Working from Home – 10 Tips for Reducing Distractions

Working from home - DistractionLife moves at a loud and fast pace. There’s always something calling for your attention and trying to distract you from the present moment. This can prove detrimental to any business, but even more so when you’re working from home.

When you’re working from home, the work must get done if you want to keep your business going strong and usually that means that it is upto you to do it. So how do you fight the distractions?

Below are 10 tips that you may find help to reduce distractions when working from home

1. Stay off the internet. Pick a certain time each day to read your emails and check Facebook for new cat videos. Otherwise, stay off. This can be a huge time sucker if you don’t learn to control your time there. When you must be on the internet, shut down everything except the page you need to be working on at that time.

2. Shut the door to your office. Put a “do not disturb” sign on the door with the time you’ll be done working. If you don’t have a separate room, explain to your family that the small corner of the dining room is your office and must be treated as such. When you’re at your computer you can’t be bothered about small problems.

3. Set boundaries. Explain to your children not to bother you unless it is an emergency – in other words, blood or broken glass. If they are still young, hire a babysitter to come in for a few hours a day so you can have some uninterrupted time. A neighbor’s teenager may be perfect for this job. They won’t charge you a fortune and your kids will think it’s cool to have an older teen to hang out with for a few hours.

4. Leave the house.  Sometimes it is worth giving yourself a change of scenery and go to a coffee shop or the library. The library is often quieter, but consider that J.K.Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter novel based from coffee shops.

5. Figure out what task you’re most avoiding. Then do that – right now. No procrastination, no excuses. Just do it and get it done. You can correct it or polish it later. Often avoidance of one task can keep an entire day from being productive.

6. Stop beating yourself up! Don’t expect perfection or you’ll freeze up and do nothing. Start right now and fix it later. That marketing peice that is not perfect but sent out to prospects will get you more business than the unfinished marketing peice that stays in your top drawer.

7. Eat a breakfast with protein and fiber. You won’t feel hungry in 30 minutes and start looking for a snack. If your sugar level drops low, you’ll have a hard time concentrating. Eating a healthy diet will improve your productivity.

8. Keep plenty of water nearby. Staying hydrated helps your physical body and your mental concentration. Stay away from sugary drinks that send you soaring and then make you crash an hour later.

9. Take short breaks every hour. Walk around, go to the bathroom, or look out the window. Then come back ready to work.

10. If it helps, have some sort of white noise or music playing in the background. This way you won’t be as bothered by outside noise such as the dog barking, the neighbours mowing their grass or the television in the other room.

Life is full of distractions. But if you’re going to be working from home you have to find ways that help you stay focused.

There’s no one else there to make you do the work. You’re the boss, the CEO and the worker bee. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be done.

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Till Next Time

Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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8 thoughts on “Working from Home – 10 Tips for Reducing Distractions

  1. Printed out this list and hung it on my studio wall! I find myself easily distracted. Too much to do in too little time. Thanks for the great posts, Mike.
    Tammy recently posted…Body ButterMy Profile

  2. Figure out what task you’re most avoiding–ooh, that’s me to a T! By the way, thank you for suggesting the Pomodoro technique–I’ve been using it all of today and yesterday while catching up on comments!

  3. Mike I need you sat on my shoulder like a little Jimmeny Cricket.
    This time of year is always a challenge and my work time is half an hour while the TV babaysits at breakfast time and generally from around 10.00pm – 2.00am. difficult times for concentration and alertness.
    But there are also others generally family and friends who think as you are at home you are available that is tough.
    I am also akin to JK Rowling as my best productivity comes when I am somewhere that has background noise and coffee. I like to work from hotel receptions and coffee houses.
    Thanks for yet another well balanced informative post. I have shared with a few friends who I know will benefit.
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