How to work Distraction-free
Ask any work-at-home professional or small business owner what their biggest hurdle is when it comes to tackling their to-do list and they’ll likely tell you it’s the constant distractions. They want to work distraction-free! The kids need attention. Email demands to be answered. The phone is ringing. The cat needs fresh water. There’s a pile of ironing that needs doing, and the sky is blue…
The list goes on. It’s no wonder you can’t get anything done.
So how do those “have it all, work from home” type entrepreneurs do it? Well, they start by creating a distraction-free zone.
A Place of Your Own
Plenty of entrepreneurs start out working from the kitchen table, stealing a few minutes here or an hour there when the babies are napping or during lunch. But when the business begins to grow, and the babies need constant attention it pretty quickly becomes clear that a laptop in the living room is not an efficient way to work. It’s time to find a real office and a qualified child minder for the babies.
I’m often astounded, Totally flabbergasted at the way being a Virtual Assistant is touted amongst new Mums as being a way to make money at home! Well, excuse me. That is giving the Virtual Assistant industry a really bad name. I am a professional business owner and support my clients’ businesses from 9 until 5 every working day. I don’t have young children and IF I did I would make sure that any babies were being looked after by a registered minder. Leaving me to concentrate on my business.
Who wants to take a professional business call when cbeebies or worse still a screaming toddler is having a tantrum in the background. Not me…
This doesn’t mean you have to go rent space in an office block, though. If you run your business from home and want to keep it that way, you just need to carve out a space you can call your own and make child care your number one priority.
For some, a spare bedroom makes an ideal office space. For others, a corner of the basement or even a closet will do. The key is to create a place where, when you’re in it, you know you’re working. And perhaps more importantly, when you’re not in it, you can leave the work behind. So first off get yourself a door, and if needs be a do not disturb sign. Make everyone in your household knows that when the door is closed, it means you are working and the ‘do not disturb’ sign is the law! You can find many fabulous ideas for creating perfect work areas in your home on the internet; like these found here on House to Home.
Virtual Distractions You Can Do Without
Of course, just having a nice quiet office with a door won’t eliminate all your distractions. There’s plenty of them right on your computer waiting to suck away all your work time. How you deal with those will depend largely on the type of work you do.
Does the Internet call to you? Consider installing browser software such as LeechBlock (Firefox) StayFocusd (Chrome) or Focus if you use a Mac. All let you block certain sites (Facebook, for example) for specific periods of time. If you want to get in a solid 3 hours of work before embarking on another Candy Crush tournament, just turn on your timer and you won’t be able to access Facebook at all until your work day is done. You can do the same for any site that commands your attention, but keep in mind that if you have more than one browser installed on your computer, you can always click over to the unlocked choice to sneak a few minutes of play time in. Train yourself to not use them!
The important thing to remember here is that your environment is only the beginning. You need to work on building up your self-discipline as well, so you can say no to distractions and get the work done. The top priority on your list if you are a Virtual Assistant is to do our industry proud and make your Virtual Assistant business a professional one, send your pre-school children off to a child minder, make your business Distraction-free and concentrate on being a full time virtual assistant and a working Mum.