If you desire to work remotely and maintain this status the key will be to limit distractions so you can be productive consistently. When you work from home or remotely various distractions will call for your attention such as the dishes, people, or other chores. You might be tempted to watch tv or browse the internet. Entertaining distractions may prevent you from being productive with your workday.
One of the crucial decisions I made since choosing to work from home and remotely is arranging workspaces in different areas of my home. Having three workspaces gives me options and helps me avoid distracting parts of my house. Once you have your workspaces set up, you also have to be careful with technology. We live in a time where internet and technology can aid us with productivity, but these same tools can be time costly distractions if we are not careful.
The goal of this post is to help you limit distractions and achieve optimal productivity.
1) Wear headphones
Nothing communicates that you are busy better than a set of headphones. I wear my headphones even when I am not listening to music. My family thinks I am "in the zone" when they notice the headphones. Headphones are the perfect tool to convey to others that you are busy and not to interrupt unless there is an emergency. Also, some studies suggest that music with bass can increase your productivity.
2) Create a Communication System
It is up to you to create a communication system that works for your family. If you have business to do and need quiet time, let everyone know that you won't be available for the amount of time you need to finish the project. For some, it will be as simple as creating a door sign. In my house, we do things a bit different. I let everyone know that I will not be available for the hours I need to complete a job. Additionally, I shut and lock the door, and if I am in a space without a door, I put up a divider to create privacy.
3) Create a family calendar
Some families are very busy, and sometimes you can't communicate to everyone in person. Having a family calendar can help with the communication process. For this option, you would need to create a family calendar and make sure your family members have access to the schedule. This step will help them know when you are busy and can't be interrupted. Imagine if your spouse gets home from an event, and you are already in an important meeting. Your spouse would know this with a shared open calendar, and they wouldn't interrupt during that time.
4) Other Distractions
We only covered a few possible resolutions. It is essential that you acknowledge what pulls you off a task to reduce distractions. When you know the things that reduce your productivity, you can create an action plan to avoid those activities during your workday. This step may mean hiring child care, locking your door, placing up a divider, following a schedule, avoiding facebook, twitter, and personal emails, etc.
These are just a few simple tips to help you work from home efficiently. Erasing all distractions from your day is difficult. Try these tips to see if you notice improvements. Ultimately, discovering the things that keep you from being productive and learning how to minimize the distraction is critical. Additionally, if you would like to improve your efficiency more, you need to look at your current tasks and find ways to automate or even possibly outsource. You might find my post on hiring affordable virtual assistants helpful. For automation, you might find tools such as Buffer and IFTTT beneficial depending on your line of work.
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Rita is a freelance writer, consultant, professor and flex work enthusiast who enjoys the freedom and flexibility of working remotely. After starting remote work in 2011, she has continued to work remotely and currently enjoys the flexibility. Today, Rita continues to embrace the remote work lifestyle and encourages others to do what they love on their own terms. Be sure to follow the Guide to Working at Home where we share advice, jobs, tips for remote workers, freelancers, business owners to find flexible work and opportunities.
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