Struggling to Stay Productive?
There are two big reasons why people struggle to stay productive: distractions and lack of motivation.
Eliminate The Distractions
This is certainly easier said than done, especially if you’re a work-at-home parent. After all, the point of working at home is to be available for your family when they need you, right?
What Are Your Potential Distractions?
Sit down and write out an honest list of things that distract you while you work. For most of us, this list could include things such as: email, social media, texts, phone calls, instant messages, pets, and the kids.
Okay now you are aware of the many items that can distract you on an hourly basis…
Keep The List In Your Work Area
Keeping this list somewhere in your work area will help you recognize the distractions before they become a problem. For example, close your email inbox and only check it at predetermined times during the day. Sign out of all instant messengers.
When I mean email, I mean your personal email. It may be difficult to shut down your work email inbox (although at times, that is needed also).
Turn the phone on silent or at the very least, vibrate. Make sure the children are occupied for a little while. Taking these steps means you are consciously making the effort to remove the distractions and focus.
Put up a Personal Work Space Boundary
How often you get all the phone calls from friends and family during your work hours. They just assume because you work at home, this means its “party time”. They will call you all the time or text you with all their problems and expect you to solve them.
They dont understand that work is work, no matter where the setting. When your friends and family members learn to respect your work time, this makes things a lot easier for you. Talk to your spouse and children (if they’re old enough to understand) about the time you’ve dedicated to work your hours.
Say it with me ” Mom/Dad is at work right now. You have things to keep you occupied so on my break, I will be glad to help.”
It is best if the people in your life can treat your work at home job as if you did not set your own hours. They need to see it as a traditional job with set hours, during which they leave you alone. They wouldn’t call you at the office 15 times in three hours if they knew your boss was around, would they?
Or at best, just dont answer the phone and reply to that text message right away.
Dont worry, they will eventually get the hint.
Give the people in your home some sort of signal when you’re working, so they know to leave you alone unless it is an emergency. And no that signal doesnt mean that you are yelling for everyone to get out.
For instance, if you have a separate room used for work in the house, keep the door closed when you’re working. The closed door is the sign your family needs to leave you alone.
Practice Makes Perfect
Being productive is a skill. Any skill you obtain will require practice and repetition to fine tune and perfect. Even the most productive people will become distracted from time to time.
- “Did you see that post on Facebook. Wow let me see the followup comments”
If you find yourself becoming distracted, take a few minutes to center yourself and refocus yourself on your commitment to your client, and your business.
So the next time your friend tells you that
- “Oh I sent the package to your house to sign since you are the one home”
(Been there done that)
Then you will be able to calmly say no, I have to work.
Then, get back to work. Eventually, it will become easier for you to re-center and focus each time you get distracted, which in turn makes it easier to stay focused