Avoiding Distractions in Your Home Office

by Brent Larson
Working from home is great. Where else can you work in your pajamas while simultaneously not having to worry about hopping in your car to fight morning traffic? However, there are a few downsides to working at home. The home is your comfort zone, and it’s pretty easy to get distracted in front of the TV or simply by tinkering around the house. To ensure that you are getting the most out of your work day, consider doing the following to avoid distractions:

Limit Phone Calls
While phone calls from employers may be important, allowing your phone to ring off the hook throughout the day can constantly break your stream of consciousness and keep you from getting work done. If you find that you are constantly being bombarded by telemarketers throughout the day, look them up on Anywho.com, and put yourself on their no call list. You’ll quickly find that you’ll be able to get a lot more done without the constant ringing in your ears.

Turn Off the TV
The TV can be nice for background noise as no one wants to sit in a dead silent house; however, it can also be the greatest form of distraction. If you would rather have the TV on over your radio for background noise, try leaving on the TV in another room or keeping in on a station, such as the Weather Channel, that will be less likely to distract you.

Keep a Strict Schedule
You wouldn’t dare sleep in until noon if you were working in a traditional office, would you? Well the same should go for you when you work from home. Set a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Also make sure that you have a designated place that you go do each day to work. Doing both of these things will make it easier for you to get into the work mindset each day, and therefore remain productive.

Take an Outside Break
Probably the biggest downside to working from home is the lack of socialization. So that you don’t drive yourself crazy, or become completely apathetic about your work, it is a good idea to take a lunch break outside of the home. Meet with friends during lunch, or take a run at one of the local parks; anything to get you out of the house for a small amount of time each day.

Limit Chores
One of the perks to working from home is that small chores, like running the dishwasher and doing laundry, can be done while you are working. It’s a nice type of multi-tasking that can truly allow you to free up your weekend. However, you want to limit the chores you do while your working, and make sure that you are using them as small breaks (two minutes to switch a load over), rather than reasons to procrastinate working. Try to stick to dishes, laundry, and the occasional floor sweep, and avoid labor intensive activities like window washing, lawn mowing, and carpet cleaning.

Being a telecommuter is a great way to enjoy working without having to worry about suits or an office. However, you have to be careful to not take complete advantage of it in such a manner that it sabotages your productivity. Treat your home office with the respect of a traditional office, and try to limit the distractions around the house. You’ll remain productive while still enjoying the freedom, and the days spent in pajamas, that working from home affords.

Brent Larson is a freelance writer with an interest in sharing his passion for marrying technology with business and everyday life. He’s recently been fascinated with the integration of Nike’s custom shoe design at nikeid.nike.com, reverse phone lookup at Anywho.com and the uncanny precision at which Amazon can guess what he wants to buy.