Remote workers often face the challenge of having to manage young children’s needs, home chores, and outside noise, among other distractions. The good news is there are easy ways to deal with these types of challenges. Here are five tips for avoiding distractions when working from home.
1. Create an area to call your own
Lacking space to call your own create problems. For example, when working in the living room, you can be constantly bombarded with loud noises and distractions, making it impossible to go over daily tasks. So, the first tip on how to remove distractions when working from home is to create your own workspace. A solution can be converting a spare room or an area of an existing space into an office. You can go a step further and organize your home office to keep a positive work-life balance.
2. Turn off distracting media
Our so-called smartphones are the biggest distractions around. It's easy to get sucked into social media, YouTube, or any other media-sharing application on our smartphones. When stuck on a problem, we need to focus on providing a solution, not browsing social media. One solution is to develop habits for better focus. But an even better solution is to put your phone away and block social media websites while working.
3. Don't overwork yourself
When you have a jam-packed schedule, it can be easy to lose focus. And when you lose focus, you can start to fall behind. And when you fall behind, you start to feel overwhelmed and overworked. And when you feel overwhelmed and overworked you can be easily distracted. For that reason, it’s important to take regular breaks, especially when you have a busy schedule. This will maximize your productivity, not cut into it. The tricky part is knowing how often you should take breaks. Try to find some balance, and don't get tempted by frequent long breaks. Remember that you're still on a schedule.
4. Put up a sign
Sometimes your housemates and family members don't get the memo that you’re working when you’re at home, even if you’re in a designated workspace. In that case, make a sign to let them know when it’s not okay to interrupt you. A “Do Not Disturb” sign can do the trick. You can even get creative with this one, making a doorknob hanger, a door sticker, or a sign with big, bold, bright letters. Your family members might find it funny that you need a sign, but it's important to emphasize that you shouldn’t be interrupted when the sign is up.
5. Let home chores be someone else's problem (during work hours)
Working from home certainly has its benefits. Remote workers save valuable time not having to commute, and studies have shown that remote workers are more productive. However, at home, there could be thousands of chores keeping you distracted. And when you don't particularly feel productive, your first instinct can be to do some cleaning around the house or do the dishes. While that might be a big plus to your list of home chores in need of doing, it's a huge minus for productivity. So, when working, take a stance and let someone else do the chores. The last thing you need is to add even more tasks to your to-do list.
Erik Bergman co-founded Catena Media and helped grow it to over 300 employees and a $200 million valuation before stepping away to start Great.com, an iGaming organization that donates 100 percent of its profits to environmental charities. In addition to running a successful online affiliate business, Erik also hosts the Becoming Great podcast, shares entrepreneurship tips with his more than 1 million social media followers, and contributes to sites like Entrepreneuer.com, Business Insider, Foundr, and Forbes.
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