Working from home has many positive aspects but can definitely bring some challenges depending on your organizational skills and your family circumstances.

For example, if you have young children you will need a strong support system to be able to get everything that needs to be done completed each day.  If you have older children, they need to understand that although you are home that doesn’t mean you have any “free time”.  This is also true for friends and family that may try to load you down with tasks because they don’t understand that work has to be your focus.

Below are some tips to avoid distractions so you can grow your successful home-based business.

  • Create Your Own Personal Workspace

Ideally, your workspace should have a door that you can close.  It doesn’t matter how big or small your area is as long as you are able to keep all your work-related items there.

  • Optimize Your Space

Optimize the space that you do have by making the most out of it.  For example, installing shelves all the way to the ceiling utilizes space that may have been used.  Also, try getting a multi-function printer that also scans and faxes to save on space.  Getting a tall filing cabinet for important contracts and paperwork can also house your office supplies, etc.

  • Be Sure to Have Fast Connectivity

If your internet connection or computer is slow and outdated, get them updated.

  • Keep Your Phone on Silent

Putting your phone on silent but enabling the vibrate will allow you to be notified of calls without a distracting ringtone to break your concentration.

  • Create a To-Do List

You can create a list on paper or make a digital one.  It helps keep track of what you need to accomplish and gives you a sense of accomplishment when you can start marking things completed on your list.

  • Keep a Calendar

You will want to create a calendar that shows your important dates and deadlines.  Try to work something that looks like 9 to 5 or a similar regular workday if possible, using a timetable you’ve established.

For example, pencil in 30 minutes at 10, 12, and 3 to take care of phone calls, emails, and social media marketing.  Create a time slot dedicated to marketing your services and looking for work on the freelance website to gain more clients.  You can also schedule break times and even exercise.  Visit Its a Southern Life Yall for help on creating a work schedule at home.

  • Media Should be Kept to a Minimum

Don’t try to listen to the news, TV, or music lyrics while you work.  They are very distracting.  Don’t keep checking your email or answering your phone if you are actually in the middle of something.

  • Don’t Believe the Multitasking Myth

Multitasking does not exist.  It is actually your brain going back and forth quickly between multiple tasks.  It is inefficient and stressful and should be avoided.  When you try to do two tasks that take about an hour each at the same time, it will take you at least two hours to complete them.  Instead, you should work on the first one for an hour and then the second one for an hour and remove the worry about where you left off. 

  • Get Organized and Establish Systems

Get yourself organized and have a place for everything.  Develop systems that do the same task the same way each time.  This also allows you to delegate more easily to someone else if you need to free up your time to accomplish something else that specifically needs your attention.

Taking Control of Distractions

Distractions cost us valuable time and prevent us from getting work done.  They rob us of quality time with our loved ones and can be very frustrating if they get out of control.  When your day becomes overrun by distractions, it’s time to take control and put your foot down.

So, you’ve come to that point where you’re ready to do something to improve things.  So where do you start?  You begin by realizing that distractions only happen when you allow them to.  That’s right, you determine what you will allow invading your workday. 

Becoming Aware of Distractions

We’ve become so used to distractions throughout the day that we hardly notice them anymore.  Every time you get an alert from your phone or someone comes by to talk to you about lunch plans, you are being distracted.  Begin to repair your distracted state by starting to pay more attention to them and make a list of all the ways you are being distracted throughout the day.

Evaluate the Distraction

Every time you get distracted it costs you something.  Usually, that cost is paid in your own valuable time which may be more time than you think.  Once you are aware of it, you need to determine if it’s worth keeping or not.  Having your email continuously stay open means that you will be distracted every time you receive a new email.  Is the distraction worth it or can you get by with only checking your emails twice a day?  Go through the list you created and evaluate each one to decide which ones are worth it and which ones you need to eliminate.

Remove the Distraction

Now it’s time to remove the distractions that you decided you don’t want to live with.  You may decide to keep your email closed and uninstall social media or mobile game apps from your phone.  However, other distractions such as discouraging friends and family from stopping by for a visit during your work hours or stopping yourself from repeatedly checking Facebook throughout the day, are harder to deal with.

Start by eliminating the easy distractions and then do what you can to work on the bigger ones.  Before long you will start to feel more in control and getting more things accomplished than ever before. For more help see our previous post, Setting Priorities.



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