Handling Distractions When You Work From Home

There are plenty of distractions in the modern world…and each and every one is an enemy of your purpose. They steal your focus and your energy from where it belongs so you become less effective.

If you’re not hitting your goals, maybe it’s time to look for any distractions that have crept into your daily rhythm and pick a simple strategy to overcome them.

Distractions should be dealt with swiftly and with determination so you can continue forward toward creating the business and life that motivates you.

a woman working from home on a laptop in her home office with a text heading "Handling Distractions When You Work From Home" by Coffee & Keyboard

5 Common Distractions Work From Women Must Overcome

You’ve got a full life and an ambitious plan…and a home and kids and marriage and friends and…the list goes on. So how do you manage it all?

By being fully present wherever you are and focusing on the task at hand.

Here are 4 common distractions that women who work from home must overcome to reach their goals.

MultiTab Work Space

It won’t surprise you to hear that the biggest distraction for most people is social media and the hours it eats out of the day. Take a quick look at your Instagram feed or Facebook, and before you know it, you’re mindlessly scrolling through what looks like other people’s perfect lives. 

It’s time to take stock and decide how much of your life you want to spend watching what other people are doing. Set some boundaries about when and how long you will spend on social media. Keep those tabs closed during your work day and consider removing them from your phone, as well.

And then there’s email. Just because an email has arrived in your inbox doesn’t mean it needs to be answered right away. Set aside 20-30 minutes of your day to process your inbox and then close that tab!

Your Smartphone

Smartphones are great tools, but they can quickly become a huge distraction both during your working hours and your family and rest times.

Look around and see how many people are walking down the street with their eyes glued to their phones. Think about how long you can go without checking your phone. Try leaving your phone in your purse or your pocket when you go out for a meal. Leave it at home when you take the dog for a walk. And for the love, don’t take it into the bathroom with you (yes, I went there!).

Another tip is to cull some of the apps on your phone. Work out what you need and delete the rest. And remember mobile games are one of the biggest time-sucks. Think about how you want to use your time and be strategic about how you use your phone. Consider airplane mode for those times when you can’t afford any distractions at all and see how much you can get done!

Online Watching

How much time do you waste watching meaningless YouTube videos or binge-watching on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime? These might feel like simple, relaxing things to do, but if you’re not careful, they can drain as much time as social media. 

Keep focused on how you want your life to be and make decisions about how much recreational TV you want to watch.

Negative People

Giving your time away to negative people can be damaging to your success. You can probably name the people who drain you of energy and who take up a lot of time with their complaining, attention-seeking, and neediness. Their negativity can impact your mindset and influence your productivity.

If there are people around you who are undermining your chances of meeting your goals, you need to set some healthy boundaries. Look for positive, high energy people who will support you and cheer you on. 

Your To Do List

When you’re a wife and mom, too, your to do list can be siren’s call away from your work. You want to clean the bathroom, fold the laundry, start dinner…and it all divides your attention.

Yes, it does all need to get done, but you’ll be more productive if you have homemaking time and work time. Don’t let that to-do list for your family pull you away from your task list for work during your business hours.

6 Simple Ways To Overcome Distractions

No matter how focused you are, some days it’s hard not to get distracted. Life can sometimes get in the way of meeting your goals, but it doesn’t have to derail you. Here are some expert tips on how to stay on track, no matter what else is happening around you. 

Get Organized

It’s easier to focus if you’re not distracted by the small, daily tasks. Commit to a nightly practice of preparing for the next day and deciding what to wear, what to have for lunch, and the other necessary things that are part of your routine. Have your gym bag ready and packed so you can just pick it up and go. 

It can help to get organized for your week on a Sunday evening. For example, have all your work clothes clean and pressed and ready to wear. You might even consider a minimalist work wardrobe of similar garments to mix and match. You can also bulk cook and freeze meals so that you don’t even think about suppers during the week.

One Thing At A Time

Multitasking is a myth. You’re not doing multiple things at once; you’re quickly moving from one task to the other and back again…and diminishing your efficiency with every switch. One thing at a time, darling, one thing at a time!

Prioritize Your List (and don’t eat that frog!)

They say you can free up a lot of mental energy by putting the difficult tasks and decisions at the top of your to-do list.

If you listen to conventional wisdom, you’ll do the hardest tasks when your brain is still fresh first thing in the morning, then you can get on with your day without the nagging dread at the back of your mind. 

However, sometimes the “hardest” tasks shouldn’t be done first…because they don’t leave you any energy for the rest of what you have to do.

Instead, schedule the tasks with the biggest ROI for the first part of your day. Spend your most alert and engaged hours on the things that move the needle forward…even if they are simple. Save the rest for later.

Keep Your Energy High

You might be surprised to hear that fatigue can be a distraction.

If your energy is low, you won’t be performing at your best, so make sure you take regular breaks. Get out of the office and get some fresh air. Eat your lunch in the park and give your eyes a break from looking at a screen. Eat lots of fresh foods and stay hydrated by keeping a water pitcher on your desk.

Learn To Say “No” or “Not Right Now”

Chances are, many of the requests you get during the day don’t deserve to be your top priority and can distract you from your core goals. Instead of responding straight away, decide on how urgent the request is in the bigger scheme of things. Do you really need to answer that email now? Learn to prioritize requests and respond accordingly.

It’s not only okay to say “no” or “not right now”, it will help you be more productive!

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

There are so many distractions in modern life that it can be easy to lose sight of what you want to achieve. Whether it’s a dream board, a mission statement, or a post-it note on your computer, have a visual reminder of what you’re working toward. Check-in every day to see how you’re tracking and make sure you keep a line of sight on your big goal. 

Distractions Can Be Conquered!

Now that you know what to watch out for and some simple steps to overcome your distractions, it’s time to do the hard work of focusing well and making your magic happen!

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