Working from home is full of benefits and opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise have at a typical day job. You can create your own hours, have control over what you earn, and are in charge of how much work you actually do. All the benefits come with their own unique challenges, though. You have to deal with balancing work and family life to the best of your ability along with the feeling that your best is never good enough. You also must deal with interruptions throughout the day and not let it distract you from getting things done. Here are a few ways to work around those distractions and still be productive.
Set Phone Hours
If you have your phone ringing off the hook all day long you won’t get nearly as much accomplished as you could. Make a point to tell family, friends, and clients when you will and won’t be answering the phone. Let all calls that don’t fall within those hours go straight to voicemail. Turn the ringer on your home phone down or off and rely on your cell phone in case of emergencies. It’s very hard to be efficient if you are constantly interrupted by phone calls.
There are going to be times that you have to be there for your family during the day especially if you have small children. Try to pre-schedule time with your family so they know exactly when you will be working and when you have free time. Of course, if you have an infant or toddler in the house that situation may be a little different. The best thing you can do in this case is work around nap times and in the evening after bedtime. You could also ask a family member to help out with the children during your set work hours. One of my favorite tools for managing schedules and projects is Trello. I use it for scheduling chores and school assignments for my children, house projects, meal planning, and of course, work projects. You can also check out Grocery U and Make Over Your Year – inexpensive online courses to help with goal setting, meal planning, and saving money.
Involve Your Family
Depending on the ages of your children you can involve them in different parts of your business by giving them simple tasks. Keeping them busy may help to eliminate distractions and help you keep some sanity during the day. Involving your family will also help them to understand more of what you are doing and not feel so out of the loop. They will be less likely to interrupt you if they know what you are working towards on a day-to-day basis.
Interruptions are a part of everyday life especially if you have children in the house. Other distractions can come from family members, neighbors, the mailman, dogs barking, etc. The assumption is that because you are home on a daily basis you have nothing better to do than talk, text, have lunch, and spend time gossiping. The key is to be open with them about schedules, phone hours, and how you need to spend your time in order to be the most productive. It shouldn’t take too many reminders to eliminate most of your daily distractions and have you on your way to a more efficient workday.
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