How to work from home (despite distractions)

As I write this, I have a four-year-old and a one-year-old fighting for their dad’s attention as he’s just walked through the door. “Perfect timing to write this month’s topic,” I thought. I’m starting to change my mind.

Whether it’s children, dishes, your partner, friends, texts, social media notifications or washing to be done, there are distractions all around us when working from home. You might be lucky enough to have a room as your office or a studio out back, so you’ve cleverly eliminated some of the chaos but for the most part, the chores and interruptions are still there beckoning you.

So, how do we focus?

1.     Schedule your day like you would if you were an employee. Put a sign on your door (if you have one!) to let anyone you live with know that you’re working and they’re not to disturb you. Decide your start and finish time as well as your lunchtime and breaks.

2.     WORK during your work hours. The washing can be hung out before you start or on a break. Turn your social media and email notifications off and set a time to check them (I check emails at 12.30pm and 4.30pm each day. Read The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss for more on this).

3.     If you have children home, you’ll undoubtedly need to work around their meal and nap times. Leave heavy-duty or time consuming tasks for early morning before they wake, during naps or once they’re in bed. If you can get them looked after for even one day a week or fortnight, be sure to use your time wisely, focusing on income generating activities or major projects.