Distractions are part of life. So, how can you minimize distractions when working from home and stay focused on your workday? They can be as innocent as an adorable pooch passing your view or self-imposed like a blaring television playing your favorite Netflix addiction. Regardless of what the distraction is, it is going to keep you from being as productive as you could be. It may keep you from your work altogether. Here are 4 ways you can minimize distractions while you work from home.
1. Minimize Distractions by Having a Plan
The first thing you need to do is have a plan going into your workday or week. Know the hours you are going to work, what you need to do, and prioritize your tasks. Being prepared is typically half the battle in any situation. Just being aware of all of the things you need to accomplish will keep you more focused on completion. It will also remind you that procrastinating or wavering from that plan may mean that you do not meet your goals or deadlines.
Communicate that plan. That means not only to anyone that may stop by or call during your work hours but also to yourself. Set reminders on your phone or calendar or post your schedule in your office area on a board or planner so that you can see it clearly. Share your working hours with friends and family to ensure that they don’t ask you to do something during that time. Put a sign on your door during your working hours so that solicitors or friends know not to disturb.
2. Minimize Distractions by Having Balance
One reason many people give in to distractions is that they don’t have a good work/life balance to start with. Leaving chores to pile up for the next day or not taking time to relax will keep your mind wandering to personal responsibilities during the time that you should be focused on your work. If you do not keep a balance and make time for socialization, domestic duties, and downtime you are more likely to be cranky and frustrated throughout your workday. Sticking to your schedule and allowing yourself to take advantage of your off time will allow you to be more focused when you need to be.
3. Minimize Distractions by Disconnecting
There are simple things that we can do that will keep our eyes from wandering away from our work. Put your personal phone on silent or have your calls sent to voicemail. Close all apps or browsing tabs that are non-work related. Turn off the TV. Quiet notifications from social networking. Close any non-work related programs or messengers. The rule is if you don’t need it to work, do not have it open. The more going on around your workspace, the harder it is going to be to stay focused.
4. Minimize Distractions by Saying No
Sometimes it is easier said than done. But, even if you have a schedule and you have communicated it to friends and family, they still may stop by, ask you to run an errand, or call and invite you to lunch. Sometimes you have to say no. There will be time to say yes. Propose a new time that you will not be working and communicate why you are saying no. If you have told your sister that you are working 10 am – 1 pm everyday but accept her lunch invitation at 12pm, you are sending the message that your schedule is an idea and not a set plan. That will leave you open to more interruptions to follow.
Working from home can be full of distractions but this doesn’t mean you can’t minimize them by looking for feasible ways to do it. If you are still in search of more great tips for working from home, check out some of our other blog posts here.