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PROTECTING YOUR PRODUCTIVITY WHEN YOU WORK FROM HOME
Dated: February 26 2021
In January, nearly a quarter of working Americans worked from home, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
While there are many positives to working remotely, those with families to care for have learned the hard way that remaining productive is often their biggest challenge.
Dealing with distractions
From last night’s Netflix movie that you fell asleep in the middle of to the overflowing laundry hamper, distractions beckon during the workday.
Even when you do manage to sit down at the computer to do some work, there are far too many shiny objects tempting you to do otherwise.
The solution? Ensure that your home office is away from the main traffic areas of the home and that it’s set up as an office, not a catch-all room. This will serve as a reminder to yourself that you’re working.
If the internet is the temptress, check out Cold Turkey, a website blocker that “… will be there for you when your willpower isn’t.”
Nancy Reagan was right
It is always open season on the self-employed who work from home. For some reason, too many people have this notion that you’re not really working. Thus, the phone calls from friends and neighbors asking if she can run an errand or two.
By the way, interestingly, none of the males we spoke with have had this experience, while most of the females have. From delivering a neighbor’s kid to dance lessons to running other errands, females are imposed on far more often.
First Lady Nancy Reagan nailed the solution when she uttered three famous words: “Just Say No.”
Don’t give in to the requests. Set your boundaries, protect your time and productivity. Just say no. If you’re a people pleaser, “no” may not be in your vocabulary. So, try this one:
“I’d love to help you, but I’ll be working then.”
It’s a bit harder to say no to family members in the home. One we spoke with told his family that when his office door is closed, he is unavailable for anything but emergencies. If the door is open, they’re welcome to enter.
Avoid the urge to over-work
Those who live alone face the danger of becoming workaholics, especially if they’re following the pandemic specialists’ cautions that we should socially isolate.
As you know, there is always more work to do. But it can wait. Now more than ever it’s important to take care of yourself and your spirit.
Take a real lunch break, even if it’s just to get outside for a walk. Quit when the normal workday is over. Turn off the laptop, turn off the lights and close the office door.
Only you can protect your productivity during the workday, only you can protect your psyche.
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