Tag: productivity

6 Distractions that Hurt Your Productivity When You Work at Home

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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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6 Ways to Stay Organized and Productive When You Work at Home

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Working at home is great because you don’t have to worry about a commute, you can wear whatever you want, and you are in complete control of your workday. However, working from home does present challenges that make it difficult to stay organized and productive. Take a look at these six ways to eliminate distractions and get your work done faster.

Choose a Productive Place to Do Your Work

Some people find that a traditional desk in a quiet area is the best place to work. This is definitely the case for people who get distracted easily, but I think the most important thing to consider when choosing a workspace is your comfort. Personally, I like to move around to different places during the day.

You just have to find a place that works for you where you are productive and organized. If that means sitting on the couch with your kids playing nearby, great! If it means you need a home office where you can shut the door, that’s fine, too.

Set Your Work Hours

One of the hardest things about working from home is trying to separate work life from home life. Setting specific work hours can help you find the divide so you don’t feel like you’re working all the time.

After you’ve been working at home for a while, you’ll start to notice peak hours when you’re the most productive. This might be 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. after your kids have gone to bed or normal business hours of 8 to 5. It doesn’t really matter when you work, but you should try to find a time when you have the least amount of distractions and when you’re the most productive. Then, don’t work at other times of the day.

Get Dressed Before You Work

I’ll admit that oftentimes I don’t go take a shower until after lunch because I know I don’t have to. That’s one of the perks of working from home. However, I don’t recommend making this a habit. I find that I am more productive when I get showered and dressed early.

Being dressed for the day puts you in a more productive mood and also makes you feel more professional. It also makes it easier to pick up and run errands if you need to. Plus, scheduling time to get dressed prevents you from wasting time.

Schedule Time for Housework

One of the biggest distractions of working from home is housework. For instance, you might go to the kitchen for a glass of water but get distracted by the pile of dirty dishes in the sink. Next thing you know, an hour of valuable work time has gone by because you’ve been cleaning. That’s why I suggest scheduling time to do housework. Basically, this means that you don’t clean or organize anything in your house unless it is during those designated hours. This will help you stay focused on your work and keep a separation from your home life.

I have an especially hard time with this one because I get distracted when things are dirty — it’s an OCD tendency. So, I try to schedule time in the evening, right before I go to bed, to tidy up. That way things are nice and clean when I wake up and start to work. If I don’t have time at night, I try to clean up the house before I start working.

Tell People You Aren’t Available

People don’t always understand what it means when you tell them you’re working from home. They assume it is great because you can still keep your house clean and watch your kids. You have no idea how many times I have been asked to babysit simply because I work from home. Babysitting is a lot of work, and something I have a very hard time doing if I have to work.

Watching your own kids is one thing because you can teach them how to behave when you’re on the phone with clients and they will eventually learn how to entertain themselves while you’re typing away at your computer. However, babysitting throws off your entire work schedule because those kids haven’t been trained. So, make sure your friends and family know that you aren’t available to babysit because you are “working,” not simply “at home.”

Create To-Do Lists and Take Breaks

Working from home requires a lot of organization and dedication. However, you have to balance this with breaks to walk around and get snacks. You can help yourself get things done by creating to-do lists. I find it’s best to focus on one task at a time because my thoughts aren’t all over the place. Working from home does require the ability to multitask, but not at the sake of productivity.

The most important thing to remember is to be flexible. There are always distractions and things that arise when you work at home that wouldn’t happen if you worked in an office. Therefore, you may need to make adjustments to your schedule on a daily or weekly basis.

What are the biggest challenges you face while working from home and what do you do to stay productive? Leave a comment below.

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