What distracts you the most when you work from home? The sound of next door’s lawnmower? That growing pile of ironing? Your housemate’s cheesy 80s playlist?
Don’t worry, we’ve rounded up some of the most common working-from-home distractions, along with some ways to combat them.
Family and children in the house.
Juggling work and family life is not easy, especially when it’s the school holidays; you’d love to spend time with your children, but work still has to get done if you run your own business.
Firstly, don’t feel bad for taking a step away from your desk to enjoy time with your family.
However, for the times where you must work, hire a babysitter or ask someone you trust to watch your kids for a few hours so you can retreat to your workspace and fully focus on your most important tasks.
Housework and chores.
One perk of heading to an office every morning is shutting your front door and forgetting about the growing list of household chores that need to be completed.
So many self-employed people find themselves tidying the entire house before they can get any work done.
Set aside a block of time each day/week when you can do housework. For example, a 10-minute whip around before you start work in the morning, or a Thursday afternoon deep clean session – whatever works best for your routine.
Working from home when you share your home is hard, especially when the people you houseshare with aren’t self-employed.
Be open with your housemates and have a conversation about your boundaries, whether this is not knocking on your door for a chat at 2pm, or that music volume must be kept to a minimum during the day.
If all else fails, invest in a quality pair of headphones so that you can find your flow and stay productive, even if they are being noisy.
Your mobile phone is a constant distraction – notifications, phone calls, texts, WhatsApp groups and the constant temptation to watch endless YouTube videos on how to stop procrastination.
Put your phone in another room for a few hours, or set it onto Do Not Disturb.
Of course, mobile devices are a necessity when you work remotely, but we’re pretty sure you don’t need it by your side 24/7. Try it, even if it’s just for 1 hour each day, and watch as your productivity soars.
Limit the temptation to flick on the TV, put on a load of washing or have a cup of tea and a chat with your housemate/partner by setting up a designated workspace.
If you have space, dedicate a room in your house to work. If not, it could be a corner of a bedroom or living room.
And, when you need to work, sit in that space and nowhere else in your house – not on the sofa, or in bed, or in the garden, just your workspace.
A set office space can help you focus your mind and get into the mood for work, increasing your ability to avoid distractions.
Share your top tips for working from home with us on Twitter or Facebook. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about becoming self-employed, please do give us a call and we’d be happy to chat.