Despite some missed sleep, we don’t mind “springing forward” for Daylight Saving Time. Daylight lingers longer into the evening and hints of spring and warm weather welcome outdoor activities we shy away from during winter months. Of course, when you work from home, some of those things—as much as we love them!—can add to a list of distractions already a mile long.
The distractions of working from home
Our friends who work traditional office jobs sometimes remind us of how lucky we are to work from home. We know they’re right and appreciate the flexibility entrepreneurship allows. However, without the four walls of an office or the confines of specific working hours, distractions abound.
Some days, everyday tasks loom large. Laundry or picking up groceries for an upcoming dinner with friends weigh on our minds. Other distractions feel trickier, like the pull of scrolling through social media when we planned to post a quick Facebook. We find ourselves distracted by non-technology life, too, like when we plan to take an hour for a workout class and end up meeting friends for an impromptu coffee break.
Figuring out how to overcome distractions when working from home makes a huge difference in how much we can get done each day. Since breaking free of distractions isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, we enlisted several work at home women to share their best tips for productive days.
Do: Remember working at home is still working
"Make sure to set ground rules with other family members who may also work from home. Meaning, I may be here, but I am WORKING! Oftentimes, work at home people get taken advantage of because we’re home.” - Colleen Geist, Sales Executive and Business Owner, Creative Incentives & Events
Don’t: Fall into a snack trap
“Eat a good breakfast so you are not tempted to snack all day! It’s always my biggest challenge when I work from home. I start working and get caught up then don’t make a meal, so I end up eating crap. If you prefer to snack, make sure you have good ones in hand.” - Coreen Kremer, Content & Digital Sales Lead, Brown & Brown Insurance
Do: Set ground rules for your day
Amy Goddard, CMO & Partner, Path 81 shares her top three productivity tips for working from home. “Get dressed for your day even though you can stay in comfy clothes. Have a dedicated, organized space to work. Finally, have three objectives for each day.”
Don’t: Isolate yourself behind your computer screen
"I have music playing in the background at all times, just like at work, so it feels like I’m at the office. I also use a messaging program with my co-workers and have it on all day so I can be reached easily. Always staying accessible when you work with many people even when you are at home is important.” - Leah Brungardt, Editorial Writer/Accounting Assistant, All Access Music Group
Our best Take Flight Social tip
I personally think you should designate a specific working space in your home, if it’s at all possible. Whether it’s a dedicated home office with a door, and preferably a window, or a section of your dining room table, you need a work space of your own. Working on your living room couch or your bedroom, while fine occasionally, makes it harder to separate work time from personal time, and I think that contributes to burn out for many entrepreneurs!
Bonus: A Take Flight client shares her tips for productivity
Now that we’ve shared how (and where!) we stay focused while working on her projects, we thought it would be fun to chat with one of our clients about her own distraction busters. Amanda Hill, Healthcare Attorney by day, Writer by night, offers tips four focusing on the positive—and practical.
Work in the morning when you’re the most fresh.
Put all your meetings and lunches on the same day so you only have to dress up certain days.
Give yourself rewards! I often tell myself I can do this fun thing or check social media or write humor once the clock hits noon.
Don’t wait too long to put in your time, especially if you bill by the hour.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to figure out what works for you! After all, one of the biggest upsides to working from home remains the flexibility to create a job you love.