Working from home can be a great way to balance home life. As you gain the ability to eliminate almost all of your distractions you will find yourself better organized. You will get more work completed by the end of each day, cut out travel time and no longer lose papers traveling to and from work. This will help you maintain a piece of yourself with a career while still being able to handle at home responsibilities.
Your Mentality The first step to being successful at eliminating distractions while working from home is your mindset. It’s important to mentally put yourself in the mindset that you are at work, regardless of what your surroundings look like. My home office is upstairs in our loft, just outside my bedroom. Currently, the weather is gloomy and the rain is pouring down and makes it especially difficult to fight that urge from the sight of my cozy bed. So yes — I do have to remind myself that I am at work.
Being “at work” may mean different things to different people, however. If you are the type of person that can stay in your pj’s all day, then go for it! For me, it’s a distraction, so getting out of my pj’s and get dressed is important. I don’t need to put on makeup or put a pair of slacks with heels, but I do need clothes that will help keep me motivated. Some days it can be jeans and a cute top, and other days it may be workout clothes. Whatever it is for you, find the attire that helps put you in the right mental frame of mind to work.
Location, Location, Location By keeping a professional mentality, you’ve already won more than half the battle. My office is located upstairs, away from anything else in my house, and everyone knows I’m working when I’m in my office. I keep my desk organized with my laptop and printer, bins for paperwork, and binders with tabs labeling everything. This keeps me from having to search for anything with it is all organized in front of me. Your kitchen table may not be the best place to have your work station. It may be a good place for your kids to do homework and your husband to pay bills but it is not a great place for you to call an office!
Timing is Everything With your mental game on point and your office location set, it’s time to set a schedule for yourself. This is the final key to minimize your distractions. It may be tempting to have your second (okay, third) cup of coffee on your couch while watching LIVE! with Kelly and Michael for just 10 or 15 minutes, but you are at work. This is usable time you won’t get back. You must designate when your office hours are, and stick to them. Between those hours, commit to staying at your desk and work. Does this mean if you are on a call and your phone is on mute you can’t empty the dishwasher? Well, no, but it does mean that the expectations for yourself and from your family is that when at home during these hours, you are working.
Give yourself breaks and a scheduled lunch time, just like you are at a traditional brick-and-mortar office. Give yourself breaks and a scheduled lunch time; the perks of working from home allows you to utilize your breaks to throw in that last load of laundry, feed the dog, or even hop on the treadmill for twenty minutes without disrupting your workflow.
Flying Solo The final key to minimizing distractions is making sure you are home by yourself during the work day. The kids should either all be in school, at daycare, or with a babysitter or nanny. This will to keep them occupied and in their routine, separated from you and your work space. If you feel more comfortable keeping the kiddos at home with a family member or in-home provider, set the guidelines that you are at work and the babysitter is in charge. Also, make sure that your babysitter knows not to bother you unless it is the last resort.
I hope these tips help you towards a great and rewarding career working from home! Interested in working from home but aren’t sure where to start? Check out Milrich Associates here!