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How to Stop WFH Distractions

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By: Mariah Rogers
Oct 21, 2020 • 6 min read

How to Stop WFH Distractions

Working from home seems like the “new normal” now. We are used to rolling out of bed just minutes before our Monday morning meetings. Slacks have been traded for fuzzy pajama pants, and cubicles have been exchanged for cozy home offices. Now that we are used to this lifestyle and are driving further and further away from office life, this new work style is becoming increasingly comfortable. Since our homes are the new version of corporate offices, it is no surprise that working from home comes with many distractions. We have easy access to our living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. It is easy and convenient to throw in a load of laundry in between Zoom calls. We can make a quick stop at the supermarket during our lunch breaks. So, how do we stop WFH distractions and maintain productivity? Keep reading to find out.

stop WFH distractions

Hold Yourself Accountable

Since your boss is now a virtual entity, you are essentially your own direct manager now. While working from home comes with many perks and the opportunity to live a more flexible lifestyle, it can be easy to fall behind on projects and become less communicative with your work team. Now is the time to practice self-discipline and hold yourself accountable. Create a system of evaluation for yourself, and reflect on every week once it is completed.

You can ask yourself this series of questions:

  • Did I meet all of my goals this week?
  • Was my paycheck really earned?
  • How productive was I this week compared to last week?
  • What is something I am proud of this week?
  • What can I improve on for next week?
  • How are my stress levels?

Incorporating self-reflection is one of the most important steps to evaluating your WFH performance and beginning your journey to eliminating distractions.

Make Time For Breaks

Locking yourself in the house for the entire workday might work for some, but it is unreasonable and not necessary for most. Breaks are encouraged! Taking a break can help you clear your mind and regain your focus. Plus, it is one of the most beneficial perks about working from home with a flexible lifestyle. Just make sure to allow yourself a shortlist of break options to choose from. Breaks during the workday shouldn’t be the time for a guilty-pleasure Target run that takes a good chunk out of your day. Instead, choose productive, enjoyable, and refreshing activities.

Here are some examples: 

Activities to avoid: 

  • Running errands to the grocery store, pharmacy, and other trips that can take a long time and where you may easily get distracted.
  • Meeting friends to lunch/coffee mid-day
  • Starting a new show, movie, downloading new social media.

stop WFH distractions

 

 

Monitor Time On Social Media/Online Shopping

Working from home means that almost every task must be completed on the computer. As all of us know, the internet is a black hole, and it is more than possible to get lost scrolling through social media or browsing online stores. This can be tricky because sometimes, we can feel as though we are multi-tasking warriors when we do multiple computer activities at once. Sending personal emails during company calls, shopping for holiday gifts, even catching up on side-hustle activities will all take away from your overall focus on the task at hand. It may be hard to monitor your time on social media/indulging in other distractions, but there are a few tools that can help.

Examples: 

  • Offtime app – blocks calls, texts, and other distractions during the workday.
  • ZenScreen – encourages you to take screen breaks, can help you maintain a healthy bedtime screen-free, improve productivity and focus.
  • Self-set timers on your own, monitor your tasks, and track how much time you spend on social media every day. Sometimes, just making yourself aware is all you need to break the habit.

Ask For Help

You wear many hats; being an employee is only part of your life! Some of us are parents, siblings, caregivers, children, entrepreneurs, and so much more. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Even if you are working virtually, this does not mean that you now have more time to do it all. If possible, communicate with your roommates, family, or partner about your stress levels and responsibilities. This will help you stay more focused on your work during the day. Here are a few examples depending on the roles in which you fill in your life.

Examples: 

  • If possible, hire a babysitter to watch the kids a few afternoons each week so that you can focus.
  • Switch off with your partner on who runs certain errands/does household chores.
  • Call your parents and plan ahead for the care that they need for the week.
  • Communicate with your children and let them know that you still need some quiet time to do while you are working from home.
  • Keep siblings in the loop about the health of your parents/care. Try to split up responsibilities.
  • Communicate with business partners/teammates to let them know about how you are managing your time.

stop WFH distractions

Build A Focused Office Space at Home

Building a focused office space at home will help you always have a reliable place to complete tasks. This does not have to be anything fancy, but feel free to customize if you want to! It is enough just to have a small corner of your home to call your own professional space.

Looking for home office ideas? Check out these blogs.

10 (more) WFH Essentials You Need – Here 

WFH? Try Yoga! – Here 

Pets That Make WFH Easier – Here 

We hope that you and your family are staying safe, sane, and healthy during this time of uncertainty. Working from home can be stressful, even if you have a new flexible schedule. Be patient with yourself, you can do it!

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