While many employees have reported that working from home has resulted in higher productivity, it’s safe to say that distractions can happen regardless of your location. Working from home may mean no more of the usual office distractions, such as water cooler chit-chat or noisy cubicle mates. However, it can also bring about its own set of interruptions that can derail you from a productive day – whether it’s household tasks you’ve been putting off or social media luring your attention away.
If you feel like you’ve been a little more distracted lately, incorporating these simple changes may help you stay focused during the day so you can meet important deadlines while balancing work-home life. Let’s break down these typical WFH distractions and how you can overcome them once and for all.
Tips for minimizing distractions during the workday:
Tip #1: Manage your emails
If your inbox has started to pile up, it could be a good idea to set aside specific times during the day dedicated to checking emails. Then spend the rest of the time working on time-sensitive tasks that take priority. You may want to prioritize your emails to differentiate between the ones that need the most attention and the ones that could be answered a little later, so you’re not wasting time during the day.
Tip #2: Know your distractions and make a plan to minimize them
Even the littlest thing such as knowing you need to do the laundry or organize the pantry could distract you when you’re supposed to be working. To avoid letting household chores be your excuse for procrastinating at work, try to get these things (or anything else that might take your mind off work) completed before you start your workday or workweek, or schedule time in the evening or weekend to complete these tasks.
Tip #3: Maintain a to-do list
One of the best ways to stay organized and make sure you know your priorities for the day is to list them out! Having a to-do list will keep you focused and will also keep the pressure off as you lay out all the tasks you need to complete – from most important to ones that don’t have an urgent deadline.
Tip #4: Have a set “home office” space (if possible)
If you are able to, it is advised to have a designated area that you can set up as your “home office.” Having an area that is separate from your bed or couch is a good way for you to stay focused during the workday. Of course, you can take a few breaks every now and then and change your location when needed. However, having a proper set up with a desk and comfortable chair will not only keep you zoned in but also help maintain your posture in the long run.
Tip #5: Set boundaries
This one’s important because if you don’t set boundaries, you could be constantly distracted by work-related or personal factors. If you are on a tight schedule or have multiple projects to focus on, give your team your schedule for the day or block off times on your calendar where you don’t want to be disturbed, so you can focus on your work.
Tip #6: Manage personal phone usage
We’re all tempted to look at our phones during the day. Whether it’s falling into a text trap with a friend or getting lost in social media, it’s important to be aware of how often you grab your personal phone. Try strategies such as switching off notifications or turning your phone on “do not disturb” mode to help you on task and off your device.
Distractions can often cause work to pile up which can lead to even more stress and pressure when you realize you’re out of time. We hope these helpful tips will keep you productive and maintain a healthier work-life balance.