Get Work Done! 7 Ways To Remove Work From Home DistractionsJuly 19, 2020
According to a recent report, seventy-four percent of workers would be willing to give up their current job for a gig that allowed them to work remotely.
Working from home has been made incredibly easy with the increasing amount of cloud technologies, collaboration platforms, and advanced devices available to ensure workers are the most productive while remaining connected.
While a lot of workplaces currently allow workers to work remotely, the productivity from home can be quite challenging for some professions.
There is no shortage of work from home distractions. Some days, distractions like household chores, kids, easy access to tv, and noise seem to get the best of remote workers, preventing them from accomplishing as much as they want or need to.
Tips to Eliminate Work From Home Distractions
Take control of your workday, and boost productivity with these tips.
1. Set work hours and stick to a regular work schedule.
Setting work hours is one of the best ways to eliminate distractions and ensure your remote work is in order. Working from home can be quite overwhelming, especially when you’re aware you have the entire day all to yourself. With this in mind, you could quickly lose motivation and be tempted to procrastinate your work.
Therefore, it is important to set strict working hours just like in an office. Knowing you begin and end work at designated times always helps to focus.
Deciding to get some extra sleep or do some housework before beginning your work for the day can be tempting, but most times, this only makes it harder to transition into the work mode.
When you have a work schedule coupled with dedicated work hours, it makes it easier to work when you should. You can complete other household chores at designated times as well.
2. Create a separate home office space.
Those who live alone may not need to worry about getting distracted by other people. However, people who share a home with others have the potential of getting their attention divided often.
A dedicated work station helps to limit disturbance from those around you.
Sometimes, even people who live alone need to have a set home workspace to give the feeling of being at the office. Preferably, your home office should be filled with only work-related materials. These should be used only when working so that your mind knows it is time for work whenever you sit there. Much as your bed should be reserved for sleeping, your work station should be reserved for working.
Additionally, setting up your home office with similar equipment you’d have in an actual office helps to enhance focus.
3. Avoid distractions on your phone and computer.
Although the modern computer is a beautiful and versatile tool, it is also an extremely efficient distraction device. There are times when you’re simply not feeling the job you’re working on, and suddenly you find yourself wasting hours on the internet.
The easy solution is to close all the applications you don’t need while you’re trying to focus on work.
Many remote workers have said that checking social media can be a huge distraction. Some professionals simply turn off their phones during work hours. Some others just prefer to put their smartphones on silent mode and face down to avoid getting distracted by notifications. (Speaking of smartphones, have a look at these Smarphone Hacks.)
It is essential to find what works for you while keeping you available for calls if needed. Remember that although you might miss an important email or text for a bit, it will still be there when you’re finished with work.
4. Use noise cancellation tools.
We’ve all been there. You sit in a quiet corner of the house for an online meeting with your colleagues. You’re feeling confident, acting all formal and everything, when all of a sudden, you’re child screams bloody murder. Or something distracts your dog and he goes barking away.
You look at the faces of your workmates and see their disapproving faces. You apologize, but they ask you to mute yourself instead.
How embarrassing, yes?
A noisy environment is another top distraction remote workers have to deal with. Noise from uncontrollable events around us such as kids, a barking dog, music, or even a dishwasher running can make concentration almost impossible at times. (Speaking of kids, keep them busy with these great gifts for toddlers so they won’t distract you from what you need to do.)
A decent noise cancellation headset is a useful tool for remote workers who need silence to concentrate. However, for remote workers who need to engage in phone or video calls from time to time, a noise cancellation software tool would be a better option.
Sometimes, as soon as you jump on an urgent phone call, someone decides it is the best time to blow some leaves off the sidewalk outside your window. No one likes to hear the words, ‘could you please mute your mic?’ during a conference call.
An effective AI-powered software tool like Krisp solves every noise problem remote workers face during calls.
Available on both windows and mac devices, Krisp is a simple software tool that cancels noise on both ends of a phone or video call. What this means is that you won’t hear the noise coming from other call participants and they won’t hear the noise coming from you. A technology like this allows you to have meetings anywhere you are located regardless of the noisy environment.
There is no complicated software to keep track of. All you have to do is add the technology to your collaboration app, and it syncs with your default device. The best part is, the Krisp.ai tool works with any sound device, be it a headset or a microphone. It also works with over 800 different apps and is indeed the best solution for every professional whose job involves making calls regularly.
5. Set boundaries.
A lot of people often assume that remote workers don’t work so much, and that’s a common misconception. Remote workers may also find it hard to explain to friends and family that they need to put in their hours whenever they are invited for a mid-afternoon movie break or lunch.
Most people don’t realize that you work from home unless you tell them so. By letting those around you know when you’re available, rather than letting them tell you when they can meet up, you’re in more control of your time. Have in mind that working from home is not a disadvantage, so do not make excuses for it.
By only letting people know when you are available and when you are not, you train them on how to treat you and your work time.
This action of setting boundaries ultimately eliminates distractions from people close to you during your working hours. When you need to work, shut yourself away in your office space. Explain to those around you that you don’t need any form of disturbance. Close the door if you have one, and get on with it.
6. Dress right.
Following a schedule similar to what you would follow if you worked in an office is essential. An this includes putting on clothes other than pyjamas once you get out of bed.
While you don’t need to put on a three-piece suit or a pencil skirt and heels when you work from home, you do need to change into something else that makes you feel professional.
Not only does this help set you in the mood for work, but it also helps to start your day correctly. It’s not really about the professional look, but more of the professional mindset, as many find it challenging to think professionally while in their sleeping clothes.
Switch into something that will inspire you to work-mode every morning before work because having a morning routine acts as a motivation factor which will, in turn, increase your productivity.
7. Take regular breaks.
Remote workers are advised to abide by the ‘rule of 52 and 17‘, which states that a seventeen-minute break should be observed after working for every fifty-two minutes.
The reason is that taking frequent breaks between work helps to keep a person motivated and productivity increased. Plus it helps keep anxiety at bay.
When you look at your average working day in an office, you would see it is not non-stop work there. There are plenty of natural breaks in between, whether in the form of refreshments or chatting with a colleague. An alarm can help set this rule in motion. During your short break, you can refill your bottle of water, grab a quick bite, or just stretch your limbs.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, be tempted to check your social media or log in to your personal email. This tends to lead to hours wasted on interesting and non-work related things.
Working from home can be just as demanding as working in an office. It is not very easy and comes with its pitfalls. There are a lot of distractions involved in working remotely.
Nevertheless, the advantages can outweigh the disadvantages if you work on them. Know what distracts you while you work from home and knock them out before you settle down to work. Remote workers have to steer clear of these distractions and manage time while managing themselves, to stay on top of their game and productivity.