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How To Reduce Distractions When Working From Home

Dexter and Felix sat in front of my work from home desk proving how difficult it is to work from home with toddlers

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More of us are working from home than ever before as a result of the pandemic. While working from home can reduce certain distractions (you don’t have to deal with chatty colleagues), some people may find that they have added distractions at home such as interruptions from family members or even noisy neighbours. Below is a guide to getting around these distractions so that you can work in peace. 

Set up a designated home office

Working in the living room while your partner watches TV or your kids play isn’t practical in many cases. You need a space in your home that you can escape to. It’s possible that you may have a spare room that you can convert into a home office – this is by far the best option. If not, you could consider using a dining room or bedroom as a dual-purpose office and telling family members not to disturb you while working. 

Reduce noise

Many of us are easily distracted by noise. You may be able to ask your family members to not play music loudly or ask kids not to play loudly while you work. Alternatively, you could consider putting in headphones and listening to music while you work to drown out any noise (just make sure that this music itself isn’t a distraction). 

Get out of the house

Alternatively, you could consider getting out of the house. You could work in a coffee shop, a library or you could even work outside somewhere (none of these are currently an option due to it being lockdown in winter, however they could be options to consider at a later date). If you run your own business, you could even consider hiring a commercial property agent and renting out a local office to work from. If you can’t afford your own office, you may be able to look into shared office space. Just be wary that there could be other distractions to contend with when working out of the house. 

Turn off personal notifications

Without a manager looking over your shoulder, there could be a greater temptation to check social media or play mobile games. Turning off personal notifications on your smartphone could prevent you getting sucked into Facebook or Pokemon Go. Some people find that it benefits them to have a separate work phone or work computer that isn’t signed into social media and doesn’t contain personal apps. 

Adapt your work schedule

You may find that there are times when you can work more productively at home because kids are out of the house or your partner isn’t in. Providing that you have the freedom to adopt a flexible work schedule, consider whether it might benefit you to start work earlier in the morning so that you can finish earlier or possibly even do some work in the evening. This could be essential for not just reducing distractions but possibly even working around a partner’s work schedule so that you can look after kids. 

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