Today I want to share my tips on how to avoid 10 common time wasters. For those working from home, time wasters can rob productivity and goal completion. Working at home is great but a challenge at the same time. It is a comfortable and flexible work environment without the common distractions of co-workers, commute, or interruptions. However, working from home can have its pitfalls but employing a few techniques may help you avoid common time wasters.
10 Time Wasters to Avoid while Working from Home
If you have a little free time check out this article for more information about avoiding time wasters.
Excessive Personal Phone Calls
If you have a land-line turn the phone ringer off and turn the answering machine volume down. No personal home calls unless someone is sick, injured, or an emergency.
It happens all the time. Aunt Doris from across town just happens to be passing by and wanted to stop in to say hi. And have coffee. And wait for the kids to come home from school. And stay for dinner. You cannot do much about Aunt Doris but visit for a bit and then kindly let her know you have work to do. In most cases, you can simply explain to your visitor you need to go back to work, have a critical deadline, and schedule a longer visit for another time.
Unless you are posting and sharing for work limit your time. Set the timer we talked about last week and limit your time on social media to 15 minutes.
This is my Achilles heel. I cannot stand a messy house (which mine always is) so I will do dishes on my way to the bathroom – “it will only take a minute” or “I’ll run a load of laundry before I start that report” and so on. Avoid the chores and stick to your schedule.
YouTube, Instagram, Texting, Television, and the Like
Again, don’t go down the rabbit hole. Before you know it an hour has passed and you have nothing to show for it.
While doing research you come across this incredible online shoe store with amazing prices. Don’t do it. Avoid online shopping at all costs. You’ll lose time and money!
My inbox fills several times a day with junk email. It is so annoying. I spend more time cleaning junk mail from my phone and desktop computer than actually responding to legitimate emails. Set up an email just for newsletter and “receive special and sales information” notices.
Disorganization and Clutter
Keep your work area clean and organized. It is amazing how much this simple tasks helps productivity.
Dedicated Work Space
Short-term work spaces are fine (i.e. the kitchen table) but a long-term solution is important. Find a space for a desk, files, supplies, and computer devoted to work.
A classic pitfall. I try to do too many things at once and suddenly I am spread too thin. My work quality decreases, concentration falls, and nothing is done as well as it could be or as quickly. Do not take on too much.
Solutions and Time Savers
Create home and work schedules. Set-up calendars for school, home, work.
Set regular work hours.
Create a list of daily and weekly goals. Prioritize the goals and set up tasks to meet them.
Work only in your designated work area. Your bed is not a designated work area.
Clean up the clutter around your desk. Organize your work and supplies.
When not using your cell phone, put it out of sight. You won’t be tempted to text, etc. if you don’t see the phone.
Hire an assistant, virtual assistant, or house cleaning service. Don’t be ashamed to hire help. We are all busy with work, family, and home. Smart and savvy business owners know to succeed they need help; to grow they need to increase staff; and to increase productivity they must delegate.
I have a wonderful friend who owns her own company (with her husband) and works tirelessly to manage the company. To help her manage family, home, and business she outsources meals, hires house cleaning services, has a small bookkeeping staff, and trains her teenagers to help with the office work.
Take the Poll
To increase success and find satisfaction business owners and work from home professionals should avoid time wasters. Distractions only prolong the work project and delay family time and a feeling of accomplishment.
I hope the monthly “Stay on Schedule Challenge” is going well for you. For myself, I am writing more lists, prioritizing, and using CoSchedule to plan the blog. I’m very pleased with how it is going so far.