This blog post is about removing digital distractions whilst working from home.
Many people talk about about removing distractions whilst working from home, such as noise and the temptation to do personal activities such as cleaning, run errands and watch television.
How about removing digital distractions? Many people are using a computer not just for work, but personal use as well. This means that there are numerous digital distractions just eager to eat up your time. Plus concentration can be severely affected if are being lured to browse, listen and watch non-work related content.
Separate work from personal
Let’s start with the best advice of all, and that is to separate your working life, from your personal. Basically that means not checking your personal email at the same time. Not browsing your favourite non-work related websites, and definitely not logging into social networks numerous times a day to see what your friends are chatting about.
I’ve been there, done that and when you are stressed and ill, it is easy to lose sight of what your focus should be on. Sure working from home should have benefits, but allowing yourself to become distracted numerous times, probably will end up with poorer quality of work output and less revenue.
Plus all these small distractions add up, and you might find yourself working late and at weekends, instead of enjoying time off.
Organise how you manage email
It is a good ideal to separate your email accounts, so when you check for mail you are not seeing all your personal email as well. It could be you decide to use different email software, else different profiles, but whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to start browsing, responding and actioning on non-urgent personal email.
Work related email can easily mount up, and if there are non-important newsletters you can unsubscribe to, then it is worth consideration.
Reduce the amount of browser tabs you have open
Years ago people didn’t use browser tabs, and they were a great development. However it is all too easy to have too many tabs open, purely because you’ve not finished reading a page. This bad habit can feed into a concentration issue, and it is probably best you either read the page, bookmark for later or just close the tab.
Limit your social network access
In offices there always seems to be one person on their mobile phone or on a social network. This habit is easily transferable and made worse in the work from home environment.
If you don’t need to be on social networks for work reasons during your working hours, then don’t be. Think of all those minutes and hours saved over the month, and how you could of put them to better use.
Set boundaries with others and with yourself!
It is important to make sure others respect the fact you are working from home. I’m not talking about washing away the perks of working from home. What is a boundary is obviously for you to decide. However receiving non-urgent phone calls from family and friends, which eat up the time you should be earning money, is probably unwise.
Remember home working can provide many perks, but if you allow your working time to be watered away, you might find you have no time for what you personally deem to be the ‘real’ perks.
So as well as setting boundaries with others, you should respect your own work, and set boundaries for yourself.
Not as common in the UK, but many people do decide to leave the television on in the background when doing other activities. Not only is this a waste of electricity, but it is a serious distraction. Obviously if there is a situation you urgently need to monitor, it is understandable.
Working from home can have many benefits, but also if you allow your working day to be eaten up with numerous small digital distractions, then you will erase some of those benefits, including impacting profit, relaxation and time you can spend with others away from work.