As a freelancer, I’ve been working from home for over 8 years now. So, I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I still have the occasional slip up, but for the most part I get lots done. However, that wasn’t always the case…
I have, in the past, fallen prey to the distractive powers of the TV set, the housework, the drop-by visitor, but I’ve learned how to deal with these things, so working from home isn’t the productivity suck it is for some people.
Here are five ways I beat distractions when working from home:
1. The false commute
Rather than rolling out of bed and booting up my computer, I often give myself a ‘false commute’ and get ready for the day as if I were heading to an office in town. Instead of cramming onto a commuter train, I take a walk around the park, and then back home again for a day of work. It’s a simple trick that puts me in the right mindset to be productive.
2. Work in a separate space
It’s really important, if you can, to work in a part of your home that you can close a door on – a home office, a spare room, even a garden shed! It really helps to be able to enter a work zone at the start of your day, and leave it behind when your work is done. If all the space you have to spare is your kitchen table, it helps to beat distractions (and a widening waist line!) to face away from the fridge and the cookie jar.
3. Indicate your status
Let your friends, family and even your colleagues know when you’re deep in work. It’s easy for them to think that because you’re working from home, you’re available to hang out. If you’re cohabiting, this can be as easy as shutting your home office door. If you’re remote, use status updates in your instant messaging software to let people know when you’re busy and when you’re free.
4. Change of scenery
If working from home isn’t working from you, don’t feel like you always have to do it. It’s really easy to pack up your laptop and find a coffee shop with Wi-Fi to work from for the morning or afternoon.
5. Admit defeat
If distractions at home are getting too much for you, don’t be too proud to admit defeat! Sometimes it just means you need to take a break. Go for a walk, and you’ll come home feeling refreshed and ready for work.
Want to learn more about the pros and cons of telecommuting? Download PGi’s latest free eBook, “The Yin + Yang of Telecommuting” today, featuring a guest chapter authored by yours truly!