Four tips to avoid distractions when working from home

To perform at your best and avoid work-related burnout, check out these top four tips on how to avoid distractions while working from home.

Your dog barks at the mailman. Your partner sings in the kitchen while doing the dishes. 

Your neighbor rings your doorbell because they locked themselves out of their house and now need their spare key. 

A teenager drives by with excruciatingly-loud music. Your other neighbor fires up the lawnmower.

More people than ever before are working from the comfort of their own homes. Often, this means more distractions. Whether the distraction is out of your control or a byproduct of combining your living space with your workspace, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with these distractions at your new home office.

Four tips to avoid distractions when working from home

If you’re finding it hard to keep your mind on your work, here are four tips on how to avoid all those pesky distractions while working from home.

1) Get a pair of noise-canceling headphones

Having a pair of noise-canceling headphones is like isolating yourself in a two-foot-thick underground protective bunker, but with the ability to, you know, work.

Do you need to strategize and be creative? Maybe you head bob to some chill folk music. Are you pumping out some copy for a client? Perhaps it’s upbeat pop music for the next few hours. 

Are you pulling a coding binge with a pot of coffee right next to you? Maybe it’s time for some hip hop or metal.

Whatever mood you are in or music you like, having some good tunes while you work is always a good bet. There’s nothing better than noise-canceling headphones to jam out with. 

2) Make sure you have a place to call your own

It’s time to make yourself a dedicated workspace. If you wake up in the morning in your bed, go to the toilet, brush your teeth, and then grab your laptop before returning to your bed workspace, you’re doing it wrong.

Aside from the dull and aching pain you can expect in your lower back and shoulders; it’s nearly impossible to remove all distractions in the place you feel the most comfortable.

What’s stopping you from just pressing Netflix on the bottom of your screen for a quick hourlong (or three-hour) show?

If you have a multiple-room home, decide which one of those rooms will be your home office and decorate it accordingly. If you have a studio, make sure you find a corner of your apartment to call your working nook. 

Make sure it has an excellent desk with a comfortable chair or an adjustable-height standing desk.

By giving yourself a dedicated workspace, you can get down to business while you are in that space. Even better if it has a door to muffle out distractions. Routine, routine, routine.

3) Just tell them to be quiet

You love your loved ones. That’s why they’re called loved ones. And if you are working from home, it’s likely your loved ones, or other people (and possibly even animals) will be around you for at least part of your day.

If you have a video conference meeting at noon and you don’t mention it to your family or friends, it’s on you if they appear in their knickers in the background when your boss is speaking. Or worse, strip naked

Make a calendar and put it in a prominent place in the house (fridge, kitchen table, couch, TV screen) or put a note on your closed office door when you are in important meetings, calls, or brainstorming sessions. 

Have a morning meeting with your loved ones every morning with the expectations for the day, unless your loved ones are furry and four legs, in which case you can probably just leave some treats in the kitchen.

4) Take a break

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, take a break! Sometimes the best way to avoid distractions is to complete the task or take care of the thing that is the distraction.

Are you thinking about the dishes in the sink? Just do the dishes. Feel like your skin is crawling because you have been working for ten straight hours? Go outside and take a walk.

The key is to do it efficiently in a way that promotes well-being and productivity. According to a recent study, the most efficient way to break up your workday is to work for 52 minutes and rest for 17. This stimulates your memory and brain cell regeneration and allows you to get down to work while you’re at your workspace.

Robb Green is a writer for Best Studio Mics, a company dedicated to helping users with tech-related questions on the web. In Robb’s spare time, he enjoys playing the guitar, gaming, and good music.

Photo by Marta Filipczyk