For any entrepreneur, the struggle for avoiding distractions when working from home seems to be unending. Even small business owners who have an office or shop to retreat to seem to fare better than those who work from home. Here are some pointers for dealing with the myriad of distractions that can occur when you work from home.
Choose a Space
An artist or dancer may have a studio. A mechanic may have his tools and a garage. But, what about the stay-at-home mom who has thousands of small, meaningless decisions to make every day and still tries to run a small business?
One of the best ways to deal with distractions is to have your own space. It may just be a corner of the den, one side of the kitchen table, or, if you are lucky, an entire room set aside to be your office.
Whatever you manage, having your own space is crucial to avoiding distractions as you work from home. This allows you to lay out your work with no interference. Your work spaces are ready for your return after you change that diaper or run an errand.
For those who stay home to raise children, don’t be discouraged when you discover that your day is spent with those children. That is why you stayed home, remember? At best, you will be lucky to have a part-time business, unless you hire a nanny.
For entrepreneurs who stay at home and your children are raised, now is the time to seize the space for yourself. Set up your office as you need it. Do not underestimate the value of having everything in its place, ready to use when you need it. You can control the lighting, temperature, and ambient noises. This is crucial to success in the office downtown, and it is crucial at home, as well.
Choose a Time
Choosing your time to work is another valuable asset when avoiding distractions. Regardless of your peak work time, do the hardest or most distasteful tasks first. This gets them out of the way, and leaves you free to pursue the other tasks without avoidance.
You may need to select work times that fit your family’s rhythms the best. At my house, my peak productive time is between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm. Therefore, I ask family members (who are all but grown), to please leave me to work during that time. Sometimes, I have to work overtime in the evenings, and they understand that.
Don’t Distract Yourself
I just cannot watch TV when I am working. I’ve tried, believe me, but I end up sitting with my hands paused over the key board as I watch the TV.
I also have to close all of my social media pages and notifiers. Otherwise, I am too tempted to check my Facebook updates or respond to emails when I should be writing.
Find ambient noise or music that does not pull you off task. Designate “work space” at home, and set hours, and you will have more success in avoiding distractions as you work from home.