Working from home instead of the office means trading in one set of distractions for another. Plus, you need to supervise yourself. How can you stay focused when your kids are bored, and Netflix just added your favourite show?
Remote work has lots of advantages, like greater flexibility and zero commuting time. However, in order to get your work done, it is important to create a system that keeps you focused and productive.
You can succeed at remote work by providing your own structure and motivation. Use these ideas for dealing with internal and external distractions.
Dealing with External Distractions:
- Ask for support. Let your boss, coworkers, family, and friends know when you need help. Be willing to return the favour when you see them struggling.
- Arrange childcare. Finding someone to watch your kids has become more difficult for many parents. Keep in touch with other families to learn about options near you or ask your employer about taking leave if necessary.
- Set boundaries. Let others know the hours when you are available for collaboration and when you need to work without interruptions. Shut your door and turn the volume down on your phone for tasks that require concentration.
- Interact with others. On the other hand, socializing is a valuable part of your workday too. Participate in virtual happy hours and stick around to chat before and after video meetings.
- Play music. This is your chance to control the soundtrack at work. Create a variety of playlists to mask background noise or stimulate creative thinking.
- Eat healthily. Your kitchen can be a distraction too. Plan your daily menu in advance around nutritious meals and snacks. It is easier to turn down junk food when you feel full.
- Limit media. Facebook and streaming videos may consume much of your day unless you eliminate such temptations. Find methods that work for you such as turning off notifications or setting time limits on sites where you tend to linger too long.
Develop the communication and organizational skills you will need to excel at working from home. You can be a high performer whether you are sitting in a cubicle or on your patio.