Work From Home Distractions!

If you are running a home business, then you have probably created a nice little home office. There are a ton of benefits of running a business from home. There are tax breaks, lower overhead costs and the comfort of your own home.

The commute isn’t half bad either.  And I should know –  did a daily commute of 110 miles for many years. It’s a killer.

There are some issues with working from home though and those usually come in the form of distractions.

Here is a look at three distractions that will kill your work from home productivity.

Instant Messaging:    When I worked at an office, instant messaging wasn’t allowed. When I am at home, I can have it running whenever I want. It is helpful as a tool for communication, especially with colleagues but it is also a time killer.

Nothing is worse than being in the middle of a task and you get messages from your friends about the weekend. It kills your momentum and can make the work day drag on.

An easy fix is to consolidate your instant messaging. If all your friends use skype then just log onto that when you have free time.

Talk your colleagues into moving to another platform like Skype. That way you can be sure it is only work related conversations you engage in. You can even turn instant messaging off altogether when you are doing a time sensitive task.

Family:    We all love our families of course. It is hard to look at them as a distraction. Sometimes though it is true. Whether you live with a wife, kids, brother, sister or even a parent, you need to set boundaries.

I look at it like this, if I was working at a full time job my family wouldn’t have access to me. An emergency is something different of course, but general distractions to chat, or ask questions can kill productivity.

The fix is to set some boundaries. It can be hard because you don’t want to treat your family like this, but if you tell your family member that you need a couple hours to go heads down they will be cool with it.

One of the best benefits of working at home is more family time, so requesting some peace and quiet during big tasks should be no problem. In fact compared to a full time job it is a great compromise.

Pets:    I think there are advantages in having pets at your home office and I often refer to my dogs as “office dogs”.

That said just like with family they can be a distractions. Sometimes they want your attention and they will bark or even nudge you.

Just last week I was doing some intricate work in Fireworks. I was using the eraser tool and had to be perfect when BAM, my dog hits my arm. Thankfully I can use “undo” but it still cost me time and patience.

If your pets are trained properly it can be pretty easy to coexist. First off just make their bathroom breaks and meals coincide with yours.

When I am going to the bathroom I see if my dogs need to. When I eat I can feed them and take them out for a bit of exercise.

After awhile they will get used to the routine. In fact, now that I do this, they basically sleep on the floor content, while I work away.

No one wants to look at their friends messaging them, family and pets as distractions – but they can be for the home business owner.

It is a fact. Luckily, there are some really easy steps you can take to avoid the distractions. Try my above suggestions and I am sure your days will be more productive.

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