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There’s no shortage of distractions when working from home, and some days those distractions definitely seem to get the best of us. With a solid plan and an intentional focus, you can overcome those distractions and take control of your work day. Here’s how:
Stick to your regular work schedule.
It can be tempting to sleep in or do some housework before starting your work day, but that can end up making it harder to transition into work mode. Rather than giving in to these temptations, start you work at the same time you would if you were going into the office. Keeping a familiar schedule and routine can help you stay focused because it replicates some part of your formerly normal working experience.
Put yourself in do not disturb mode.
If you live with other people, whether they’re family or roommates, you need to be able to set aside time where you’ll be able to work undisturbed. Let your housemates know when you’ll be working in do not disturb mode as well as when you’ll be free again. Setting both busy and available times helps to establish boundaries.
Using a visual aid can be very beneficial, especially for children. You can use a simple red and green sign for do not disturb and available times, or you could also use a traffic light and add yellow as a ‘if you really need me, I’m available’ option.
Change your clothes.
You don’t need to put on jeans or formal work clothes, but you do need to change out of your pajamas. Get dressed in something that’s comfortable, but not what you’d wear to bed. You can still wear leggings or sweatpants, but make sure they’re your ‘good’ leggings or sweatpants. This simple change can help you transition out of relaxation mode and into work mode.
If you still find yourself distracted, then trying putting on your work clothes. You might not be as comfortable, but it’s another mental signal that it’s time to get some work done. Plus, your pajamas will feel extra nice when you change out of your work clothes at the end of the day.
Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time.
Meals can end up being unintentional distractions. It takes time to figure out what you want to eat and then more time to make it. If you prepare everything ahead of time, including snacks, you won’t lose any time during your work hours. Prepare as much as you can in advance and do the same for your family. Make snacks readily available, so you can just grab them and go and continue on with your work.
Turn off your phone notifications.
Putting your phone on silent isn’t enough since you’ll still see all of the popups. Disable social media notifications and anything else not work related during working hours to avoid the temptation of picking up your phone. If you don’t need your phone for work, simply put it on silent and leave it in another room.
Setting time blocks for working helps create a sense of urgency to get things done on time. Setting timers for breaks ensures that you don’t get lost in a web of aimless web browsing, Amazon shopping, or social media. Often what’s intended to be a quick break turns into 20 minutes or more, or you and in that time you’ve knocked yourself out of a good work flow. Be disciplined and get back to work when your timer goes off. The internet will still be there when you’re done working, but your boss won’t be happy if you don’t accomplish all of your work in a timely manner.
For the original article, visit Forbes.