As I discussed in my previous blog, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are now working from home. One of the many challenges of working from home (especially if you aren’t accustomed to working from home normally) are distractions. Whether it be your spouse or partner, pets, children, or TV, your house is full of distractions. It may seem near impossible at times to tune out these distractions, which is why I’ve put together a few helpful strategies you can use to avoid getting distracted while working from home.

Time block to keep yourself focused.

Just as it’s important to have a separate space for your office that isn’t in a “high-traffic” area in your home, it’s also essential to set a schedule for yourself. Give yourself a specific time frame during the day where you are focused on work and only on work. If you have family living with you, make that time frame clear to them as well. During that time, you should not be interrupted unless it’s something important. If your schedule with work is flexible, work during times when you know you will be the most productive and be sure to give yourself a break every once in a while!

You don’t need to check the news constantly.

With the news now circling around what’s happening with the Coronavirus, it’s easy to get distracted with the constant updates. If you have the news on in the background or you’re constantly checking your phone to see the latest news, don’t. Yes, it’s important to stay updated with what is happening in the world and your community, but don’t let it become a constant distraction. Allot some time at the beginning and end of your day to check the news, but don’t let it consume you. Especially with what is happening in the news, it will only create more stress while you are trying to work, therefore becoming a distraction even when you’re not even watching or listening to it. As difficult and tempting as it may be for us, try to tune out the news for a bit and focus on your work.

Stay off social media.

This one is a killer. I think we are all guilty of getting lost on social media, scrolling through our newsfeeds when were supposed to be working on other tasks. Turn off your social media notifications while you are working. If you can avoid it, it would even be better to have your phone turned off or set aside somewhere you can’t see it so you’re not thinking about it – out of sight, out of mind. Especially now as many of us are off work and have more free time, I find the notifications from friends and family are rolling in now more than ever – so it’s best to set time aside later in the day or during specific breaks to catch up with what’s happening on social media just like the news.

Whatever the distraction may be, identify it and find a solution. If you’re a parent with children, find things for them to do while you work so they don’t become a distraction for you – or create a schedule with your partner as to who is watching the kids at which time. If you’re working with the news or Netflix on in the background, try to either tune it out or turn it off so it’s not interfering with your work and productivity. Most of all, keep your work life separate from your home life and try to ensure that your home life isn’t interfering with what’s happening while you’re working.

“Don’t let the things of the world distract you. Focus on your purpose” – Sunday Adelaja