Working from Home – How to Stay Focused and Minimize Distractions
The benefits of working from home are numerous. Many people enjoy the freedom, and like being their own boss and being able to create their own schedule. These same people though would be the first to say that working from home presents many challenges as well. Distractions are numerous; children, visitors, housework, and other duties and chores are always present, unlike when one works from an office.
Though the challenges are many it is certainly possible to create a working environment at home that provides a place to work efficiently with minimal distraction.
Get Dressed Even if You Will Be Working at Home All Day
This may seem unnecessary and possibly even silly, but getting dressed for work is one way of getting into the right frame of mind. Lounging around in sweatpants and a housecoat do not send working signals to the brain. On the other hand, it certainly is not necessary to dress in full business attire. Simply getting dressed and groomed properly is a way to switch gears from “relaxing around the house” to “working”.
Create a Work Space or Home Office
Creating a specific space to work is another way to transition from relaxing at home to working. Having a proper place to keep work-related items will reduce clutter and also help to create a barrier between personal and business lives.
Allot Time for Personal Use to Minimize Distractions While Working
Most people working from home are using computers, where the potential for distraction is high. Aside from other distractions like children and housework, computers offer social networking, personal emails and chatting and gaming. It is virtually impossible to avoid these things so rather than attempting to do so, most people find it useful to allot specific times for them. Scheduling breaks during which social networking is allowed is one example on how to do this.
Personal phone calls and unexpected guests may be more difficult to avoid. If such things become a problem then it may be necessary to discuss the need for working hours with friends and family.
Reward and Incentives
Many managers and employers use rewards and incentives as a way to keep their employees motivated. This method of incentive can be used by people working from home as well. Having a goal in mind with a reward waiting on the other end may help one stay focused on the task at hand.
Though the challenges of working at home are many, so are the benefits. With some planning and motivation it is possible to rise above the challenges and successfully work from home.