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How to avoid distractions while working from home

How to avoid distractions while working from home

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How to avoid distractions while working from home

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is causing uncertainty across the globe. Businesses are attempting to deal with the outbreak by following World Health Organization (WHO) guidance on how to protect workers while continuing to operate normally and service customers.

The company's imposed a work-from-home policy to limit the potential spread of infection. 

With an increasing amount of cloud technologies, collaboration platforms, and advanced devices, more people are able to work from wherever they are the most productive while still remaining connected. 

Distractions like household chores, kids, and easy access to a TV can prevent at-home workers from accomplishing as much as they want or need to.

Some tips for eliminating those distractions and boosting productivity while working from home, from current and former remote workers:

1. Play background music

Multiple professionals said playing music or an audiobook during the work day helped increase their focus. 

2. Break up your work

While some people can sit down and remain focused on a project for hours, most will get burned out and then are easily distracted. Find a schedule that works for you, but remember to take short breaks for tea/ coffee.

3. Use a calendar or to-do list

Several remote workers highly recommended using a to-do list or daily calendar to remember what they need to do and stay focused on those tasks. Some also used these lists as a brain dump area, so they could write out any distracting thoughts or personal to-do items, allowing them to focus on their work.

Planning out your week, including work and personal goals, could also help decrease distractions. Knowing you have made time for personal tasks like laundry may make you less worried about getting them done during your working hours.

4. Get well dressed

Maintain a schedule similar to what you would follow if you worked in an office, including getting out of bed and putting on clothes other than pajamas. Follow this by having set hours, including a designated lunch break.

5. Create a set office

Instead, designate a home office, preferably something with a door to separate yourself from outside distractions. Only use the home office space when you're working, to help give yourself a feeling of being at the office.

Additionally, set up the office with similar equipment that you would have at an actual office. 

6. Post your schedule

If there are other people home while you're working, it may be helpful to post a schedule on the door of your home office. This can help kids or significant others know when you're free, and when you're busy and shouldn't be distracted.

A schedule can also make working from home seem more official, so people might be more inclined to respect your boundaries.

7. Know your distractions

Pinpoint your major distractions, and knock them out before you settle down to work. Without an issue hanging over your head, you're more likely to focus on your work.

"If my kitchen is a disaster, I know I won't get any work done. "I'll stop what I'm doing and clean the whole kitchen since I can see it directly from my desk while I work. To help keep myself focused during the day, I make sure the kitchen is clean before my work hours begin."

8. Deal with your personal phone

Multiple remote workers said checking social media on their phones can be a huge distraction.

Some recommended simply turning off the phone during work hours, while others recommended putting the phone on vibrate and turning it face-down so you can't be distracted by notifications. Find a way that works for you while keeping you available for calls, if needed.

9. Use visual tools to stay organized

If you get distracted or stressed by thoughts while working, try using visual tools like a dry erase board to draw things or take notes. It can also help you understand a project in a different light.


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