Meeting The Pitfalls Of Working From Home

We all love freedom. We all want to be free. And the freedom we get by working from home is more fun time spending with our family, no corporate dress codes, deadlines, crazy schedules and a strict boss. It can go on and on. But every medal in the world has 2 faces. All of those great aspects of working from home can in reality become our greatest distractions from actual tasks to complete and targets to achieve. Distraction – is a real problem for those of us who work from home. We can start with an endless list of all the things in the world that somehow can hinder our ability to work from home. I made my observations recently and would like to narrow this list of distractions down to the 10 most common.

10 Pitfalls Of Working From Home

Hurricane Under Your Roof

Whenever I am at home and I have a new post to write and be creative about the next one – somehow my home chores remind me a hurricane of different things that I have to do and unclutter. It’s like a carousel of unfinished tasks and new things to lay my hands on. You might be wondering how do you create a balance? We need to put aside our home stuff in order to accomplish something in our work. I tried for one week to go without noticing things going on under my roof and focus on what mattered in my work. And I failed. As some of you know, I  am obsessed with organising stuff. And when I see something odd  going on in my wardrobe or utility room – it can literally take me out of balance and completely steal my attention until I solve the problem. So I did. For a while I put aside things I had to finish in my work in order to restore balance at home. I restored it. And now, when everything sits in it place I can practice work from home with less distractions than I had before. So before you start your work from home you need to make sure that all your household tasks are minimised – as if you left the house for work in the office.

Kitchen Is Closed For Food

As practice revealed, the second most common distraction from work at home are food breaks. Many of us just can’t bear the fact that the kitchen, unlike the office canteen, is just a few meters away from you. Oh, yeah. Why not have a break for a coffee or a quick cup of tea to figure out how to deal with this task… And Bam! You are distracted again! Sometimes people don’t even realize how they ate a whole packet of chips or a box of chocolates. I don’t want to give you a lecture on healthy eating right now but please, remember that frequent food breaks are injurious to your health and are the fastest way to become overweight. In any case put that distraction from work for food aside even if it’s a “quick” tea or coffee. Take a break for lunch even if it may take a couple of hours, but you will still have a full day to work productively. If you cannot imagine your life without snacking, put some dried fruits or a bowl of fresh fruits next to you and establish a habit for healthy snacking.

Sleep Less or Sleep Lots?!

If you want to achieve a lot then your 10-12-hour sleep is unlikely to contribute to any of your dreams. It’s easy to create your own working schedule if you work from home. Make an observation, which part of the day is more productive for you? Early morning? Afternoon? Evening or night? You have the opportunity to work at your convenient hours – but you have to make sure your working hours are not decreased comparing to anything else. So the best way to make your dreams come true is to WAKE UP on time.

Make It Later or NEVER. Say good bye to procrastination

People who start work from home at the very beginning loose their focus as if work from home was yet another holiday. At home, with nice and relaxing, calm atmosphere laziness can wait you on the every corner which decreases productivity and set your busy schedule and things to do till later or sending it of to the NEVER-LAND… That is how I started to procrastinate and I’m sure loads of people too. Setting the important tasks up until the last minute. And when mercy-less deadline shows it’s face we all starting swishing-and-swoshing flying like crazy bees in order to solve things out on the short notice. Which can be bad for the quality of your work and business in general.   This type of dealing with work can also increase the amount of stress in life. The only way to fight procrastination is self-control and a tight schedule, from which you can not back down under any condition. For more tips on how to break up with procrastination see our previous post.

 Talk To You Later

It is very important to maintain connection with outer world and people who surround you. But if you work from home as I am, you should not be carried away with all the phone calls, chats and gossips. It all steals your time and focus from your work purpose. So to maintain the busy schedule free of clutter and pointless conversations put it all aside at least till your lunch break or after your working hours. You don’t need that noise which will not do any good to your focus.

TV Is Your Worst Friend If You Work From Home

Well, at least TV is MY worst friend in terms of distractions. Sometimes an empty house and silence seems so unbearable that I have this longing need for some kind of “presence”. That is why my TV from used to be working from morning till late night, shift after shift until I caught myself watching yet another episode of “How I Met Your Mother” till I’ve learnt it by heart. And it got me thinking, how much vital energy did I spill on this show but not on my projects?! TV shows are ridiculously addictive. Even if you think that peripheral noise of TV does not distract you, trust me, it does. It adds an extra channel of information to be processed by your subconscious and dilutes your focus on other things. Truth to be told, no one watches tv during working hours at some buzzy office, so why should you? You are at work. No TV from now on.

Social Monster

We all know what I will talk about in this paragraph, right? Yes, it’s facebook again. The funny part is, even if you go there for a “couple of moments” you can end up there for hours checking updates, comments, apps and other fun stuff. But again. It steals your focus and time and sends you to the land of procrastination and never ending missed deadlines.

Dopping Is Not An Option. Be Aware

Every now and then we all may feel like we need dopping. It can be a glass of wine with different sorts of cheese, it can be a can of a beer, it can be one cup of coffee and then another. There is nothing wrong with that, however, make sure that the “appropriate” time for a glass of wine doesn’t start earlier and earlier, and a bottle of beer doesn’t transforms into a six-pack or even two. I will keep my mouth shut on the health hazards it can bring. You know it all. Main point is that we cannot allow dopping to transform into a necessity. You are the one who is responsible for your own focus, productivity and success.

Pyjamas are to sleep in…

Yes, we mentioned that one of the benefits of working from home is that there is no corporate dress code to adhere to. However, your PJs have a very specific purpose – to sleep in. Your bath robe – to wear after bath. And fluffy bunny slippers – to feel cosy at home. While we don’t have a strict dress code at home, it makes a big difference if you are dressed appropriately as it puts our minds into the working gear and makes us feel productive. Wearing my PJs just makes me want to cuddle up in my bed and start daydreaming, which would definitely not help with any of my work.

Fanatical About Work

The only hazard of working super hard and going into deep is that you can miss everything that is going on around you. Sounds weird, isn’t it? We were talking about distractions from work when we work from home. But we forgot to discuss the necessity of finding the balance between work and your life. I remember the time, when I was writing non-stop and one odd thought that just couldn’t leave me alone. That thought was:”When was the last time you went outside”? And I got so carried away with work that there was a week in my life which I spent without leaving the house. For some of you it might not sound like a huge tragedy but it does for me.

We have to find the balance between work and our lives. We have to put all the distractions aside and do our best in order to accomplish our dreams faster! We need to wake up on time, be on time and do things right on time. Together we will succeed.

By Lesya Li
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Lesya Li

Lesya Li

Founder, Head of Content at HavingTime
Lesya Li is a founder of HavingTime – a digitally native story magazine for people that need to share inspiration and be inspired.
Lesya Li
Lesya Li
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