Working from home can be either a blessing or curse depending on how organized you are and what family circumstances you are dealing with.
If you have young children, for example, you may find it tough to try to get it all done each day unless you have a great support network. If your children are older, they need to understand that just because you are home does not mean you have "free time". The same is true of neighbors and family members who try to load tasks on your plate because they don’t understand that work has to be your priority.
Here are nine ways to avoid distractions so you can grow your home-based business successfully.
1. Have Your Own Dedicated Workspace
Hopefully it should have a door you can close. But no matter how large or small, it should be the place where all your business-related items are.
2. Make the Most of the Space You Have
Make the most of the space you have by going up to the ceiling with shelving units. Get a multipurpose printer that also faxes and so on. Get a tall filing cabinet for your important papers, supplies, etc.
3. Be Sure to Have Fast Connectivity
If your computer is old and clunky or your internet connection is always buffering, update them.
4. Keep Your Phone Nearby but on Vibrate
Vibrate will let you know calls are coming in but without a distracting sound or ringtone that will break your concentration.
5. Keep a To-Do List
Pen and paper is fine for this, or you can create a digital one. There is nothing quite as satisfying as crossing something off the list once you have done it.
6. Keep a Calendar and Timetable
Keep a calendar with all of your most important dates, such as project deadlines. Try to work something that resembles 9 to 5 or a reasonably regular number of hours per day if you can, by setting a timetable of what needs to be done each day.
For example, pencil in 30 minutes at 9, 12, and 4 to take care of email, phone calls, and social media marketing. Create a time slot for marketing your services regularly and looking for work on the freelance websites so you can pick up more clients. Set aside time for breaks and also exercise.
7. Keep Media to a Minimum
Turn off social media notifications. Don’t try to listen to the news, TV, or music with vocals while you work, as they are all too distracting. Don’t keep checking your email and don’t answer the phone if you are really in the middle of something.
8. Don’t Fall for the Myth of Multitasking
There is no such thing as multitasking. It is actually the brain switching back and forth rapidly between two or more tasks. It can be very stressful and above all, it is inefficient. If you have two tasks that will take an hour each but try to do them at the same time, it will take you at least two hours to get them done compared to working on the first one for an hour and the second one for an hour without having to worry about where you left off.
9. Be Organized and Have Systems
Have a place for everything, and everything in its place. You should also create systems whereby you do the same task the same way each time. In this way, if you ever want to delegate it to someone else, you can easily do so and free up your time to accomplish less menial tasks.
Use these tips to minimize distractions when working from home.