Creating A Distraction Free Workplace
You Need A Distraction-Free Workplace To Be Productive
Ask any work-at-home professional, entrepreneur or small business owner what her biggest hurdle is when it comes to tackling her to-do list and she will most likely tell you it’s the constant distractions. Emails to be answered. The kids need attention. The dog needs fresh water. The phone is ringing. What you need is a distraction-free workplace. Somewhere you can go to focus.
The list goes on. It’s no wonder she – and you – can’t get anything done.
So how do those “have it all” type entrepreneurs do it? They start by creating a distraction-free zone.
A Place of Your Own
Plenty of entrepreneurs get their start working from the kitchen table, stealing a few minutes here or an hour there when the kids are napping or during lunch. But when the business begins to grow, it pretty quickly becomes clear that a laptop in the living room is not an efficient way to work. It’s time to find a real office.
That doesn’t mean you have to go rent space in a high-rise downtown, though. If you run your business from home and want to keep it that way, you just need to carve out a space you can call your own.
For some, a spare bedroom makes an ideal office space. For others, a corner of the basement or even a closet will do. The key is to create a place where, when you’re in it, you know you’re working. And perhaps more importantly, when you’re not in it, you can leave the work behind.
Virtual Distractions You Can Do Without
Of course, just having a nice quiet office with a door won’t eliminate all your distractions. There are plenty of them right on your computer waiting to suck away all your work time. How you deal with those will depend largely on the type of work you do.
For example, many writers find it beneficial to block out all other applications while they work. Tools such as ByWord and OmmWriter (I personally use OmmWriter) to eliminate the distractions by offering full-screen text editors that also lack all those formatting bells and whistles of a typical word processor.
Does the Internet call to you? Consider installing browser software such as L Concentrate http://www.getconcentrating.com (for Chrome). Both let you block certain sites (Facebook, for example) for specific periods of time. If you want to get in a solid 3 hours of work before embarking on another Candy Crush tournament, just turn on your timer and you won’t be able to access Facebook at all until your work day is done. You can do the same for any site that commands your attention, but keep in mind that if you have more than one browser installed on your computer, you can always click over to the unlocked choice to sneak a few minutes of play time in.
Remember to close your email application too and only check it once a day. If you are not quite ready for that then twice a day, late morning and late afternoon. It is ok, people don’t really expect an immediate answer.
Make Things Easier On Yourself
Turn off your phone and switch on the answering machine. Like your email just check in once or twice a day.
It is all important to explain to those around you why you need to work in a distraction free environment – so that you can get more done in less time, either freeing up more time to spend with your loved ones, or to enable you to achieve and earn more. When they understand just how much time those little distractions cost you they will be more understanding and support you more in your efforts.
The important thing to remember here is that your environment is only the beginning. You need to work on building up your self-discipline as well, so you can say no to distractions and get the work done.