I was having a conversation with a teacher the other day, and she asked me about what I do. When we got to the part where I told her I worked from home, she mentioned that she was not the type who could work from home. She then explained how the laundry, cleaning and other errands and tasks would call her name from other rooms while she tried to work.
I must admit I don’t have this problem (several years of practice and lack of a housekeeper), but I do get this question a lot. So, how can you stay focused in your home office and get stuff done? Here’s a few tips:
- Use your distractions as breaks: If you were in a cubicle or office outside your home, no doubt you would take a trip to the water cooler or a break outside. So, do the same in your home office. Put in a load of laundry, change the sheets, talk to a neighbor (maybe they work from home too), check the mail or go pull some weeds. You might think of your multi-million dollar idea while washing your socks!
- Set a time limit: If you choose to do something around the house, be sure you are accountable. Setting a timer or scheduling a conference call will keep you accountable and less likely to get completely off track.
- Hire help: If you simply don’t have the time (or patience) to do your household chores, consider hiring someone to come in a vacuum or do the laundry for you. If it nags on your brain, you will know it’s getting done and you concentrate on other things.
- Talk a walk: Talk a walk and clear your head. Did you know that Ralph Waldo Emerson and some other great authors and thinkers were walkers? So, strap on your walking shoes and get some fresh air. I’ll bet that little “fold the laundry” voice will be harder to hear two blocks away. 😉
Do you have a way you stay focused and get things done in your office? Do share! 🙂