How to Minimize Distractions When Working From Home
Working from home can be a dream come true, especially on snowy mornings when commuting is a nightmare or for those who don’t care for office politics. There are many perks to having a home office, such as setting your own hours and working in comfortable clothes, but there are also several pitfalls to deal with. Most of these problems stem from one major source: distractions. Here are some ways to minimize those distractions and keep you focused on doing your job efficiently.
Eliminate Background Noise
You may think that working from home and away from an office setting with ringing phones and talkative co-workers would be nice and quiet. That’s not necessarily the case. You’ll want to make sure your home office is in a quiet location, far from noisy appliances such as the dishwasher or washing machine. Keep your windows closed to minimize outdoor noises such as lawnmowers, children at play or street construction work. Also, turn off the TV and radio during work hours. It’s too easy to get sucked into a show rather than focus on the task at hand.
Keep the Kids AwayWorking at home is a great option for a mom,
but it can be especially tough when school is out and your kids are around all day. When you’re working, keep the door closed and tell your children not to disturb you unless it’s for an emergency. Try hanging a sign on the door to remind them of this. Take mini-breaks every hour to check in on them. Make sure they have projects to work on or books to read to keep them busy. Try to split up your day, such as working in the morning and then spending time with your children in the afternoon.
Just because you work at home doesn’t mean you can relax your office standards. If your work space and projects are not well-organized and running at peak efficiency, it’s easy to get distracted searching for needed items or keeping projects on track. Come up with a system that suits you best, whether it’s project management software or an efficient filing system, to keep yourself from wasting time. Update your calendar to keep track of deadlines and meetings, and be sure to keep your office space clear of clutter. Being organized is key to keeping distractions at bay.
Set and Stick to Your Hours
It can be tough to separate work and home life when you work at home. It helps to set a schedule and make sure you stick to it. Don’t take personal phone calls or allow visits from family members or friends during office hours. Make sure people know when you’re available, such as at lunchtime or in the afternoons. Likewise, don’t run personal errands during work hours, either. Keep your schedule firm and it will become routine for you and others around you.
Give It a Rest
Finally it’s important to take breaks during your work hours, even if it’s just getting up for a cup of coffee or taking a quick walk. Having a few minutes every hour or so to clear your head is a great way to re-energize yourself and be better able to focus on the task at hand. It can also revive your creativity and give you the energy to keep those distractions at bay.
Working from home has its challenges, but once you find an effective way to avoid distractions you’ll find it easier to stay on target. Use these tips to make your home office a great place to work in peace.
Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer and designer. She loves giving others advice on freelancing
or working from home.