There are a million and one things that can distract you from actually sitting down and doing the work at hand.
Your dog wants attention.
Dishes need to be done.
You just feel lazy and want to go lay in bed.
There is always something in your home that can distract you, so how do you go about staying productive and focused when working from home?
My goal with this post is to give you some simple tactics that will help increase your productivity when working from home.
Face your desk at a wall, not a windowI know you want to enjoy the beautiful views out your window, but a window in front of your desk is a catalyst for distraction.
A squirrel outside can catch your attention when you are in the middle of focusing.
A neighbor working outside can easily become a distraction.
Windows and sunlight are nice. I am not saying you need to work in the dark, but your desk itself should face directly against a wall. This helps keep you in the zone and prevents anything from distracting you.
Set start and end times for your workJust because you don't have an office to commute to doesn't mean you can't have a schedule.
Set specific times when you are clocking in to work and clocking out. You don't have to do 9-5. You work from home so that you can work whatever hours you want. The important part is to give yourself a hard start and a hard end time. When you do this it forces you to hustle to get your work done.
When you don't have a hard end time, it’s easy to let yourself get distracted and work more hours than you expected.
Get more sleepTake the extra time that you would have spent commuting and put that toward an extra hour of sleep each night. It's amazing what a good night’s sleep can do to improve your productivity.
Use the pomodoro techniqueThere is a famous productivity technique called the Pomodoro Technique. The basic premise is to set a timer for 20-30 minutes, sit down, and focus on doing work.
When the timer goes off, get up and take a 5 minute break. Do some dishes, walk the dog, stretch, or whatever it is your heart desires.
Then after your 5 minute break, set the time again and start working.
This technique is great because it forces you to stay in your seat and get work done. You don't get up until the timer goes off.
Turn off the internet & use site blockersWithout any co-workers or employees around, you are free to browse the internet at your liking.
Sometimes the biggest distraction is, not everything in our home, but rather your free reign to surf the internet at your wish.
When you are doing a task that doesn't require the internet, simply turn it off so you don't run the risk of being distracted.
Do you have a few sites you love to waste time on? I'll admit Facebook is my weakness.
Use a simple plugin like SimpleBlocker to set up an on/off switch for visiting these time wasting websites.
These simple blocking programs allow you to have an on/off switch for surfing the web. Yes you can always go turn it off if you want, but the simple act of blocking them stops you from mindlessly surfing between tasks.
Try it out for a day. You will be amazed how many times you try to go to the site and end up at the block screen.
The bottom lineWorking from home can be great. I absolutely love it.
But, it does come with its own set of unique challenges. Use the methods described in this post to try to make yourself a bit more productive from home.