For anyone that’s ever worked from home, it’s fair to say that the distractions that exist at home are completely different to those in an office environment. You trade workplace chatter with arguments between children, your organized workspace becomes a dumping ground for bills, junk mail, and school newsletters, your 1-hour lunch break becomes consumed by housework or errands and suddenly your workload becomes secondary to the distractions put before you.
Sometimes it can be tough to push past this and stay focused, for those of you that are in need of a bit of help, this one’s’ for you.
Create a Set schedule
At the beginning of each day create a comprehensive to-do-list. Set goals and time limits to keep yourself on track. This will train you to discipline yourself and build a routine. Eg. From 9-10 you answer emails, from 12-1 you take your lunch break etc. You need to have set working hours. Although each day will inevitably be different when working from home, you need to try and regulate them as much as possible. This doesn’t mean to have to work the conventional 9-5, it just means setting aside regular periods of time for work. If you’re more available and productive at night aim for a working day with later starts and finishes, if you’re free in the mornings – earlier starts and finishes might be more appropriate. Having these set working hours and dividing your hours into set tasks is vitally important for maintaining a routine.
There’s no point of creating a schedule if you’re not going to follow it. Treat your schedule like your boss, with deadlines you need to meet.Click To Tweet Creating this urgency will also help you become more driven towards meeting your goals and expectations for yourself. You need to be constantly pushing yourself.
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While you will of course have days that are busier than others, if you’re scheduling is done correctly, all days should be quite even in terms of your workload. Think about every little task you have, there is always more to do. Have a side list of tasks that might not be urgent that you can work on if your workload lessens such as: social media engagement, organizing folders, reviewing past work etc. If your days are fuller with work related tasks, you’re less likely to become distracted by unrelated tasks. This list will help you to stay focused on your work.
Make your Days Interruption Free
If you’re serious about maintaining your work ethic at home, you need to take the necessary steps to eliminate all of the many distractions that exist within your home. Consider daycare for your children, leave your pets outside for the day and turn off your personal phone or ask to not be contacted during working hours. Leave your laundry or dog walking till after you’re working hours are over, or get them done beforehand. Do what you can to ensure that even though you’re working from home, you’re treating those hours as if you’re in a professional setting. If removing the distractions in your home simply isn’t an option, it’s a good idea to at least set yourself up a designated, private work space. This way your family will know when you are working. It’s also good for allowing yourself to get into a more professional mindset (which is too hard to do when you’re working from your couch, or bed!)