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Top Three Distractions to Avoid when Working from Home

Author Victor Rodrigues
Submitted 04-10-2007

You may have opted to work from home for a number of reasons like getting away from workplace stress, reducing commute time, gaining more income, or gaining more family time. However, work-from-home can be fraught with distractions that could mar your venture.

Here are the top three distractions to avoid:

1. Taking Frequent Snack Breaks

Many home based entrepreneurs have admitted that frequent snack breaks are among their biggest distractions. There is the temptation to munch all the time while working. Some dads find themselves consuming entire bags of potato chips without even realizing it. Income Opportunities Magazine reports that 36% work-from-home Americans gained weight over a short period. While well-timed breaks are ok, overindulging in food is not.

It might help to keep snacks away from the workplace as a rule. Set a strict timetable for snack breaks. Ensure your workplace is not within easy access of the refrigerator. Shut your door to prevent the kitchen aromas from stimulating your olfactory nerves.


2. Sleeping in Excess

Each individual may have a unique sleep pattern. Some people are early birds and others are night owls. One advantage of working from home is that it allows you a flexible sleep schedule. It allows you to choose a work schedule that will suit your sleep pattern. However, home entrepreneurs who work in their bedroom, admit to being tempted to lie down at every opportunity. Giving in to this impulse gradually increases their total sleep time. Obviously, increased sleep time reduces productivity and income.

Repetitive tasks can cause a person to be sleepy. Therefore, avoid working in your bedroom. If there is no alternative, and you have to take a quick nap, make it a rule to restrict your nap to any place other than your bed. Keep an alarm to wake you up within a few minutes.


3. Family Obligations

Does work from home imply that dad should now take over all the family obligations? Regular family obligations include cooking, tidying the house, caring for the plants, mowing the lawn, caring for the baby, getting the children ready for school, tutoring the kids, taking the kids for a walk, buying the groceries, paying bills, and a host of other tasks.

Running a business requires that you dedicate a fixed number of hours each day to business related activities. Calculate how much work time is required to run your home business. Despite what the “get rich quick” ads say, if you want to earn millions of dollars, you’ll likely have to spend many many hours at your desk. Other options, depending on your lifestyle and location, may allow you to work a more limited schedule. Develop a plan that will get you to your goal and estimate the number of hours required. Then, plan to work during your “workday,” as defined by you. If you’re working around your kids’ schedule, that may mean six hours during the day and another two hours after they go to bed.

Family obligations require their own share of dedicated time. Fit them into your plan. If you don’t, they could distract you from your business schedule. Planning could include hiring babysitting help to make sure you can concentrate on your work.

Use the Comments section below to share your tips, views, or experiences with other dads.