5 ways to be productive and avoid distractions when working from home
Everything has its pros and cons. Working from home means no commute, no nosy co-workers, and no pants required. But it also means no escape from the unending distractions that you usually leave behind.
Here are five tips for being more productive while working from home.
#1 Stick to a Morning Routine
The best part about working from home is not having to leave your house. You can roll out of bed five minutes before your morning meeting—pajamas on, teeth unbrushed, no breakfast or coffee—and still be early.
But should you?
Starting your morning off by taking twenty minutes to center yourself for the day ahead will go a long way. Have a quick bite to eat, brush your teeth, brew your morning tea or coffee, and get organized.
Then, get dressed. This means actually putting on clothes, not just switching from your nighttime pajamas to daytime pajamas. Wearing the same clothes you’d wear to the office (or at the very least, out into the real world) will provide structure and normalcy to your days. Even if it just means jeans instead of leggings, you’ll be more attentive and less likely to fall asleep.
#2 Create A Distinct WFH Space
The two most important individual features in a home office are a comfortable chair and high-speed Internet. But more than that, you’ll notice your productivity skyrocket when you can work in a secluded area dedicated to productivity.
Build a distraction-free space. This should include a closed-door and some distance from other highly populated areas of your house. Invest in a good pair of Bose sound-proof headphones if you’re struggling to find some peace and quiet.
Avoid working in your bedroom. It’s healthy to separate work from home life, plus you won’t be tempted to crawl into bed for a quick power nap between meetings.
#3 Keep Children & Pets Occupied
Easier said than done, it’s true. If you’re working from home, it probably means your children are, too. Plus, your pets are around (but they’re always there, you just usually get to escape them for eight and a half hours).
Whether or not your kids are taking online classes right now, they’ll inevitably have some downtime in their day. Perfect, they think to themselves. Let’s go see mommy and daddy! Adorable, but not conducive to productivity.
Here are a few ways to keep the kids distracted without relying solely on their cell phones or tablets (though desperate times call for desperate measures):
- Coloring books – These are great for developing fine motor skills, stimulating creativity, and sucking up hours of their time.
- Puzzles – This is another excellent time-suck. You can set it up somewhere semi-permanent so that your kids can come back to it whenever they have a free hour. You can even order a Shutterfly custom puzzle with a family photo or vacation shot.
- A DIY crafting project – If there’s something crafty your child has always wanted to make, this is a great time to do it. Consider starting them on a personalized scrapbook or embroidery project.
Animals are a little trickier to deal with because they don’t exactly follow directions well (not that children are the best at it either). Give them an extra durable bone that will last all day or a CBDfx pet tincture to mellow them out. Your pup might finally leave you alone for longer than five minutes, now.
#4 Stay Off Your Phone
This is true wherever you decide to work, but there’s something about the casual environment of home that makes you more likely to reach for your phone and lose yourself in your Instagram feed.
Unless your business has a mobile app that you need to check regularly, download the Forest App and set a timer that will keep you off your phone for however long you decide.
#5 Take A Break Every 30 Minutes
This may seem counterintuitive in terms of increasing productivity, but working for too long will burn you out. Here are a few things you can choose to do when you have a minute of free time:
- Refill your glass of water.
- Walk a few laps around your house. Sprint for five or ten seconds if you don’t feel silly.
- Stretch out your wrists and massage your hands if you’ve been typing.
- Stare at something twenty feet away for twenty seconds to counteract some of the eye strain that’s accumulated from staring at your computer all day.
Back to Work
Any significant change in routine can disrupt your ability to function at optimal efficiency. That’s okay. If you’re struggling through this time, use these five productivity tips to help you through even the most distracting home life.
For starters, stop reading this article and get back to work.