One of the biggest challenges of working from home is the constant distractions.
There’s always something other than work that needs attention.
Whether it’s the dishes, painting or reorganizing a closet – the opportunity for distractions are plentiful. One of the best decisions I made since working from home is ensuring that we never installed a TV in the office. We have a perfect spot for it but we decided it would be too much of a distraction.
Limiting distractions to stay productive while working from home is key.
We live in a world filled with notifications trying to capture our attention and distract us. While tools like Crate can help you in being more productive, the key to staying productive at home is limiting your distractions and optimizing output.
In this blog post, I’m going to share with you a couple tactics that will help you do exactly that.
Don’t Watch Netflix While Working
Between House of Cards, Daredevil and Suits….
Netflix clearly hates our productivity.
But it’s not just Netflix that can distract us while working from home. It’s anything that gives off the perception that we have time to do something other than work or that our work can be interrupted.
Don’t tag your spouse in a funny video you see on Facebook when they’re in the other room. Don’t run into the other room telling them to watch a funny video either.
Stay focused on the tasks and if you do get distracted for a brief period of time, keep it to yourself. Understand that distractions are okay. In fact, studies show that a distraction or two can help you perform at a higher level. That said, if you’re showing people that you’re constantly being distracted, they’ll be more likely to interrupt you.
If you’re struggling staying focused, here are a few tools that can help you work from home without constantly being side tracked:
Offline Time (96 Problems) – Momentary Disconnection
Self Control – Avoid Distracting Websites
Focus – Reclaim Your Productivity
Headphones = I’m Definitely In My Zone
It’s important that you set up signals to show when you’re working.
Headphones are a good barrier to entry for distractions as they let those around you know immediately that you’re in the zone.
Studies have already shown that listening to Hip Hop (or anything with lots of bass) has the ability to increase your productivity so this is a no-brainer.
Make Sure Everyone Knows What’s Up
Communication is key.
If you have to take a call in the evening, let everyone know that for a certain amount of time you’re going to be busy. You can do this verbally or taking it a step further with something like this:
Another great idea for staying productive while working from home is an open calendar policy. What that means is you give access to your electronic calendar so your partner has access. Arming them with access to your calendar makes it easy for them to know whether you’re free or in the middle of something important.
This is particularly important if they get home from an event or work and you’re still on a call or in the middle of something big. A shared calendar will let them know if they can interrupt or if you’re going to be heads down for a few more minutes.
So there you have it.
Three easy simple tips for working at home. Use these tips to optimize your day to day for productivity and I’m certain you’ll see a difference.
If you want to increase your productivity even further, I have to suggest you look closely at the actions you’re taking daily. What things are you doing that can be automated or outsourced?
Sure, it might take some time to get started but it will save you hours over the long term. For me, I leverage resources like Upwork & Fiverr to tackle tasks that take a lot of time but can be pretty straight forward. From an automation perspective, I’m all about Crate and IFTTT.
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Working from home can be a wonderful time for you and your family. You get to see them more often and have more quality time together. However, you need to make sure that the distractions don’t hold you back from accomplishing work projects. Whether it be phone calls, emails, social media or other little interruptions, these things will disrupt your workflow and prevent you from being productive. Here are three simple ways to limit distractions when working from home: