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Avoid distraction when working from home

When working away from your office environment you may find yourself working in an environment full of distractions. From children, to chores, to lodgers or flatmates, there are a number of variables which can interrupt your work. To avoid distraction: 

  • Structure your workday as you would normally. Set yourself clear start and end times along with regular breaks. While it may seem counter-intuitive, taking breaks can help you maintain your productivity over a longer period. If you live with others make sure they respect your working hours; you can always sync your breaks with those of others. 

  • Create a designated workspace wherever possible. While not always possible, a study or room away from any household thoroughfare is ideal. The Sussex website has guidance on setting up a temporary workstation. As well as protecting your posture and preventing distractions, having a designated workspace helps signal that you are “at work” to others and yourself. 

  • Consider creating a work profile on your laptop or PC, as this can help further separate yourself from the applications or files you access in your leisure time and can help avoid confusion if the computer is shared with others. Both Microsoft and Mac have clear guides on how to do this. 

  • Avoid procrastination. Set yourself clear goals and targets for the day as you would when working in the Office. This can be a simple text file of things to do or you can use a tool such as the to-do/tasks/reminders functionality built into Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail. 

  • Avoid distracting content. If you find yourself reading news sites, or other online distractions, there are several apps which help block distracting webpages, these include: 

    • Freedom (Chrome, Firefox, iOS, macOS, Opera, Windows) for blocking apps and websites 
    • LeechBlock (Chrome, Firefox) uses timers to block or allow website access 
    • Mindful Browsing (Chrome) provides gentle nudges away from time-wasting sites

created on 2020-03-26 by Frank Melmoe
last updated on 2020-03-26 by Frank Melmoe