One thing you are going to have to master when you work from home, is how to handle distractions working from home and how to minimize it as much as possible.
There are a lot of distractions you need to contend with such as household chores, the TV, social media and kids. So, how exactly should you deal with these distractions to ensure you can work more efficiently?
Out of all of the issues that home working presents, time management is one of the most problematic. How can you get everything you need to get done completed, when there are increased distractions to contend with?
Below, you will discover some great time management hacks you can implement when you work at home and some great tips to help you handling distractions.
1. Set up a quiet working space
With all of the distractions at home, it can be really hard to concentrate on work. This is especially true if you have kids at home. So, if you want to ensure you can get things done in peace, it is worth setting up a quiet working space.
Try and use a room that isn’t frequently used during the day. Place a sign on the door when you are trying to work to let others know not to disturb you. Make sure the workspace is comfortable too as you won’t get a lot done if you aren’t comfortable.
2. Start as early as possible
One of the main challenges that can come from working from home is delaying the time you usually start. It is tempting to have a lie in and take longer to relax in the morning before starting. However, this only zaps your productivity.
If you want to ensure you stay productive, you will want to start as early as possible. The positive side to this is that the earlier you start, the earlier you will get to finish.
3. Avoid trying to multi-task
It is common to try and multitask when you are working at home. Whether it is trying to work on two different projects at the same time or trying to work and take care of the kids, multi-tasking can prove detrimental to your productivity.
Instead, you will need to focus on just one task at a time. When you focus on just one thing, it makes you far more productive. Similarly, grouping similar tasks together can help you to complete them much quicker.
4. Set yourself realistic deadlines
A good time management tip when you are working from home, is to set realistic deadlines. You will want to compile a list of the most important tasks you need to complete that day. Then, work on them in order.
Set yourself a specific amount of time for each task. You will find this really helps to keep you focused on the job at hand. When you work to deadlines, it helps you to get more work done in a shorter timescale. This is because you are much less likely to check things such as social media, when you know you only have a set amount of time to complete what you are working on.
5. Take advantage of productivity tools
If you take a look online, you will find a lot of productivity tools available. Many of these are free to use and they help to boost productivity when working remotely.
Task management tools are especially great for productivity. They enable you to keep in touch with the team, organize tasks and see exactly what needs to be completed.
You can even find time management tools online. These enable you to better utilize your time, ensuring you get the most important tasks done first.
6. Use the distractions as a reward
Distractions doesn’t have to be a bad thing. They can be used to reward yourself after completing work tasks.
For example, if you love nothing more than to curl up in front of the TV watching your favorite shows, allow yourself the opportunity to watch something after completing a project.
Similarly, you could use social media in the same way. Once you have completed a task off your to-do list, reward yourself with a short period of time on your social media channels.
Using distractions as a reward can help to keep you focused and boost your motivation to get your work done.
7. Consider working in various parts of the home
It is common to set aside just one place to work from. However, did you know you may find it more productive to work in various areas of the home?
It is all about adding variety into your new working environment. Some days, the spare room may be the best place to get work done. Other times, you may find it more beneficial to work on the dining room table or in the back yard. Don’t limit yourself to where you can work, mix it up and watch your productivity levels increase.
8. Add a little background music
This tip might not be useful to everyone, but many professionals claim working with background music on can limit their distractions. You will want to focus on calming music, rather that something that makes you want to sing along.
Alternatively, listening to podcasts and audio books in the background can also work well. So, if you struggle with productivity, try adding a little background noise and see if that helps.
9. Reside to check emails sparingly
Checking emails is important when you work from home. However, it can also take up a lot of time. So, you will want to limit how many times you check them during the day.
Ideally, you will want to check them first thing in a morning, then after you have completed each task you are working on.
10. Turn off notifications
Another great tip is to turn off those notifications. Social media, news and app notifications can all prove really distracting when you are working from home. So, turn them off until after work to boost productivity.
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- How To Stay Connected When Working Remotely
- 7 Tips To Survive Working At Home During The Coronavirus Pandemic
- 8 Ways To Work With Kids In The House
11. Set social media limits
You will have a lot more time to check in on social media when you haven’t got the boss breathing down your neck. However, it is easy to waste hours using social media accounts if you aren’t careful.
Many home workers find it useful to set limits on their social media use during working hours. It could be simply committing to using it during a specific time for example. Having limits in place makes you more aware of how much you are using it.
12. Maintain your usual get ready routine
It is really important to try and maintain your usual routine. This means, getting ready for work in the same way you usually do. So, wake up at the same time, have your usual cup of coffee and get dressed into your work clothes. It is amazing how much of a difference this can make to your productivity.
These are just a few tips you can follow when transitioning to working from home and dealing with distractions. It can be a big adjustment, but there are lots of tools and tips out there to help. Trying to maintain your usual routine is one of the best things you can do during these changing times.
It is not always easy limiting distractions when you work from home. However, the above are some of most effective tips you can follow to deal with the distractions that may crop up.
P.S. Need help planning your work at home schedule? Download our Work At Home Planner to help track your schedule, project and agenda.
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Are you used to be working in the office with other colleagues but now need to work from home? What challenges do you have and how do you resolve? Share with your comment below.