How to Deal with Interruptions When Working in a Home Office

May 21, 2020
Many of us are working in a home office for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Working from home presents unique challenges whether you have children, pets or another spouse at home as well. There will naturally be interruptions to your day when you are working in the same place where the rest of your life takes place, but there are numerous effective ways to handle them. How can you maintain a high level of productivity while working in a home office?

The Best Ways to Deal with Interruptions When Working in a Home Office

  1. Stick to a Schedule: Just like when you go into the office, you need to stick to a schedule when working from home. Think about everything that you need to fit into your day, including the hours you are expected to be working. Make sure everyone in your house understands what your schedule is. A schedule also allows you to rank your priorities and ensure you get everything done that you need to. Set your schedule in consideration of everyone else in your house. For example, if your daughter starts school at 8:30 AM and typically needs help getting her iPad set up for remote learning, you might want to wait to start your workday until 9:00.
  2. Know What Distracts You: Understanding your most common distractions is key to preventing them from derailing your day. Are you easily distracted by your pet? Sounds from another room? Someone else sitting nearby? You know what type of setting and background is ideal for your concentration. Think critically about your distractions and come up with ways to eliminate them when working in a home office. Every distraction cannot be eliminated, but there are ways to work around them and to minimize their impact on your day.
  3. Straighten Out Your Tech: Technology can present problems that are frustrating or present enticing distractions that are more tempting than work. As a result, it’s critical that you straighten out your tech before you start working in a home office. Getting notifications on your phone while you’re working in an office can be easy to ignore, since you’re in a meeting and surrounded by colleagues. It’s harder to stay away when working in a home office! Turn off your phone or put it on silent like you would in a traditional office. Avoid doing anything on your computer unrelated to work during the workday.
  4. Choose the Right Music: Some people are distracted by background music, while others rely on it to cover up small sounds from other rooms. When choosing music, make sure you choose something that isn’t distracting. Songs with lyrics can be more distracting to some people than songs without words, like classical music or jazz. Explore playlists designed for work on Spotify and YouTube.

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