With remote work being more popular than it ever has, employees are looking for ways to maximize productivity while being able to work from home.
Because let’s be honest, distractions are common at home and it’s very easy to find yourself off track.
Unlike working in the office, you’re surronded by reminders of not only the professional tasks you need to complete, but also personal. The sink with dishes in it. The overflowing laundry bin. The floor in desperate need of a vaccuum session.
Not to mention the “fun” distractions–the TV with episodes you’ve yet to catch up on, friends/family busting into your room, your TikTok feed calling your name–the list goes on.
So how do you deal with it?
Boundaries, habits and consistency.
And these five tips:
1. Find your space, and work there.
An office is the most important thing to get over when working from home. Namely, you can’t put your laptop on the living room table and expect the same level of productivity as you would when working from an office.
That’s why the first thing to avoid distractions is finding your space. Of course, the best way to do this is to set up a home office. Luckily, a home office doesn’t require the same amenities as a real office. All you need is a spare room, table, chair, and internet connection. While these are the basics, you can add tons of home office essentials to create the perfect work-from-home space.
Unfortunately, some people don’t have spare rooms to set up as home offices. Some people live in apartments where they barely have enough room for themselves.
So that presents a unique challenge. If you do find yourself with limited space, look for short-term solutions. Maybe put a small table in the corner of your living room and find some way to enclose it.
While we won’t talk about tips to achieve your goal, do know that privacy is essential when working from home.
2. Remove distractions.
One of the best ways to avoid distractions when working from home is to remove all the distractions from your home office. The best way to get this one over the line is to think of what distracts you in the first place. Is it your smartphone and social media, or is it something else entirely? While it might be impossible for some to work without their smartphones, removing distractions by closing unnecessary applications and social media is crucial to getting work done from home.
Remember that you’re working from the comfort of your own home and that the same rules don’t necessarily apply to working from an office. While you are still required to do your daily tasks, no one says you can’t pick up your phone and call a friend.
But that’s precisely what you shouldn’t be doing. Not because you are forbidden from doing it, but because you are distracting yourself and failing at overcoming your daily goals.
So we suggest putting your phone away, muting certain apps, and removing other distractions to get more work done. By doing that, you’re developing habits for better focus.
3. Create a to-do list each day, and stick to it as much as possible.
Avoiding distractions is one thing, but sticking to your daily tasks is another. Unfortunately, without guidance on what to do, we often procrastinate. As a matter of fact, procrastinating will be your biggest enemy when working from home. So you will have to address this one.
Luckily, the good ol’ to-do list is a great tool to help you avoid procrastinating. A to-do list gives you structure, focus, and clear navigation of what needs to be done daily.
Each task gives you guidance and purpose. It puts you on a path and makes sure you stick to it. Once you complete the tasks, it marks the end of the work day. And if you manage to do it before 5 pm, it gives you extra downtime and time for yourself.
Shop some of our favorite to-do lists below:
4. Take breaks.
Even with a jam-packed work schedule, we all need to take regular breaks. But unfortunately, overworking only leads to procrastination and distractions. If you don’t take regular breaks, you only expose yourself to more distractions. One of the best ways to avoid distractions is to occasionally step aside from your laptop.
Once you finish a task, take a five-minute break to clear your mind and shake off the stiffness from sitting in front of the computer. As you will see, this is a great way to beat procrastination and distractions. It boosts your morale and encourages you to step back and finish your day.
5. Make sure your partner/roomates/family respect your workspace.
The last thing we’ll mention is privacy. While we did mention that privacy is necessary for working from home, you have to tell family members not to bother you while working.
Obviously, this is most challenging for working parents, who have the impossible job of getting work done at home and trying to take care of children.
What we’d recommend is trying as much as possible to have dedicated time to work without the kiddos.
Talk to your housemates–your rommates, partner and kids, about isolated work time. Maybe even put a sign to remind them that you’re currently working and will be available on your next break. We love this fun door sign for outside of the home office–this way you can mark if you’re available or shouldn’t be disturbed to the thers in your home.
Shop here:Home Door Sign
We hope these five tips will help you get the job done, and we’re eager to find out if anything else works for you!