Working from home is no joke.
Sure, it's a DREAM the first week or two... "you mean I can just wear my pjs all day AND take a lunch whenever I darn well please?!"
But once you settle into a routine, the pain points of working at home start to seep into your day-to-day. Whether you work for yourself or an established company, work-from-home distractions quickly become a new battle and another thing to manage.
I'm sharing my four favorite remedies for minimizing work-from-home distractions below!
Psst: these solutions are also my go-to's for working on the go during heavy travel seasons, as well.
01: Have a dedicated space
Setting yourself up for success in a work at home environment means starting with a dedicated workspace. This not only gets you mentally into "work mode" when you sit down in this space every day, but is also a great indicator to others that when you're in this space, you're focused and working.
A dedicated workspace does NOT have to a be a big, beautiful office with doors and a window and an executive desk. Even something as simple as a small-ish desk in a nook or the corner of your dining room (*ahem*) can serve as a comfortable, dedicated work area.
Note: a dedicated workspace means minimizing other personal work and distractions in this space. Bills, personal mail, and grocery lists should live in other areas of your home so your desk/office stays committed to your work tasks and projects.
02: Invest in quality headphones
What simpler way to signal to those around you that you're in work mode than when you throw on your headphones and really get in the zone? To be totally honest, I'll sometimes use mine as a noise-blocking device and wear them without any tunes or sounds playing.
Unless earbuds are what you LOVE, investing in a pair of comfortable, high quality over-the-ear headphones will be worth every penny. I've found them to be much better at blocking noise and they're easy for others to see — so there's no mistaking when you're in work mode and in the zone.
Looking for something trendy and comfortable? I've been using Frends headphones for three years and absolutely love how travel-friendly they are!
03: Maximize quiet hours
In most households, there are periods of time when things are quieter and less chaotic than others; identifying when these timeframes exist and planning your focused work around them is a great strategy for knocking out your hardest work in peace.
If you're also a stay at home mom, this could be during the little one's nap time. Live with a roommate? Know what time she generally wakes up, comes home, and is moving around your space so you can set aside the more focused tasks after she's gone for the day. Be smart about which tasks you tackle at different times throughout the day so you can make progress where it matters — and still knock out simpler tasks during slightly more chaotic hours.
04: Work in focused time blocks
One of the easiest ways to get off track while working at home is by taking excessive breaks during your best work hours; taking a ten minute break to fold laundry can easily turn into an hour of cleaning and prepping dinner. The problem I've found with this is that those "cleaning breaks" feel productive (and they are, in a sense), but are they contributing to the most important thing that day?
My favorite way to battle this is to give myself time blocks for working and breaking — and then end my "focused" workday at a set time, knowing that any work completed after that time will be a bonus and head start for the next day.
For instance, mornings are my favorite time to work and get the hard work done — so you can bet that I'll be in the zone from 6am to noon every day. I generally save more hands-on tasks like photo shoots and packaging orders in the afternoons; this way, I know I'm getting the hard work done early in the day, and any work I complete in the afternoon is "fun" work that helps me end the day on a high note.