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Working from home is an awesome way to make money. These days, it’s a way of life for many of us. But home is not a place where you can focus. Between making sure your kids don’t set the house on fire, cooking, doing laundry and spending a bit of time with your significant other, there doesn’t seem to be much time left to actually work. So, let’s look at a few ways to avoid distractions when working at home.
Working from home is a nice opportunity to relax in the comfort of your own home and still have an outlet to get paid without worrying about babysitting costs, or a long commute to work. Being able to keep sane while working at home depends on the quality of your home life.
Are people generally respectful of your space?
Do they keep quiet or are they loud? Your perception will determine how you keep busy and whether or not you find working at home enjoyable.
As much as I love my cuddly little ones, furry and human alike, at times, all that canoodling can cause them to be spoiled, making working at home more of a social event than it should be.
When working at home and sharing your space with loved ones, it’s tempting to join in on the family fun. However, boundaries are essential and everyone should know that work is very important.
Establishing rules and regulations at home can prevent the little distractions. Clear and concise boundaries need to be respected and applied if you live with multiple people. By people, I mean mostly adult, teenage, and older little people. Toddlers and babies don’t listen to anyone, so if you have very young kids, hire a trusted caregiver or family member if you can.
If you find yourself distracted consistently during working hours at home by the mail man, and anyone who happens to cross your path, then these helpful tips are for you!
Table of Contents
5 Ways to Avoid Distractions When Working at Home
#1) Set Boundaries & Keep Them Clear
As I stated earlier, boundaries are essentially important. They are critical because no one gets anything done when constantly being bugged all day long. While it is OK to take breaks frequently, you don’t want to waste precious time.
One creative way of teaching everyone the importance of space is to have stoplight stock cards that hang on your office door or front door. One card that is red, one that is yellow, one that is green. Red means, no interruptions in any circumstance. Yellow means to proceed with caution or knock before entering, and green means it’s ok to come in, you have time to chat or handle whatever is needed.
This is a fun way to let the people in or outside of your home know when to communicate with you without constantly having to reiterate the rules. particularly for children who might not understand the importance of no interruptions.
#2) Work Around Family’s Schedule
If you have children, working while they are up or at home can be a task within itself. With all the needs and wants, one can hardly get anything done. So, in order to get through your deadlines and tasks, most times you will have to work around their schedule, instead unless you have an activity set that will engage them for at least a couple of hours.
Lisa Rangel of Chameleon Résumés works to acclimate herself around her family. “I aim to write when everyone else is sleeping,” Rangel says. “If I need to work outside of the school schedule, I get up at 4:00 or 5:00 am some mornings or just work once everyone goes to bed. I don’t do this every night/day, but often enough to have uninterrupted time.”
Having a stable routine also allows time for spending with the people who matter most. When you have a family, it can be difficult, but giving yourself a balance will make you more productive in both areas of your life. Also, knowing when you will be able to work, will relieve any worries of being able to finish a deadline on time.
#3) Get Thee to a Coffee Shop, Pronto!
Sometimes the best solution is to remove yourself from the situation completely and hit your local coffee shop. You’ll not only get work done without distractions but will be in a creatively inspiring environment with other like-minded people who want to relax and be quiet.
Coffee shops are an excellent choice for working as well because you’re surrounded by coffee that will help you stay up if you’re in for a big night.
#4) Keep a Tidy House/Office
Sometimes for a creative mind to flourish, other things such as mindless chores have to be put on the back burner. It can be tempting to want to pick up the pile of clothes or dishes that have accumulated, but they can wait.
I’m not saying to neglect your home, but set a time for about 30 minutes or less to give yourself time to primp and refresh your abode, then get back to the task at hand.
Another tip is that taking time to clean up your space will clear your mind, making room for new ideas and innovations, aside from being a great source of exercise from sitting down all day.
Cleaning with pleasantly scented products and aromatherapy will make your house smell fresh and can induce more creativity and ideas as well. Try jotting them down as they come mind so as not to forget when you get back to working.
#5) Invest in a Pair of Headphones
Headphones say to the onlooker to “Leave me alone” without being overtly rude. They are a good way to stop distractions. Investing in a pair of noise-blocking headphones is a nice way to keep background noise out.
If you don’t have an office and you have to work in the common area of your home, my advice is to get yourself a pair of good headphones. Block out distractions and stay productive while simultaneously being present.
Working from home can be a rewarding experience that offers great potential with an opportunity to call your own shots. Whenever you are stuck in a bind between family life and work, just breathe and set up a routine that will best match your lifestyle.
Tell us what you think. Do you work from home? If so, how do you juggle between distractions of family and friends and work? Your comments are much appreciated!