Updated May 16, 2017
Back in April I wrote a post about the twenty reasons why I love working from home. Anyone who knows me knows that I can go on about the reasons why I love it and I encourage anyone to consider the option and if it sounds like it’d be a great move to go for it.
On the other hand, there are also some reasons why the thought “what the heck was I thinking” runs across my mind from time to time. Okay, a lot of the times.
When I started working from home I thought it was going to be the answer to all my problems. In a big way it has been but there are some things I didn’t realize would and could happen.
For me and probably many other work-from-homies out there would say the main reason for a “what the heck” moment is because of the distractions.
The thought never occured to me that there would be distractions and unexpected events that could keep me from work. Sure I knew I’d get phone calls or get caught up on a TV show but there were times when it was hard to manage my work-from-home schedule.
I don’t want you to think I regret making the decision to work from home. It’s been the best decision I’ve made for myself and my family.
The reason why I’m talking about distractions and how the unexpected can happen at any moment is to prepare you in case you have been thinking about a work from home lifestyle. I believe in being straight up, not sugar coating.
Distractions Are Inevitable
Let’s face it, there’s always going to be something to distract you from your work. It might be the kids, pets, television and now more than anything, social media. Come on, you know you check your Facebook and Twitter feeds in between emails and conference calls…
I put together what I think are the top six work-from-home distractions and a solution to avoid them.
Let’s dive right in…
The Top 6 Work-from-Home Distractions
There will never be a day when you won’t get distracted by these little darlings. My kids are grown and now it’s the grandkids I’m chasing after. And they still come in my office wondering what I’m doing or if they want me to play action hero with them.
Solution. If you have teens or even a niece or nephew out for summer vacation, offer to pay them a little extra money to babysit for you. Here’s a tip, if they b*tch and moan about watching their younger siblings work out a deal by offering an extension to their curfew. It worked with my daughter!
This is still a challenge for me. As soon as I hear the ding I stop what I’m doing and check my inbox before I know it I’m checking other emails and losing about 30 minutes of my day. By the way, am I the only one still using personal email? Hehe!
Here’s how to solve that problem…
Solution. Set up a separate email account for work only and if you’re using Outlook only configure your business email account and do not include the personal one. Check personal email during a break or lunch, just as if you worked in an office.
We all have our cell phones wherever we go. After all, we want to be accessible to whoever calls us, right? But just like an office job there should be a limit to personal phone calls. Because once we get caught up in conversations, especially the juicy ones, we can lose track of time and end up having an unproductive day.
Solution. Screen your phone calls and let the ones you feel you can check later go to voicemail. And like my mom would say, if it’s important, they’ll call back. 🙂
Family and friends
Now that your peeps know you’re at home, you might be visited more frequently by family and friends. You might even get invited to lunch more often or the cell phone will ring more than it used to. It’s okay to take a lunch date every now and then but make sure you’re not taking too much time away from your work or online business.
I can’t remember where I read this when I first started blogging several years ago but it went something like…if you put in part-time work you get part-time results and that could not be more true.
Solution. Let friends and family know about your work-from-home circumstances. It’s okay to say no and turn down invitations politely, I’m sure there won’t be any hard feelings. Offer a rein check to make everyone feel better.
I’m one of those people who has to have the TV on but I get caught up in the programs too. Especially my soap. And don’t get me started on General Hospital! I’ve been watching that show since I was ten years old! I wonder if I’m the only one still watching soaps. LOL
Solution. I’ve scheduled my “lunch” at the time General Hospital is on. If there are other shows I can’t miss I’ll DVR it and watch it at a later time if the hubs isn’t taking up the TV. I swear sometimes I want my own room!
Now that I have a personal Facebook account, I now understand what people meant by getting so caught up with Facebook that they lose track of time. It’s kind of like a Facebook trance.
Even when you’re on social media for business reasons, you can lose a whole work day with all the engagement going on.
Solution. Follow the same rule as the personal email rule and check social media during breaks, before or after you start your day or dedicate a time of day to check your social media accounts.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve already started filling out applications for a work-from-home job, you probably have seen “a private, quiet work space” among the list of requirements. That’s because employers want to ensure you’ll be as productive as you would be if you worked in an office.
And if you happen to run a home-based or online business, the private work space could benefit you as well.
The bottom line is, you have to be disciplined to keep from getting distracted and I hope the suggestions I shared here will be helpful to you when facing your own.
Over To You
What other distractions do you encounter working from home and how do you defuse it? Let’s get the conversation going in the comments section below.
I would really appreciate it if you’d share this on social media!
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