Work-From-Home Mastery: ConquerDistractions and Achieve Your Goals

Person making checklist

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

 

For years, you’ve been waiting for the right time to ditch your 9-5 job and work from home. And now that you have taken the plunge, you’re faced with unique problems: juggling laundry, stealing that one episode of your favorite Netflix show, and giving in to the tempting goodies in the fridge.

There are distractions lurking at every corner of your home.

What can you do?

Well, first, don’t worry.

This guide will help you conquer all your distractions and open the door to your full potential while you work in your pajamas. Leverage the six strategies outlined below to make the most of your work from home. Maximize your productivity, efficiency, and overall well-being.

Why Do We Give In to Distractions?

In a traditional office, you’re subject to routines. These routines and the presence of your co-workers maintain the required productivity. Here, you aren’t distracted because of the work environment.

However, for freelancers like us, distractions are built into our days. This makes focusing a daily struggle where there are neither co-workers nor managers to oversee your work.

There are three types of distractions that freelancers face:

Environmental Distractions:

You’re surrounded by potential distractions—the TV, fridge, and chores around the home. The temptation to steal a short nap also takes away your focus. These temptations are difficult to resist, even if you have a deadline drawing close.

When Work and Life Blur:

If you work in your living space, for example, at the dining table, you’re bang amid all the chatter at home, the doorbell ringing, and the sound of the telly. This makes focusing on work difficult and you barely make any progress in a day.

Psychological Reasons:

There are four psychological reasons for freelancers being distracted at work. They are:

Procrastination:

If you’re daunted by a complex or challenging project, you’re likely to put off working on it in favor of easy tasks. These could be tidying up around the home, scrolling through social media or nipping out to buy groceries. Just anything to avoid doing that dreaded project.

Lack of Structure:

Work-from-home professionals lack the work structure of traditional offices. So, they find it easy to procrastinate. Further, by not setting clear boundaries between work and personal life, they fall prey to distractions which can eat up a lot of their work day.

Decision Fatigue:

Our workdays comprise several moments of making big and small decisions. This can lead to fatigue in decision-making. Decision fatigue reduces your ability to focus and resist distractions.

When you work from home, you need to be a good decision-maker, which contributes to decision fatigue.

Social Disconnect:

Working on your own as freelancers do can lead to a feeling of isolation and loneliness. In a traditional office, interacting with co-workers can be a huge motivator and offer you accountability. In the absence of such social interaction, you might find yourself seeking out distractions to fill the void.

By understanding the above reasons, you can spot your personal triggers and use targeted strategies to overcome them.

Conquering Distractions

Craft a Focused Work Area

The first practical step you should take to overcome your distractions is to create a dedicated work spot. Take care to see that your work area is quiet, well-lit, and apart from your living area.

Ensure you have a comfortable and ergonomic chair and that you have de-cluttered your workspace to avoid distractions.

Turn Off Notifications

Before you begin work each day, ensure that you have turned off all notifications on your phone. You could use specific apps that block distracting websites from sapping your productivity and focus. Set a timer for this activity.

Establish Work Hours

Let your family and clients know your work hours and stick to them fiercely. This will keep you productive during your work hours.

SMART Goals and How to Stay Afloat with Them:

If you’ve got projects on hand to complete, obviously you will want to set goals to stay motivated and focused. SMART goals can help you craft doable goals.

Here’s a breakdown for you:

  • Specific: Be specific when you lay down your goals. Say something like “I will get three new clients by the end of three months that specialize in social media management.”
  • Measurable: These goals are measurable. To continue with the above example, here you would say, “I will get three client contracts of a monthly retainer of $1,000 each.”
  • Attainable: Be realistic in defining your goals. Remember, they must be achievable. Take into account your present-day workload and your skills. Also, if you have some set obligations at home that are time-consuming, factor in those too.

For example, “I’ll evaluate my workload and available time for future projects that I can handle without burning out.”

  • Relevant: To be relevant in a competitive market, make sure your goals are in line with your predetermined freelance vision. For example, “I will set a goal to expand my social media content network for the next three months.”
  • Time-bound: Create a sense of urgency. Set a deadline for all your work. Then, work steadily till you finish. Here, your goal would be, to “Secure three clients within the next 3 months.”

Building Routines and Habits for Peak Productivity:

By setting a regular work schedule for yourself, you concentrate on work better.  Stick to these hours as far as possible.

Develop a morning routine that brings in more productivity for you. Include meditation, exercise, and a whole load of motivation that will guide your day to success.

Use project management tools to help organize your tasks by taking your deadlines into account. Handle the most important tasks first thing in the morning.

Take breaks regularly throughout the day so you don’t burnout. Take short walks, exercise, or eat healthy.

Stay Accountable and Reward Yourself:

Choose someone who can motivate you to work well and achieve your goals. You can find a good accountability partner in an online freelancer community or among one of your fellow freelancers.

Lastly, reward yourself for any small wins that you make. Acknowledging yourself for a milestone can be a big motivator. Stay motivated as you move along to success.

Saying No to Clients:

There may be times in your freelance career when you’re tempted to take every project offered to you. Stop! Don’t do this. Or you’ll end up with missed deadlines and burn out.

There are gracious ways of saying no to your clients. Check them out here:

  • When you discuss a project with a potential client, make your availability known to him.
  • Recommend someone you know who might be interested in the offer.
  • Politely decline the project.
  • Say something like, “It’s unfortunate that right now when I’m interested in the project, I don’t have the time for it.”

By thinking of innovative and courteous ways of declining a project, you can protect your focus and time, and retain your clients.

Takeaway

By taking charge of your work-from-home space and establishing specific goals, you will be on the road to success. Put the strategies mentioned here into practice. Block out distractions and achieve amazing success.

Remember that if knowledge is power, action is magic. So, don’t let this powerful information remain unused.

Act now! Make your SMART goals work for you. The strategies mentioned here can easily set you up for success as a freelancer.

Why wait? Take charge of your workday and realize your greatest potential!

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