Working from home has several advantages.
No long-distance journeys, no traffic stuck-ups, no dress codes and you can customize your working environment to your preferences.
Despite the benefits, working from home is not without disadvantages.
One of the biggest challenges is working amidst numerous distractions.
Handling Distractions is Important
There is always a household chore to complete, kids to manage or a television show that just seems irresistible.
And there are those unwanted nosy neighbors or relatives calling you up or visiting you without prior information.
It is important to learn to manage distractions.
You cannot afford them.
You’ll lose portions of your career and money.
Missing deadlines repeatedly damages your reputation with clients, and ultimately, it’s your career at stake.
Fortunately, there are a few choices you can make to keep distractions at bay when working from home.
Choose a room in the house where you’re least likely to be disturbed by external sources of distractions such as televisions and traffic, as your work place.
Tell your kids or other family members in the house that you’re not to be disturbed when working.
Treat your working hours as you would in an office setting – children don’t come to your cabin playing and throwing things around, do they? Follow the same at your home too. Ask them to call your cell phone or send a message if there is indeed a significant issue to be handled. This way, you can stay completely focused on your work.
If you’re finding it difficult to keep your working environment free of disturbing sounds such as traffic or nearby construction work, consider using music to cut off such sounds.
Sounds such as white noise (sounds of a waterfall) can help neutralize noises in the background.
Even, if you’re not interested in music, using headphones alone cuts you off from background noises and improves your concentration.
Plan a To-Do List
Planning your day on a daily basis makes it easier to prioritize tasks ahead and increase productivity.
Set times for starting your work, your break duration, and the time by which you intend to close down.
Follow this schedule without fail every day.
To keep track of my time, I use the free E.gg Timer tool online. I just use the Pomodoro timer, which gives me 25 minutes to work, and then a 5 minute break. It’s then that I stretch, get a drink, take a quick walk, go to the bathroom, or meditate.
Take advantage of the breaks in between to do some household chores, play with your kid, or watch a TV show. This way you don’t miss out on some of the advantages of working from home – being close to home and family, and having more time for yourself.
The “putting off” habit is a great distraction that many work-from-home professionals constantly have to encounter.
This is particularly so if the work at hand is unpleasant or boring.
You keep putting off and ultimately you end up with a pile just before the deadline.
It helps to be organized and get the job done however unpleasant it might be. After all, the work is not going to get any easier or interesting if done later.
If it’s a bigger job, break it into chunks of smaller tasks and complete them one after another.
Taxi photo by spjwebster