Many people are currently combating working from home distractions. Of course, working from home can be a godsend for parents looking to spend more time with the family, those with extremely long commutes or even people who simply work better in their own space. Gone are the times when people believed it essential to be in an office setting to get work done.
However, worker productivity when at home is still under scrutiny, and not all employers are convinced that it’s a positive thing. One contributing factor may be those pesky working from home distractions which affect the best of us. Instead of pushing through in a chaotic work environment, read on to learn a few tips and tricks on how to create a feng shui zone for your distraction-free home office.
How to beat working from home distractions
1. Out of sight, out of mind
Keeping your (personal) phone elsewhere when you work is a simple yet effective way of allowing your mind to focus. While you may think you don’t use your phone at work all that much, checking your screen time in your settings will likely prove otherwise. When in the comfort of our own home, we can easily mistake our time as something we can enjoy leisurely. Don’t let that trick you into spending valuable time scrolling through social media.
2. Noise cancellation helps reduce working from home distractions
If you are working from home with others around you, where you are often led to conversations that distract you from work, consider using headphones to create a barrier between yourself and the outside world. Whether you decide to play music or not, the intention is to prevent people from seeking your attention. This also works perfectly if your home office is invaded by noise. Headphones are fabulous for silencing anything from noisy builders to your rattling washing machine.
3. Create a clutter-free zone
Keep your work environment clean and your TVs turned off, as clutter or overdue chores can be a big distraction. A newly delivered parcel, a half-read book or the TV switched on with last night’s half-watched docu-series can be very tempting when you should be invested in your work.
4. Separate your work life to reduce working from home distractions
If you are using a personal computer for your work, or you occasionally use your work laptop for personal use, be sure to segregate your personal activity from your work activity. Having them overlap not only allows your work to bleed into your ‘me time’, but it is incredibly distracting when trying to get work done. Either create a separate user on your computer or use a different browser.
5. Establish a workspace free from working from home distractions
Working in bed or on the sofa may allow some people to be productive, but the rest of us can find this distracting or de-energising when trying to power through a busy workday. Creating a workspace where there is adequate lighting, plenty of space to have your computer and of course,a nice cup of tea can make a world of difference. Why not invest in some pleasant accessories like a loose-leaf teapot or a diffuser to make your work environment just that little bit nicer? It can help you to resist other distractions.
6. Set your working hours
If your job functions on a relaxed schedule basis, consider setting your own working hours. Ensuring that you give yourself a time limit on your job encourages you to have everything boxed off. That will help avoid your work extending into the evening. This is a perfect solution for avoiding distractions, increasing productivity and establishing a healthier work-life balance.
7. Avoid work-based distractions
Sometimes the thing distracting you the most is work itself. Checking your emails excessively and spending too much time in your inbox pulls you away from more important jobs. If you are wondering how not to get distracted when working from home, implementing a bi-hourly inbox check is a great starting point.
Distracted in a meeting?
As we find ourselves taking meetings at home, we may not notice all the distractions. It is easy to remain focused when participants are staring at you in the face, but when at home and your microphone is on mute, it is another story.
8. Keep your phone locked
After dialling into your conference call, it is best to lock your phone screen and invest your attention into the conversation rather than Candy Crush or emails. Even if you’re not presenting on the call, you want to be paying attention. Lock your phone or turn the screen over, whatever works best for you.
9. Set out a meeting agenda
While people are comfy at home and on the phone with colleagues, it is easy to get too comfortable. We can even feel that the call is for social purposes. Creating a call agenda allows you to stay on track and avoid becoming each other’s distractions.
10. Utilise advanced call features
Using advanced conference call features available to you can truly enhance your productivity and reduce the number of meetings with distractions. The person taking minutes can be so tied up with noting everything down that they become distracted and unable to contribute to the conversation. Thankfully due to call recording, this dilemma is eliminated.
Conference call services like WHYPAY? offer some useful tools to enhance calls’ productivity, making working from home just that bit easier. Teams across the country have utilised them to avoid pesky working from home distractions as well as other digital challenges. Be sure to check out their experiences in our conference call reviews.