How to Work Distraction-Free From Anywhere
Let's face it, working from home isn't always as romantic as the internet makes it out to be. Working from home can be stressful, especially if you have a living situation that is filled with distractions. For those of you who can relate to this type of situation, it is vital that you learn the skills necessary to be able to block out these situations. What are these skills that will help you accomplish this? That's exactly what I want to talk you about today! Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks that will help you stay focused no matter where you are and no matter what is going on around you.
1. Invest in a Good Pair of Headphones
Headphones are going to be your best friend if you work from home. For me, they are one of the biggest tools in my arsenal. They keep me focused, they block out external noise, and most importantly, they keep me pumped if I'm listening to the right music. If you are able to, invest in a good pair of headphones that will last a long time and that will block out noise. You may even want to consider purchasing a pair of noise-canceling headphones if you are especially sensitive to external noises.
What if I don't work well while listening to music? That's another excellent question! I believe that even if you don't work well while music is playing, you should still purchase a good pair of headphones. Why? Well, even if music distracts you, your headphones will still be great for blocking out noise despite not having any music playing. Think about your headphones as a pair of earmuffs that filter out most of the loud noise that breaks your focus. You will also have an awesome pair of headphones for when you do want to listen to music!
2. Determine When Internet Is Your Friend and When It Is Your Foe
The internet is a double-edged sword. While it helps me to conduct research while I am writing and communicate with my clients, there are always times where I'll find myself watching strange videos for hours on end. If you are constantly being distracted while you are trying to work online, you should definitely download special applications that will block out these websites. With these apps, you will be able to prevent yourself from visiting social media sites, video streaming sites, and almost anything else that keeps you from doing your work. There are plenty of these apps available so make sure to do your research before making a purchase.
3. Set a Timer for Each Burst of Work
When I first started working from home, I didn't know what I was doing. I was lost without normal business hours and I found myself sitting around rather than getting any work done. This lack of a set schedule and long periods of staring at a computer screen only helped me give into my distractions.
What changed? Not only did I set my own work hours, I also started tasking out and setting a schedule for the work that I had to get done throughout the day. If you haven't done so yet, establish your own personal business hours. For me, I love working as much as possible so I dedicate 8 hours each day to doing freelance work. However, this does not work for everyone. Take a look at your own needs and lifestyle. Do you like working more or less? Do you currently have enough time in your day to accomplish everything you want or are you struggling to squeeze the most basic tasks in? Once you've answered these questions, you will be able to establish concrete business hours.
Next, you need to start tasking out your work. For example, I usually work in chunks of one hour and 30 minutes and then take a 20-minute break. During that period of one hour and 30 minutes, I will typically plan to use that chunk to get a certain client's work done. If I don't manage to finish in that chunk, I will carry the remaining work into the next chunk and then start working on the next client. However, this doesn't happen very often. I will also set a timer to remind me that I need to get this work finished as soon as possible.
How does this prevent you from getting distracted? When you don't have set hours or deadlines, it becomes easy to get distracted. There is no hurry to accomplish any work and you treat your work as something that isn't a priority. When you do have set hours and deadlines, you are focused on your goals and you spend your time carefully. With the timer, you also become more focused to get your work done in that chunk of time rather than doing all of your tasks throughout the day in a random, scattered way. Focus is key if you want to avoid distractions and this method is sure to keep you focused.
Do these methods work well for you? Did I forget to mention anything that helps you focus? Let me know in the comments and tell me about your experiences with these methods!