Avoiding Distractions in a Home-Based Business
Make sure that once you are your own boss and working at home you don't become the world's worst employee. Working from home is challenging, especially in a busy house. There are certain steps that you can take, however, to avoid distractions and stay focused on your work.
1. Office placement. If your office is close to the television, kitchen, or other high-traffic areas of your home, it can be hard to focus on your work. Try to set up your office as far away from these distractions as possible. If you are unable to do this, set some rules about noise during business hours.
2. Set your hours. While working from home gives you more freedom over your schedule, it also gives you more room to slack off from your job. Try to set strict working hours. If you are running a business that requires you to be available to customers during normal business hours, it is extremely important to stick to this schedule.
3. Limit your Web surfing. If you need to be on the Internet to run your business, it is very easy to get distracted and caught up in surfing the Web. If you find that you are having trouble staying focused, try keeping your browser window closed and open only your email client. If you do need to browse, restrict yourself to the task at hand. You can also schedule "surfing time" during your slower hours.
4. Treat your business like a real job. If you worked for a company, your boss would most likely not allow you to spend your entire day on the phone, or have your family in your office for hours at a time. Many people forget that even though they are working from home, it is still a "real job." Try to set rules with your family; even though you are home, you still need to be able to concentrate on your work.
5. Make a safe zone. Before you end up renting out office space so that you can get your work done, set up an office safe zone with your family. They need to know that during work hours, you are not available unless there is an emergency. One of the nicest things about working from home is being able to spend time with your family. However, this is also one of the downsides, especially if they do not understand that you need peace and quiet to work productively.
6. Allow some play time. If you still cannot avoid distractions, try scheduling them into your day. For example, you can set aside an hour each day to do the things that you enjoy.
These practical tips will help you control your office environment and still enjoy the benefits of working from home.
Also read Ten Tips for Time Management for Your Home-Based Business and Ten Tips on Overcoming the Disadvantages of a Home-Based Business. AllBusiness.com business advisor Frank Ross writes about these and other issues and opportunities in his Home-Based Business Blog.
Get more tips on maintaining a work/life balance and read this article on fighting isolation when you work at home on AllBusiness.com. AllBusiness.com provides resources to help small and growing businesses start, manage, finance and expand their business. Copyright © 1999 - 2007 AllBusiness.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.