It’s very easy to get distracted when working from home. If you’ve got a full house with a partner, kids and pets, it must seem impossible at times to get any work done without being distracted.
Here are some of the top distractions and a few ideas on how to beat them:
Tackle internet-based distractions
The internet can be a wonderful thing but also a massive productivity drain. Having all that information, no matter how useless at times, is simply too much to resist. Social media channels are some of the major offenders here.
If you can, why not simply disconnect from the internet until you’ve finished working. Of course this is more difficult for people who work online.
Use a website blocking extension
If you can’t completely disconnect, then the next best thing is to use a browser extension to block time-draining sites for certain periods of time. This means that you can block yourself from Facebook when you need to work, without losing the internet.
Use a separate browser for work and fun
If you’ve got bookmarks for social media sites or forums at the top of your browser it’s far too easy for your cursor to stray over to them while you’re working. If you have a separate browser just for work you can strip it down of distracting bookmarks and only have those that are relevant to your work. That way you can keep all your bookmarks on another browser and separate work and fun.
Handle family distractions
The people you live with might not mean to be, but they can be a huge distraction. Children are particularly distracting as it can be harder to explain to them that you’re working if they’re very young.
Make a signal or shut the door
Make sure you can come up with a signal that says to everyone you live with that you’re in work mode and not to be disturbed.
Work outside of your house
Plenty of people make use of the local coffee shop to get out of the house for a while. While doing this on a regular basis might end up costing more than you’d like, you could always do it on the occasions when you’re busier than usual if you find it easier to concentrate here.
Get noise cancelling headphones
It’s not realistic to expect everyone you live with to remain silent so the next best thing is to invest in some noise-cancelling headphones to block out a good amount of the distractions around you.
Get up before everyone else
Getting up early is a popular method of starting the day right for many business owners and for good reason. If you get up while everyone’s asleep you’ve got a golden window of peace before people are rushing around you to get ready for work or school.
While you might not be able to do a whole day worth of work in the early hours of the morning, you could schedule the tasks that need the most concentration for this time and then the easier tasks for later on in the day.
Maybe not an external distraction, procrastination is still worth mentioning because it can suck time out of your day much in the same way that social media can. In some ways this is worse than the others because it’s harder to beat.
The first step is determining what the cause of your procrastination is. It’s often linked to fear or feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes the best way to deal with it is to break down each task into tiny manageable chunks.
Create daily to-do lists
Having a set amount of tasks that you need to complete each day will help keep you on track. You’ll get a sense of satisfaction from ticking off each item. It also helps if you break down your tasks into actionable chunks.
Give yourself mini rewards
Dreading that phone call with a client? First of all remind yourself of why you need to do it and how it contributes to achieving your business goals. Then if that fails, set up a reward system and give yourself a treat when you’ve completed it. It can be anything you want, so long as it motivates you.
How do you manage distractions while working from home? What’s your biggest distraction? Let us know your thoughts!