Thursday, December 14

Minimizing Distractions While Working From Home

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Those who work from home enjoy many advantages over those who do not, but at the same time they also face many challenges and interruptions.  For instance, most office workers never have to worry about a toddler with a dirty diaper meandering around the cubicle, and most factory workers never have to worry about taking the dog outside to go to the bathroom in the middle of a shift.  Juggling work responsibilities and personal responsibilities is a bigger challenge than most people who work from home realize, so learning how to handle work from home interruptions is necessary for success.  Here is how to do it in three easy steps.

1. The first step is to stop viewing working from home as some kind of vacation.  You are a professional and you have a job to do, so that means learning how to act like a professional.  If someone rings the doorbell, are you going to put your work on hold to answer the door?  If you worked in an office downtown, you wouldn’t leave your job and come home because someone was knocking on your front door.  You shouldn’t do the same when working from home either.  Set boundaries and stick to them.  You’re not being paid to watch soap operas, chat with the mailman, or soak in a bubblebath. 

2. The next step is to know which interruptions are worth avoiding, and which ones require your attention.  Many people who have young children choose to work at home so that they can be around their family.  However, it is easy to become distracted by petty matters that will prevent you from getting any work done.  When children are of a certain age, explain to them how important it is for you to not be interrupted except for something really important.  Otherwise, you will be stopping work in order to locate lost shoes, prepare snacks, and feed pet gerbils.

3. The last step is to become a master of time management.  Nothing kills productivity like wasted time.  Always allow yourself extra time to complete work projects because tasks will always take longer at home than in an office because of various interruptions and distractions.  Work on important tasks during times when you know you won’t be distracted.

As you can see, it all boils down to discipline and time management.  Master these three steps and you will be amazed at how much work can be accomplished from the comfort of home.

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