If you’re reading this, you’re doing one of two things:
- You’ve got distracted, and work has taken a back seat. Or
- You’re trying to find out how to get rid of distractions that are stopping you from working.
Either way, I’ve got some of the best ways to eliminate distractions while working from home and send your productivity levels skyrocketing.
We all know that working from home comes with challenges. It’s a different environment. There are other people in your space, and there are so many other things you could be doing. None of this bodes well for getting down to work and staying focused.
But these are challenges you need to overcome, whether you work for someone else or are your own boss.
Not sure where to start? I can help. It’s taken me some time, but I now know exactly how to get rid of distractions when working from home, and I’m going to share my secrets.
8 Ways To Get Rid Of Distractions At Home
It’s time to get started! Easily eliminate distractions by following the tips below:
1) Schedule Work Time
Just as if you were going into the office, you should schedule your work time when working from home.
Having a set schedule will help you get into the right frame of mind and to focus more efficiently on the work you need to do. Working to a schedule also helps in creating a distinct boundary to your work commitment. Psychologically, it defines ‘work mode’ and provides a controlled end time to your day.
If you don’t have an official start and end time to your workday, your brain doesn’t know when to engage in work mode or switch off. As a result, you live in a constant state of being half-engaged, which means you’re easily distracted.
2) Create A Work Routine
Establishing a routine helps you to create an effective workflow. Defining specific time slots for tasks, such as answering emails or contacting clients, creates a sense of structure that helps to keep you focused on what you need to do.
Your routine should include a lunch break too, and you should leave your workspace during this time. If you need to attend to household chores or tasks, do them during this time. Then, when you return to your desk at the end of your break, you won’t have to think about that laundry that needs folding or the dishes that need doing.
3) Have A Designated Work Space
Ideally, when working from home, you should have a designated workspace set aside that’s just for work. There are several good reasons for this. One of the main reasons is that it helps to separate your work life from your home life.
While many people like the idea of working from bed, when you do this, you create a psychological association between your bedroom and working. This may interfere with your sleep, leaving you tired and prone to distractions.
4) Draw Up A Daily Task List
A task list is helpful whether you’re working from home or in the office. It helps you to prioritize what you need to do and ensures you don’t forget anything.
Psychologically, task lists are hugely beneficial as they provide a visual record of what we have achieved—helping us feel better about ourselves. Completing the tasks that we’ve set and feeling better about ourselves is also likely to improve productivity.
5) Set Firm Family Rules
Knowing how to get rid of distractions includes learning how to set boundaries with your family or housemates. Make it a rule that if you’re at your desk or in your office, you’re unapproachable. If there’s an emergency, it’s different, but as a rule, if you’re working, you’re not available.
Ensure that anyone else in the house knows when you’re working and ask them to stay as quiet as possible during these times. If you have an office door, close it. If not, you can always wear noise-canceling headphones to block out any additional noise.
6) Step Away From Social Media
Studies show that social media creates a dopamine-fueled feedback loop that encourages us to keep checking our feeds. When we’re working, this is a huge distraction. And when we work from home, there’s no one to monitor our social media use or keep tabs on our time online.
You need to practice self-discipline here and do whatever it takes to stay off social media. Try to use a different web browser for work, and if possible, leave your phone in another room. This removes the temptation to quickly check Facebook or see who liked your Instagram post.
7) Dress for Work
Dressing down while working from home is a huge perk. But if you dress too casually, your brain doesn’t shift into work mode. If you’re wearing pajamas, your brain is still in bed mode. You’re more likely to think about sinking into your mattress or cuddling up with your duvet than tackling work-related tasks.
Ditching your pajamas and wearing work clothes creates a mental shift that’s hugely important. Psychologically, it puts us in the right frame of mind for work and makes it easier to resist distractions.
An added benefit of dressing for work is that we can change our work clothes at the end of our scheduled workday. This lets our subconscious know that we can change out of work mode, too.
8) Set After-Hours Rules
If I learned one key tip when figuring out how to eliminate distractions, then this is it.
To stay healthy and avoid burnout, you need to set after-hours rules with your clients, employer, and colleagues. With clear rules in place, you can ensure that you don’t end up quickly checking an email after hours or having to jump on a call with a colleague over a weekend.
If you stop blurring work and personal time, you’ll be far less distracted when you sit down at your desk. Everyone else will know when you’re available too, and there’s a clear set of expectations for every side.
Knowing how to get rid of distractions when working from home is a skill we all need.
We may have ditched the commute and swapped desks for dining room tables, but we still need to stay focused. I hope this article helps you to quit getting sidetracked and to become more productive every day.