If you work from your home you know how difficult staying on task throughout the day can be. Children, spouses, and video games can all be distractions, leaving you with not much to report on at the end of the day.
When working from home you are likely to face much more distractions than you would in an office setting. Picking up after the kids, doing the laundry, running errands and cooking for your family are all important, but they can also be detrimental to the work that you need to get done during the day.
Structuring Your Day
I asked a friend of mine who also works from home if he had any tips for staying on task throughout the day. He said he faces many of the same struggles that most people have while working from home, so he decided to write up a simple schedule that outlined what he needed to be doing throughout the day.
By laying out a schedule that he could adhere to day after day he was able to keep his mind on the work at hand instead of doing chores and other household tasks. Additionally, he brought up that by structuring his workspace into a quiet, focused zone he was able to stay on task throughout the day. So, if you’re working in your living room with your kids running around it is probably best to move your work desk into another room to limit distraction.
Working Too Much
When I tell my friends that I work from home, they often reply with sly remarks that I sleep ‘till noon, don’t change my clothes and just sort of float through the day. But, the truth is, most of us that do work from home tend to overdo things from time to time.
To combat this problem you need to be able to tell yourself when enough is enough. We all wish we could be more productive during the day, but the truth is as we work more and more we begin to burn ourselves out and actually decrease our productivity, the exact opposite of what we want.
Remember to set breaks for yourself throughout the day and to also define when work starts and when work stops. It is not the end of the world if you work 15 minutes late every day, but if you start to find yourself working 12 hour days it may be best to take a step back and evaluate how things are going.
Not Separating Yourself from a Distracting Environment
As we discussed earlier, not getting yourself away from distraction can really mess up what you get done during the day. If you’re working in your living room and constantly find yourself flipping on the TV to “just going to check the news quickly” it is probably best that you move into a different work area.
If you are unable to move to a new area do whatever you can to remove these distractions from your work day. If you are struggling with the television, try unplugging it for 8 hours so that if you do reach for the remote you can’t turn it on. Do your kids or spouse constantly bother you while you’re working? They probably wouldn’t be calling you 10 times a day if you were at the office, so a kind explanation that you can’t be bothered unless during an emergency can go a long way to ensure you get your done every day.