Anyone working at home will know the problem with distractions, be it the kids, our beloved partner, the neighbour who just pops in for a quick chat and stays for two hours and so on. I am sure we can all put a long list of these together. One of the usual by products of these is that our stress levels rise as we see the days work not being achieved. So are there pros as well as cons to some of these distractions or are they all just a nuisance? I would like to suggest that they are often only a nuisance if we let them be, and a couple of ideas that I have used to make them bearable.
Three of the biggest distractions for me.
The following are the three distractions which I have had to get over as I started my Work at Home career.
- Paperwork – this was the bain of my life until I sat down one day with the door closed and conquered it. We all have paperwork, for sure and we all take notes and make lists but if they are not properly organised into a minimal filing system they will become a big distraction. So will the daily paper or the e paper. Research tells us that if we allow paper or e paper to be in our line of vision it will distract us 20 times in a normal working day. Answer, keep only those few items you need to do the current job on your desk.
- Webinars – as a Newbie to the Internet Marketing world I have been flooded with Marketing Webinar invites which I am told I just can’t afford to miss – how could I? For other Newbies like myself, I believe that if you see one webinar from a marketing guru you have seen them all. They will of course in 1 to 2 hours tell you very little except how good they are and then ask you to spend money you didn’t want to at the start. Answer, watch only one to get the idea and then no more – you simply can’t afford to waste this amount of time at this stage of your IM program development on this distraction. The actual distraction goes on well after the webinar finishes as you ponder what was said, and then decide no.
- Skiving (or the urge to). You would rather be doing something else than this work at home thing – right. Well procrastination is the thief of time, and if you allow the urge to become reality then it builds because by the time you get back to work it may well be the next day and then you are in catch up mode. Allow time in your schedule for a little bit of this other activity to assuage the urge.
So these are the cons -What to do about these and other distractions ? Try making some of them contribute positively. Here are my thoughts.
- Set realistic expectations for what you are going to achieve each day and allow for some distractions, like the other activity you would rather do (for 15 minutes only)..
- Work out when you need to get up and walk around as this will revitalise you – I do this at least every 45 minutes. This is a positive distraction.
- Take that cup of tea and have a chat with your partner, neighbour, kids, mid morning but allow for it in your WAH schedule.
- Keep organised with regards to what you are going to do today, remove all other paperwork from your desk and put it out of sight.
- Keep focussed on the task in hand and avoid things like marketing webinars which will throw you off course for a long while.
- Accept the need to be flexible in you daily work schedule if unavoidable distractions do occur, More positivity towards distractions.
Try these in any combination and see if it helps keep the stress levels under control – it did mine.