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Working at home presents challenges to your productivity that are not found at an office. That means you must learn how to avoid distractions and be your own supervisor so that your work actually gets done. Take a look at these six distractions that I have a hard time dealing with while I am trying to do my freelance work.

Watching TV

My favorite place to work is on the couch in my living room because I can put my feet up and use my laptop. However, the living room is the only place in my house where there is a TV. This presents a problem if I want to get some work done but my husband wants to watch the news, sports, or anything else at the same time. It’s too easy for me to get absorbed in a show and not do my work.

I don’t have a problem with TV when my husband isn’t at home because I don’t turn it on. There’s nothing good to watch on TV during the day anyway. The problem is when I am trying to do work in the evening during prime time TV. Plus, the background noise of sports drives me crazy.

Looking at Social Networks

I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. It helps me stay connected with friends and family, but it also distracts me from my work. I try to only look at Facebook a few times each day so that I can get my work done.

If I have a tab open in my browser for Facebook, it constantly interrupts me with updates, which of course I have to go check right away. I check my other social networks a couple of times each week, but Facebook is the only one that really absorbs my time.

Playing Computer Games

I play lots of computer games, but I have a particular obsession with Candy Crush at the moment. The problem is that I start playing it and then the next thing I know, 20 minutes have passed where I’ve gotten no work done.

I’m not saying you should never play computer games; I’m just saying you shouldn’t play them during the day when you’re supposed to be working. I even try to avoid them when I am taking a break because I don’t want to get distracted for too long. I know Candy Crush is just a phase for me, but there always seems to be some computer game that distracts me, even if it’s just good, old Minesweeper.

Doing Chores Around the House

Housework is a major distraction to me because I have a hard time concentrating when things are messy around me. I’m always worried that somebody is going to stop by my house while it is a wreck. So, I have to exercise great control not to do the dishes or mop the floor if I have a close deadline to meet. I like to get everything in my house straightened up before I go to bed so that it is nice and clean when I start work in the morning.

Listening to Music

Some people find that music helps them be more productive. I think it is more of a distraction, especially if there are words because I start singing along instead of concentrating on what I am writing. However, I occasionally do turn on some quiet or classical music as background noise so I can learn to work with noise. You’re lucky if you can be productive while listening to music.

Caring for Children

Freelance writing is one of the best jobs to have as a work at home mom, especially if you don’t spend a lot of time on the phone. However, childcare is still a major distraction. You’re kidding yourself if you think you can work as much once you have kids as you did before.

For some reasons, people always ask me to watch their kids. They think I have the time because I am always “at home.” You have to really train your kids to be independent and know how to behave while you’re working, and this isn’t something that other people’s kids understand. if you’re asked to watch other people’s kids, simply explain that yes you are “at home,” but you are “working.”

For more information, read, “6 Ways to Stay Organized and Productive When You Work at Home.” It is possible to be productive and learn how to overcome your distractions.

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