Now that so many of us are working from home, we are faced with more distractions than ever. Here, it's the rest of the family working and schooling alongside me. It's been really challenging! Give these work from home tips a try to minimize distractions.
While there are plenty of benefits to telecommuting or working from home, there are also many issues that wouldn't come up if you were at a typical workplace. To help parents stay productive while working at home, we've compiled some tips.
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There are a lot of distractions you need to contend with such as household chores, the TV, social media and kids. So, how exactly should you deal with these distractions to ensure you can work more efficiently?
Below, you’ll discover some great tips to help you deal with distractions when working from home.
10 Work From Home Tips to Deal with Distractions
Warm up your brain
Before I sit down to write, I like to have my morning tea and work on a crossword puzzle. That is easily interrupted with kids coming in to have breakfast and check in before sitting down to online high school.
Because there's no commute, there is no transition into work. It can be hard for your body and brain to make that connection.
Use the distractions as a reward
Distractions don’t have to be a bad thing. They can be used to reward yourself after completing work tasks.
For example, if you love nothing more than to curl up in front of the TV watching your favorite shows, allow yourself the opportunity to watch something after completing a project.
Similarly, you could use social media in the same way. Once you’ve completed a task off your to-do list, reward yourself with a short period of time on your social media channels.
Using distractions as a reward can help to keep you focused and boost your motivation to get your work done.
Set up accountability
I do this with a fellow blogger. We check in each morning and list our most important tasks for the day. It helps me to know I have to “report” back what I've gotten accomplished.
It's also really nice to have someone cheer for you as you complete your goals each day.
Consider working in various parts of the home
It’s common to set aside just one place to work from. However, did you know you may find it more productive to work in various areas of the home?
It’s all about adding variety into your new working environment. Some days, the spare room may be the best place to get work done. Other times, you may find it more beneficial to work on the dining room table or in the back yard. Don’t limit yourself to where you can work, mix it up and watch your productivity levels increase.
Add a little background music
This tip might not be useful to everyone, but many professionals claim working with background music on can limit their distractions. You’ll want to focus on calming music, rather that something that makes you want to sing along.
Alternatively, listening to podcasts and audiobooks in the background can also work well. So, if you struggle with productivity, try adding a little background noise and see if that helps.
Check emails sparingly
Checking emails is important when you work from home. However, it can also take up a lot of time. So, you’ll want to limit how many times you check them during the day.
Ideally, you’ll want to check them first thing in a morning, then after you’ve completed each task you’re working on. I use a kitchen timer to keep myself from wasting too much time in my inbox.
Turn off notifications
Finally, a great tip is to turn off those phone notifications. Social media, news and app notifications can all prove really distracting when you’re working from home. So, turn them off until after work to boost productivity.
It’s not always easy limiting distractions when you work from home. However, the above are some of most effective tips you can follow to deal with the distractions that may crop up.
I've been able to delegate a lot of the household chores and some of my online work to my teens. This has reduced my stress and made it a lot easier for me to concentrate on the parts of work that only I can do.
Use the same routines and systems that you had while working out of the house–such as meal planning. By being consistent with our routines, it has been easier to have my husband and kids take care of things while I'm working from home.
Set a timer
You probably should have been doing this at the office anyway, right? Plan to work in 60-90 minute stretches when you can. Then get up, take a water break, stretch your legs and get a little movement in.
I either set a reminder on my phone or use an app on my laptop like Pomodoro Timer that encourages focus and breaks.
Take significant time offline
One thing that's especially tricky during this pandemic is families not having distinct lines between work and rest or work and play. When work is over, are you immediately on your phone? Playing a mind-numbing game? I know that my teens want to go straight from virtual school to the XBox. Squeeze some physical activity and real-life communication in there as best you can.
Need a good laugh? Check out the Best Work From Home Memes!