk.
If you want to keep your focus, start with your immediate surroundings. Most people like to decorate their desks with photos, trinkets, or paperweights. While these objects might give you motivation, they could also prove to be distractions. Keep your desk clean and clutter-free, and your mind won’t have anything to wander to while you’re working.
2. Have a to-do list.
The truth is that there’s no such thing as multitasking. Instead, we constantly switch tasks, which actually makes us less efficient. This can be easily solved by sticking to a daily to-do list. Focus on each chore before crossing it off your list. This will help you avoid worrying about different things all at once (the so-called “multitasking”) and instead spend enough time concentrating on each task.
3. Listen to music.
This might sound counterproductive, but it works. Coworking spaces are meant to be work-friendly environments for freelancers and groups alike, but they can feel more like a community on some days–complete with pizza and friendly chatter. If you’re having a difficult time to stay focused in a coworking space with all the noise around, use your headphones and listen to instrumental music or a podcast to focus on your own work. Better to use noise-canceling headphones to neutralize any sounds you’d rather not hear while working.
4. Stay off your phone.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but we spend more time on our phones than we realize. Silence your phone or keep it in your bag while you work. While checking your messages for just two minutes might not seem like much, doing it every half-hour for an entire day adds up to more than enough time you’d probably rather spend being productive.
5. Create boundaries.
This doesn’t just apply to relationships; you can use this in your work environment too! You can stay focused in a coworking space by “hiding” in a dedicated cubicle, which others should understand that you don’t want to be disturbed or distracted. You can create boundaries with the people in your life as well; don’t hesitate to decline lunch or dinner dates when you still have a lot of work to finish. Lastly, create boundaries for yourself. If you tell yourself you intend to work only until 6 p.m., stop when the time comes. This will keep you focused and have you looking forward to your free time later in the day.
6. Exercise before work.
This might be easier said than done, but it works wonders. Even just taking a short walk before heading into the office can help you release extra energy and stress, allowing your mind to concentrate on the important things as soon as you sit down at your desk. Exercising regularly has also been known to improve memory and focus in the long run.
7. Look for quiet areas.
Every coworking space is different. One might have an open floor plan, while another might include several cubicles for solo workers. Either way, find a quiet area you can station yourself in. This might mean sitting in a corner away from other people or avoiding the community areas like the kitchen so as not to bump into anyone you might know and end up spending the day with. If this isn’t possible, consider booking a dedicated desk or conference room so you can be certain you won’t be disturbed.
8. Use soft tones.
Sometimes, other people aren’t the problem. Consider your own words and movements throughout the day. Are you speaking loudly? Do you drag your chair when you stand up to get a glass of water? Minimize the noise you add to your coworking space, and others will be just as considerate of you.
9. Take breaks.
To stay focused in a coworking space isn’t always about working until your brain feels fully drained. It’d help to take breaks now and then. One way to do this is by using the Pomodoro Technique, in which you could work for 25 minutes straight and then follow with a short break. Consider these breaks as short rewards for your mind.
10. Understand your working style.
There’s no point following all these tips and tricks if they don’t coincide with your working style. Before diving into your work, observe your habits and determine when and how you best perform. Do you finish more work during the day or at night? Do you submit your best work when you discuss your thoughts with other people or when you work solo? Take note of all your habits and incorporate them into your work routine.
Accept Possible Interruptions
When all else fails, remember why you joined a coworking space in the first place. Coworking spaces are collaborative, creative, and meant for productivity. Take advantage of the utilities and amenities they offer and participate in the growing community around you.
The challenge falls on you stay focused in a coworking space and get your work done, even if that means accepting possible interruptions along the way. If you can’t finish a task in a space meant solely for working, where else can you do it?
To learn more about what rules to follow at a coworking space, we also have a list of the five commandments you need to follow. These will make your experience richer and you more productive. Try your hand at coworking. Visit our Weremote branches in Ortigas, Alabang, BGC and Makati and experience first-hand the ease of coworking today!
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