“Mama, I can’t find my doll”
“There’s someone at the door, could you please get that?”
“Hi, I just dropped in for a quick chat. Hope that’s okay?”
These are just some of the distractions that a busy work-at-home mom often faces in her ‘workday’. Yes, whether you have an office with a door that closes or work out of your dining room, chances are you are often, distracted either by others or by yourself.
Recently, I was over at the AboutOne blog, talking about the top 5 distractions for a work-at-home mom and offered quick fixes for each one of them.
However, today, I’d like to delve into greater detail and share some time management tips for dealing with distractions without losing your sanity:
Yes, knowing what you’re working for and having both long-term and short-term goals in place can really when dealing with distractions, such as social media and keep you focused on the big picture. Also, make sure that you schedule time each week to evaluate your progress and review whether your current schedule needs to be tweaked or trashed.
Focus is also key when you sit down to work. Is your biggest distraction social media? Or surfing and scouting for deals? Think about installing a site blocker, such as LeechBlock. I’ve found that more often than not, my biggest distraction tends to be ‘me’!
2. Mindful Multi-tasking
What is this Prerna, focus and multi-task in the same post? I know.
But hear me out, okay?
I am a HUGE fan of just doing the one thing at a time. However, mindful or focused multi-tasking can be possible and can make your life so much simpler, especially when dealing with distractions that involve other people or household chores.
For instance, can you talk to your chatty neighbor while you fold laundry or dry the dishes as well? Or maybe you can catch up on your favorite programs while sorting a drawer in the bedroom?
The idea is to make multitasking intentional and purposeful and not leave you feeling overwhelmed and incompetent. I mean, do you really want to fix dinner, help your kids with homework and do a bit of social media as well? All at the same time?
3. Anticipate Distractions
As a veteran work-at-home mama, I’ve come to anticipate distractions. I know what can throw a spanner in my work-at-home day and so I plan accordingly. From setting working hours to getting realistic about home management, I try to make sure that distractions don’t interrupt my working schedule.
You could do the same.
For the next week, pay attention to your most common distractions and then over the weekend, brainstorm ways to handle those distractions. For instance, do you get sidetracked by dirty dishes in the middle of a writing project? Or do well-meaning friends or extended family continue to drop in unannounced in the middle of a ‘work’ day?
Can you put systems in place to manage these?
4. Ask for Help
Finally, asking for and getting help has been a fantastic way of dealing with my housework distraction. I hired help to do the dishes and sweep and mop our house and it has been the best thing ever. Depending upon what sidetracks your work efforts, you can ask for and get help in the same way. If it is childcare, maybe hiring a mother’s helper or a babysitter on a few days may help.
If social media or online browsing is your distraction, ask a friend to be your accountability partner and check-in with you daily on your browsing activities. Set a scheduled time for social media and if you’re ‘caught’ socializing beyond that, you have to buy that friend a coffee or lunch! Yes, that’ll ‘teach’ you to socialize when you should be working. **laughing**
Do you get distracted when working out of home? How do you deal with distractions?
Want to know more about balancing your time and life as a work-at-home mom? Check out How to be a Work-at-Home Mom, a 70-page power-packed resource designed to help you power up your life as a mom entrepreneur NOW!
Photo Credit: Nanette Saylor
The Mom Writes
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