One of the biggest challenges for people who are working from home for the first time is staying on task. Your home offers a variety of distractions that can pull you away from your work at any point, affecting your productivity.
There are ways to remedy this, though. Here are tips to avoid troublesome distractions when working from home.
Create a Barrier
The saying, “Out of sight, out of mind,” is very apt here. Sometimes you just need to create a wall between you and your distractions. If you don’t have the space for a home office with a door, there are plenty of other creative solutions.
You can block off your workspace, for instance, by using a decorative bedsheet to create a curtain. Creating a defined workspace may not seem like much, but you’ll be surprised how effective it is. Once you can’t see the television, you won’t be as tempted to watch it.
Don’t Turn on Distracting Media
Try to avoid engaging with all devices. It’s amazing how quickly you can get sucked into them. Even the news playing in the background can quickly suck up your attention. Similarly, you may want to block any website that you find yourself scrolling through, like news sites and social media.
Put Your Phone on “Do Not Disturb”
Your phone is a goldmine of distraction. From notifications to games and social apps, this device can pull you out of your work instantly. It’s best to utilize the “Do Not Disturb” function on your phone, which will block out calls, texts, and notifications until you deem otherwise.
Worried about missing an important call? You can adjust the settings so that certain callers will still be allowed to notify you even when this setting is on.
Scheduled breaks can help you to avoid the temptation of walking away from your desk prematurely. The exact timing and frequency are up to you, but make sure to find that balance.
If you have kids who are home, you can schedule those breaks around them and take advantage of your time together. Have them occupied with schoolwork for an hour and a half while you work or are in a meeting, then do something with them for 45 minutes. Find what works for you and your family, and you’ll find yourself as productive as you should be.
Allow Distractions to Happen Once in a While
Distractions will happen when you work from home. Do not be too hard on yourself as they pop up. Allow those things to pull you away for a bit, especially if they are important to you, then return to work. You’ll find that walking away for a bit and practicing self-care makes you even more productive in the long run.
It’s not about how many times you stop working, but how many times your start up again. Everyone has a different balance to strike, so be patient as you find yours.
If you’re looking for more tips regarding remote work, please visit our Michael Page advice column.