Eliminating Distractions in Your Work at Home Office… Ha!

Written by Jan Ferrante

When you work at home, possibly your most useful skill will become the ability to eliminate distractions.

Here are a few things that I’ve tried with varying degrees of success…

  • Close your office door when possible. This may often be impossible as at any given time there are probably going to be 3 people standing in it.
  • Shut off the phone. Unless you have teenagers. In that case, shutting off the phone could be life threatening. To you and them. The upside is that as long as they are on the phone, they probably won’t be interrupting you. Although many teens have evolved the ability to talk on the phone with their friends as well as carry on a conversation with mom or dad – especially if it involves money.
  • Get up early. This doesn’t always work. It depends on how many children need to be awakened at how many different times, and how often you need to go bang down their door to get them out of bed. In some cases, expecting to get any work done other than building your thigh muscles when rising in and out of your chair could be hazardous to your health.
  • Have healthy snacks ready and waiting when everyone arrives home. This should buy you at least 2 – 5 minutes. Having a full course dinner ready when they get home may buy you an extra few… kids.
  • Plan 1 to 2 mega focused days to work on your most pressing and lucrative project. This will be just a decoy. Have your ‘real plan’, which we will call plan B ready to go. That will be the plan when you put it off until the next ‘jump day’ as usual because someone will be home sick, off work, stopping by from Siberia. I like to call those jump days, originally because I had visions of ‘jumping ahead by leaps and bounds’ when putting this no fail plan of focus into effect. Now I call it jump day because by the end of the day I’m lucky that I haven’t jumped off the nearest building. Have no fear, on jump days, there is relatively zero chance of a free minute between interruptions for jumping or otherwise.

When all else fails, the natural thing to do is to hide. Under your bed. They did after all create the mobile office with home workers in mind, didn’t they?

Better yet, hide under someone else’s bed. In another house. In another town. One that involves plane travel. Bring your laptop.

If someone isn’t using it.

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