Saturday, March 23, 2013

Best Ways to Avoid Distractions for Work at home Moms

Working at home for moms can be an exciting time but it can be distracting You need a lot of focus and a routine to really make it work.  
Below are some work from home tips that will help you stay focused and productive -
1. Establish set working hours - People have two problems when they work from home. They do not have enough discipline to work enough hours and are distracted by every little thing that comes up like making dinner or doing laundry  or, since they are always near their office (the home), they can never get away from work. Establishing a set work schedule will help you handle both of these distractions. When you are in work hours, you need to work and when you get done with those hours, break away from what you are doing. Now, it may be easier said than done but if you put in the practice and put your schedule in writing you are more likely to be more productive than if you do not take this step.  I set  my schedule usually from 4-6:30 am, I then get the kids ready for school, exercise, prep dinner,  and am back on the phones by 9:30 am and work through 2:30.  3 days a week. Two day a week I write and do my admin projects during the kids school day.
2. Communicate to those who may distract what your working hours are - Make it clear that you cannot be borrowed between certain hours, unless there is an emergency. That way kids, relatives, friends will not take the liberty of assuming you are available because you are home and in their presence.  My kids are in school now so my workday is settled but I do get phone calls from my mom and friends that I just don't answer.   They wouldn't call me if I was actually working in an office.   Now, you must not give in with the distractions and you cannot expect that other people will remember not to distract you. You just must be consistent with your message and stick to your guns.
If yo have younger kids an they are not in school yet, you may need to really work with your husband on this.  I have been working phone jobs since I had babies.  Back then  I would basically go to bed early and wake up at 2 or 3am to work through until 8am when my husband went to work.  (I had late sleepers luckily).  It was a crazy time but my husband and I wanted me to be at home so we had to make it work.  
3. When you are off, you are off - As a complement to the second point, when you are off and not working, then you should not be working. Let your kids and husband  around you benefit from the fact that you no longer need to commute and you can go from work life to personal life in five minutes flat. Come up with a ritual to break yourself out of work mode and into personal mode and you will be better off in the end. I picked up my kids from school at 2:45 so I can easily make that switch.  
4. If all else fails, leave and go to another location - If the distractions at home become too overwhelming, then you always have the option of picking up and going someplace else to finish your your local Starbucks that has wifi.   I will sometimes do this on my "admin days" or on weekends for writing  since I tend to be more mentally distracted  here at the house.  Always have a plan B location so you can move to that place without losing too much productivity.   This is a good habit even if you are not faced with heavy distractions because a change of scenery can always come with a renewed perspective.  

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