Business 101: Put a STOP to the Daily Distractions – Managing Interruptions and Distractions When You Work from Home
If you work-at-home, you are confronted with an entirely different set of challenges than people who work in a traditional office environment – from your 4-year-old interrupting you with “Where’s my toy?” to the laundry and sink full of dirty dishes screaming for your attention.
If you want to move your business forward and successfully juggle your responsibilities, you have to learn a few basic work-at-home survival skills that address the two core challenges of working from home: external and internal distractions!
External Distractions: Interruptions from Family and Friends
- Schedule your work hours while the children are asleep.
- Hire a nanny to care for the children during work hours, and get dad to watch them in the evening work hours.
- Create a separate work area so you can either shut the door or teach people that when you’re in your office, you’re not to be disturbed.
- Set firm work boundaries. For example, when people call to chat, kindly but firmly remind them you’re working and will call them back when your workday is finished.
- Set regular office hours and make sure family and friends know them.
Internal Distractions: Personal or Household Business and Temptations
- Remove all non-work related items from your separated work area.
- When ideas come up, jot them down on a sticky note to do later, and keep focused on your work project.
- Make a commitment to your work hours and stick to it.
Interruptions and distractions are a fact of working at home and like it or not, they usually happen at the most inopportune times. The key to managing daily distractions is to create a concrete plan on how to avoid or overcome them and stay on task.
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