It may seem like the ideal situation that your career offers you the ability to work from home. Instead of long commutes in snowy weather, you’ll simply have to make the trek from your cozy bed to your workspace. What many people find out though is that working from home turns out to be the best time to do some light dusting under that curio cabinet or to rearrange your knick knacks by height. In order to get the most efficiency out of telecommuting, you need to learn tips to avoid distractions while working from home. Also, if your home business is your main source of income, time should be be focused on boosting your bottom line and not getting enthralled in a Lifetime movie marathon.
Avoid Distractions While Working From Home By Creating A Dedicated Workspace
Just because you’re not driving into the office doesn’t mean you can’t emulate the environment – without the overbearing micro managing boss or annoying Phyllis from Human Resources. Your home office should have a computer, desk, file cabinets and more that are strictly for work use. You’ll be more organized and avoid distractions if you don’t have to sift through the kids’ crayon paintings or your spouse’s unfinished crossword puzzles. Also, you’ll feel more like you’re at a “real” job if you’re sitting at a desk rather than curled up on the ottoman with the cats and dogs climbing all over you.
Block Social Networking and Limit Internet Pages
Pets who don’t pay one ounce of attention to you when you return from the office will suddenly be a constant craving of attention if you decide to work from home. Likewise so will neighbors, long lost relatives, a chatty mailman and pretty much any other person that can keep you from your daily goals. As easy as it is to blame these outside sources for your lack of productivity, the real culprit will be your own brain. When you work at home, there’s no threat of an IT department monitoring your Internet search history and you’ll soon find yourself refreshing Twitter and Facebook feeds every 20 seconds. Likewise, those Zynga Bingo requests that were so annoying when you were in a hurry are now intriguing and before you know it you’ll have wasted 6 hours of your day doing nothing. A good rule of thumb is that if it’s not relevant to your daily work, block it like a jerk. Remember, you’re not collecting a weekly paycheck anymore just to look up your fantasy football team 25 hours a week or to sneak 2 hour lunch breaks so unless you want to earn $4 for the week, stick to your work.
Another great way to boost productivity during the day is to limit television and phone calls. Besides social networking surfing, the TV can be your biggest enemy in accomplishing your weekly goals in a timely matter..
Webmasters and bloggers work from home and often develop a strict daily blogging routine to stay on top of a content hungry internet.
Have Set Work Hours
Your highest hours of productivity will be the time when you have the house to yourself. If you screw off all day playing solitaire, you’ll soon find it impossible to get any work done when the kids or roommates come home and you’ll be regretful all night. This tendency can also lead you into the telecommuters worst nightmare, the 20 hour day to hit a deadline. Working from home is supposed to reduce the stress of the daily workplace and your quality will suffer if you try to cram everything into one big session. Having set work hours doesn’t mean slaving to the grind, in fact long scheduled breaks are part of the perks of being your own boss. There’s no rule saying you can’t work 4 hours in the morning then take 2 hours off to have lunch with a friend or to hit the gym. In fact, a break in the day will clear your mind and might actually increase the quality of your work. Also, there’s nothing saying you actually have to work during the daylight. You might find the peaceful quietness of a midnight to 6 AM work session is when your creative brain is clicking on optimum levels.
Set Daily Goals
Remember when you worked in the office and the boss knocked on your door and said to take the rest of the day off – well that can be every day if you avoid distractions while working from home. Most people who work from home have a certain amount of projects to complete in a week and you should set daily goals for completing these projects. If you started early and are done at noon, go out and enjoy your day or start on tomorrow’s deadlines. Setting daily goals helps set priorities and keeps a virtual clock in your head to know if you’re actually being productive so far on the day.
More Tips To Avoid Distractions and Increase Productivity
- Incorporate common workplace ergonomics in your daily computing. Don’t slouch down in a bean bag chair all day and remember to give your eyeballs a break often.
- Stay healthy. Your refrigerator full of sodas and the multiple boxes of Oreo’s laying around will be calling your name every time you run to the bathroom and it’s incredibly easy to eat hundreds of calories an hour. Remember you’re not as active in your daily lifestyle when working from home so remember to get plenty of daily exercise.
- Be social because you won’t be going out with the girls from work for a couple drinks anymore and your co-workers now might work all over the globe. Make sure to have plenty of contact with the outside world by joining a rec league or hitting the bars yourself after the day to interact with others.
- Don’t get discouraged. You might only make around $2 an hour your first couple weeks working from home but remember everybody was once in your situation. The people who have succeeded working from home have worked diligently to avoid distractions and procrastination and do so every day still. Hone your skills and find the work hours that best fit you.
- See our 5 tools to stop you from slacking off!
When you started on the quest to work from home, you dreamed of a flexible work week that left plenty of time for the beach or to take care of the kids. When you avoid distractions while working from home, you’ll eventually have the skills (and the money) to make those dreams a reality and to actively increase your quality of life.