Three Tips To Cut Out Distractions When You’re Working From Home
Your biggest productivity enemy when working from home is distractions.
You’ll be distracted by that pile of dishes in the sink, the kids playing in the next room, or coming in and asking for a snack, and your mom stopping by for a chat since you’re at home. Your number one goal to increase the amount of work you can do is to cut out distractions. Here are three solid tips to help you accomplish that goal.
Make A List
It’s easier to stay focused and not get distracted by other things you should be working on both for your day job and around the house when you have a list.
First thing in the morning, or even better - the night before, make a list of what you need to get done the next day. Play around with the length of the list. Some people prefer a short list of just two or three main projects that will take up most of their days. Others are more motivated by being able to check lots of tasks off the list. Start by writing down five things and over the coming days, try expanding that to ten and cutting it back to your top three most important things.
Pay attention to what motivates you more and reflect on when you’ve been most productive.
Shut The Door
Next, shut the door. Of course there’s a little more to it than that.
The idea here is to cut out internal and external distractions by keeping people out, taking the phone off the hook (or silencing it), and avoiding the temptation of getting up to empty the dishwasher when you feel like a little mental break.
Instead, take a conscious break by getting up and opening the door to your office. Don’t have a home office? No problem. Pick a spot, ideally with a door. This could be your dining room, a spare bedroom, or your main bedroom with a desk tucked into the corner. Look around and make it work.
A workspace with a door you can close has the added benefit of giving those around you a visual clue that you’re working, which brings us to the last tip.
Let your loved ones know that you’re working and explain that you need to be left to your own devices for a little while.
If possible, let them know how long you’ll be working. If you have young children, asking them to go play for twenty minutes while you work on something (hopefully) uninterrupted, can work. Don’t expect it to happen on the first try, or every time.
That said, you can train them and yourself to set up these little work sprints that can become highly effective.
If you and your spouse both work from home, try taking turns. Each of you gets a couple of hours of uninterrupted work time while the other one tends to children and housework.
It’s also important to set expectations early on with family and friends. Make sure they know what your working hours are and they shouldn’t call or stop by during those times. The earlier you can set those expectations the better.
How do you deal with working from home?
Do you have a separate office? Are you able to close the door?
Do you set boundaries from family members and time for work?
I'd like to know how everyone is staying productive while working from home.
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