How to Unplug From Distractions and Boost Productivity

by WorkFromHome on October 11, 2011

Increasing your productivity allows you to make the same amount of money in less time or to make more money in the same amount of time. It’s fairly obvious that increasing productivity will be in your favor if you work at home since it’s a lot like giving yourself a pay raise. However, boosting productivity in the home is a bit of a challenge since there are so many distractions that are eager to take away your focus. The keys to success when it comes to increasing and maintaining your productivity while working at home are to prepare for distractions and to put yourself in a state of concentration and focus.

Setting Boundaries

If you’ve decided to optimize your productivity when working from home, then the first thing you should do is set some clear boundaries on your work area. These boundaries can be both physical and psychological, but the idea is to create a clear distinction between work and the rest of your life. If you have family who will be at home while you are working, then you should have a clear understanding of when it’s acceptable for them to bother you for something and when it’s not. Additionally, there should be some part of the home that is set aside as your work area, at least while you’re working. Finally, you should have a clear idea of the tasks that are considered work, and you shouldn’t mix work tasks with tasks from the rest of your life. Creating these boundaries will allow you to focus on your work and will help to eliminate a lot of the kinds of distractions that hurt your productivity when working at home.

Clearing Your Work Area

No matter who you are or what you do for work, you need certain tools for the job. Your work area is where these tools will congregate, but sometimes you have more tools out than what you absolutely need to get the job done. An important concept in optimizing your productivity is to clear your work area of everything except what you need to get the job done. This means that all of the random papers on your desk or table should be filed away neatly and that all of the extra stationary that you won’t be using needs to be put away in a drawer or storage space. A clear workspace, while not necessarily minimal by some peoples standards, allows you to get more done in less time because you are surrounded by fewer distractions. Clearing physical clutter helps to eliminate mental clutter, and removing this mental clutter makes you work faster and more efficiently.

Preparation When Working at Home

While working from home has a lot of advantages, one major disadvantage is that it’s very difficult to stay focused on your work. There are tons of distractions at home because that’s where your family and all of your belongings are. To combat this high availability of distractions, you should prepare all of your tasks with a simple exercise. Before you start each task, take a moment to clarify exactly why you are doing the task and what it will accomplish for you. Look around to make sure that you have everything ready for whatever it is you’re about to do so that you don’t have to stop to look for something in the middle of your work.

This exercise works particularly well in conjunction with a standard to-do list of all of the tasks you want to have worked on in a day since it gives you clear indicators of when you should stop and prepare for the next task. At the end of your work day, you can also prepare by getting everything ready for the first task of the following day. Getting yourself ready both mentally and physically before everything you do will help you to maintain your focus during the day and will make you much less vulnerable to distractions. By cultivating a high level of focus and keeping it, you’ll improve your earnings without working longer hours.

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