Do you find yourself staring out the window or turning on the TV instead of working while you’re trying to work from home? You’re not alone. That’s why so many people work longer hours when working at home. They’re easily distracted. After all, home is where you relax, not where you work. However, if you love the flexibility of working from home, you just have to learn how to manage your distractions.
Dedicated Work Spaces
This is one of the most helpful things you can do to avoid being easily distracted. Explain to your family or roommates that when you’re in your office or whatever work space you’ve claimed, that you’re not to be disturbed outside of emergencies. You can still take frequent breaks to check on things.
If you have small kids, have an open area where they play quietly on one side of the room. Make a game out of seeing who can win at being quiet between your breaks.
I say “spaces” because often being easily distracted comes from feeling bored sitting at home. So have several places that you work from, including inside your home, outside, and a public place like a coffee shop.
Have Set Hours
One of the top reasons for being easily distracted is you work all the time. If you don’t have any time for yourself, you’re going to spend more time daydreaming while working. You’ll also want to squeeze in personal time whenever you get a chance. Maybe you will say you deserve to watch a TV show or movie since you worked late the day before. However, that just leads to working even later that day.
Instead, set hours for yourself. Working from home doesn’t mean an always-on life. You have the right to step away from your job each day just like anyone who works in a more traditional manner. When your time frame is up, turn off the computer, step away from your phone, and enjoy your personal time.
Give in to Distractions
This sounds counterproductive, but it actually works. If you get distracted by something regularly, give in. But, only give in during breaks. One of the great things about working at home is you can take frequent breaks. In fact, the Pomodoro Technique even stresses taking breaks every twenty-five minutes.
You have be disciplined, though. Set a reasonable time limit for your break. Once the time is over, you return to work. Use your break for your distraction so it’s not bugging you while you’re working.
Get the Worst Done First
The longer you work, the more easily distracted you’ll become. You get tired, bored, and just want to quit for the day. That’s why you have to get your worst or hardest tasks done first. If you put them off, they’ll take much longer. This is because you’re more inclined to procrastinate on these tasks, leading you to give in to distractions more.
List your daily tasks and put the hardest ones first. These can also be your most important tasks. Once they’re done, you won’t spend the rest of your day eager for a distraction to take you away from them.
Turn Off Distractions
While this obviously doesn’t apply to people, many distractions are digital. When you’re easily distracted, you feel an overwhelming urge to check your phone every time it makes a sound. The moment you get bored working, you start scrolling through social media or watching YouTube videos.
Avoid the temptation by turning off distractions. Silence notifications on your phone. You can even set a do-not-disturb period so only important calls come through. Turn off the TV. Avoid opening YouTube or social media. Use Chrome extensions to help you stay focused. If you need something more advanced to block out digital distractions, Freedom works across multiple devices to block websites while you’re working.
You’ll be easily distracted sometimes. It’s okay to take a brief break to refocus. Once you get into a routine that helps eliminate distractions, you’ll work more efficiently and get to the fun personal time faster.