How to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions Working from Home
Working from home has its advantages and disadvantages. On the upside, many people appreciate the time and energy saved by not commuting, while enjoying the freedom to create their own schedule. On the downside, some people miss the office camaraderie, finding it isolating to work from home. Others are easily distracted at home and find it challenging to stay focused. How can one balance all of these and create their ideal work environment? Here are some suggestions for those who are self-employed or who choose to work at home.
Stay Motivated to Work
What are the benefits of working from home? Let this motivate you to be productive so you can continue being at home. What is it you enjoy about your work? Focus on this any time boredom or procrastination interferes. Does checking off items on a to-do list inspire you? If so, create a new list each day to keep you focused. Set daily, weekly and monthly goals as a way to stay motivated.
Plan for Distractions
Become aware of the common distractions. What pulls your attention away from work? Is it emails, on-line networking, household chores, kids, spouse, pets? Determine where these fit on the priority list and give them their due attention. Organize your day and time by scheduling how much work needs to be done before or between checking emails, taking the dog for a walk, and doing the dishes. Create a balance of work and breaks that is a fit for the level of productivity you want to achieve.
Plan Social Activities
If you miss the social contact of an office environment, schedule time for on-line chats, networking or lunch meetings. Don’t allow this need to drive you to distraction throughout the day; take charge by planning social activities during the week. Do the same for exercise, rest and other personal activities. Determine how much personal and social time you need to energize and to stay focused on work the rest of the time.
Create an Ideal Work Environment
Create a work environment that supports productivity in a practical way. If young children require attention at home, it might be best to arrange childcare rather than multitasking. If you’re working on your laptop in the living room, it might be more productive to create a separate office space in your home. If your spouse works from home and pops in regularly for visits, setting healthy boundaries may be required. If clutter blocks creativity, de-clutter where needed. Do what is necessary to achieve success.
Focusing on what’s important and finding ways to schedule work and play will go a long way to support you stay focused and avoid distractions while working from home. What can you do today, this week and this month to get started?