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Avoiding Distractions While Working At Home

If you’ve worked from home for more than a few days, you may have discovered it can be a little (OK, a LOT) distracting. These distractions can have a negative impact on your business’s bottom line.

One problem that home workers face is that the rules are simply different when you are working at home. Often our motivations are different too.

A big part of the reason people are now working at home is to be able to set their own hours.

People want the freedom to go outside for a half hour and read a book, or play with the kids when they come home from school. Yet too much of this type of activity (the very REASON we are working at home) will hurt our business.

How do you find the balance? While imitating the way you worked at the office won’t do the trick, adding some much needed organization and setting some practical guidelines will.

Consider these four tested and proven methods to avoid distractions in your work, and you’ll have more truly FREE time.

Create a workspace.

Are there file folders in your kitchen? How about sticky notes on your bathroom mirror? One of the first things to do is to create a place for your work related items to live, and leave them there.

Do this and you’ll gain more productivity by having what you need where you need it. Plus you will save a few steps in the process.

Create a work time.

Set a realistic starting and ending time for your workday and stick to it. DO NOT become your own taskmaster or you will risk losing the joy of working from home.

Choose times that work best for you.If you are a night or evening person, now you have total flexibility to work your peak productive hours.

Use the freedom of working at home to your advantage. If a special project requires 18 hour days, go for it, just try to avoid it becoming a lifestyle.

Use blocks of time.

If family and friends intrude on your work, gently, but firmly, make it known that during certain hours you aren’t available … except for emergencies. Use this time to focus on important tasks.

One of the great things about working from home is the ability to focus in and get more done in less time. Remember to be flexible though, since people should always come first.

Relax.

You work at home in part because you enjoy the freedom. If you want to go outside on a beautiful day, feel free. For many home workers this is the payoff that inspired them to work at home. Working from home can be hazardous to your free time.

When you work in an office, you go home and leave it behind. When you work at home, your work is always within easy reach.

Avoid the siren song of “just a quick check of my email” during times that are meant to be relaxing. If necessary, actually PLAN in your free time. When you return to work you will be rested and ready to take on the next challenge.

Working at home can be great. The key is to find balance.

If you feel you may be out of balance, but aren’t sure, keep a work log for the next seven days. Simply write down a brief note about what you do every hour. At the end of the week, not before, look it over. You may be surprised at where your time really goes, you can also accelerate this by using home automation products so there are tasks at home you don’t have to do yourself.

Be aware of distractions and you will be a better worker. Make a list of your distractions and work on minimizing them one at a time.

Oh… and leave the TV off during work hours. 😉

Charlie Page Signature

Charlie Page
 

Happily married for 43 years, Charlie is the dad to two wonderful daughters. He is the author of 12 books on Internet marketing and creator of over 15 membership sites. You can see all Charlie offers using this link Click Here

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 13 comments
Gerry Begg

Great reading. Sound commentary.Now to put into Practice.

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Silard Matrai

It is a great article. It is challenging to work from home when there is a school break- if you have an atention demanding child who is lacking respect of your duties. The best is if you have a separate room for work, what you can close. Or you teach your children somehow, what it means to work from home.

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Mark Mansfield

Hey Charlie.
Another great post, very good ideas, you are the best. Thanks for your writings on this blog. If you want someone to look over your posts before you post them let me know, I’m good at finding typos. Regards

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Jason Jones

Charlie Your advice is as practical as ever. I’ve always avoided working from home for many of the reasons you mentioned. I especially agree with leaving the TV off.

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Shell

This is a point that is often unbelievable to people who say ‘oh it’s all right for you, you “work” from home!’ I went to a Chris Howard seminar once and he said everyone wants to be their own boss so they don’t have anyone telling them what to do…. the trouble is, there is no-one telling you what to do, which means you can do nothing! (or very unproductive stuff so its the same). I laughed at 1) above, I had piles of stuff next to me on the sofa, the bed, everywhere, when I first started out! Setting up http://www.shelleybailey.com has been a real joy, and a giant headache! (I was not naturally techy but I love the challenge!)

It is also really important to take regular ‘step away from the pc’ breaks, or you forget how to be human! Go outside, even if only for ten minutes with a cup of tea, or before you know it, it will be dark! (Get the idea this has ever happened to me..?!)

Aside from regular breaks, the key is to get really organised, use something like evernote to organise your daily/weekly/special tasks so you know where you are at!

Don’t forget to run your business, don’t let it run you! Have a great day!

Shell 🙂

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Joe Carson

Wow! What a blog you have here. You have a real knack for making a blog readable and easy on the eyes. Some sites look like train wrecks, but not this site – it’s a pleasure to read. Don’t have time to read all the articles here, I found your site while looking for something else on Yahoo. But I’ve bookmarked your homepage and will visit it regularly to read what’s new. I find how to succeed at working from home a very challenging topic. I started working from home about seven months ago and I have learned a lot in that time. I also started a small site about it myself. Seems like there is something new to learn all the time. Please check out my blog at http://www.LinkThe.com. I am always learning new things. Thanks again for a very enjoyable site!

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David M

Great article. I have 2 rules:

1 Don’t work more than 2 hours without taking a break.

2 Never watch TV. Period.

Working without a break creates boredom, which destroys creativity. TV is just visual excrement. Treat yourself to a complete media and news fast for 48 hours and see just how much better you feel.

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