*A collaborative post
Working from home is the dream, right? You can work in your PJ’s, avoid the daily commute, and quite possibly set a working schedule that fits around the needs of your family. Be you a telecommuter, modern day blogger, or home business owner; there are certainly advantages.
However, when working from home, there may be some distractions that prevent you from getting work done. We will list some of them here, alongside some handy tips to hopefully give you the opportunity to eliminate them.
Distraction #1: Your family
It’s not easy trying to work at home when you’re constantly being interrupted by your family. Your partner might pop into your home office for a chat, your kids (when they aren’t at school) might decide to bless you with their presence. And seeing your car is in the driveway, your parents or other family members might decide to pop in for a natter and a cup of coffee. You love your family, but when they get in the way of the work you have to do, you might be more than a little niggled when they interrupt you.
Tip: The obvious answer here is to fit your work schedule around the needs of your family. This means trying to get as much work done while your kids are at school and when your partner is at work. Family time is important, so if you have managed to complete your daily tasks, you will be able to spend time with those people who matter to you. However, if there are times when you do need to work when your family are around, you need to be firm with them. Let them know when you’re busy, perhaps with a signal system on your home office door – a green sign to indicate it’s okay to pop in, and a red sign to indicate that now isn’t a good time – and stress the importance of your work, so they understand the need to leave you alone sometimes. Let your extended family know your work hours too, and arrange for better times for coffee and conversations.
Distraction #2: The problem of noise
Connected to our previous point, you might struggle to work when your family are causing noise and commotion in your home. With the sound of the television, loud chatter, and other noises created by your family, working from home can suddenly be quite stressful. There might be noise outside too, perhaps from your neighbour’s barking dogs, as well as roadworks, traffic, etc.
Tip: When it comes to the noise inside your home, you might be able to control it to a degree. By putting house rules in place, such as having a quiet home at set hours during the day, you might make life easier for yourself. You might also do yourself a favour and base your home office in a quieter part of your home. This might mean converting a spare room or considering a loft conversion cost to give you the opportunity to work in relative peace and quiet. This is better than working in the living room or kitchen when your family are around, and especially if you get to work in an insulated loft, you might also avoid some of the noises that are prevalent outdoors. Invest in noise-cancelling headphones too, as these will block out some of the noises that prevent you from working productively.
Distraction #3: The internet
You probably need the internet for work purposes, but you need to be careful. While you might need to check social media or your emails for reasons associated with work, you shouldn’t let yourself get sucked in for long. You might waste time scrolling through your friend’s Facebook posts when you should be working, and you might also waste time reading and answering any emails that aren’t necessarily a priority. And there might be all kinds of other sites that aren’t needed for work, but as you’re sat at your computer, you might still browse one or two of them when you should be doing something more productive with your time.
Tip: If you aren’t expecting an urgent email or if you don’t need to check social media, then ignore them. You can always check for any messages during your break times or when you have less work to complete to a deadline. And the same applies to any other internet site that might get in the way of your schedule. If need be, install a website blocker to curb your temptation to look at funny cat videos on YouTube (or whatever else it is you’re guilty of), or remind yourself of your need to work and make money when you’re tempted to look at something online that isn’t a priority.
Are these the biggest distractions you face when you’re trying to work from home? Follow our suggestions if so, and if you have found useful ways to work around them yourself, for the sake of any our home-based readers, please share your ideas with me.