Do you find yourself checking your email every five minutes? Or chatting on the phone when you are supposed to be working? Distractions are a part of life, but that doesn’t mean they have to control your days. Here are a few ideas to help you keep on task.
Close your email
This may seem simple, but, at least for me, it can be hard not only to close my email, but also to STAY out of my email program. When a task needs to be done, the best way to focus is to shut your email program, turn your phone off (or mute it) and distance yourself from any other distracting technology items. You’ll be amazed at how much more you will accomplish – and how much more efficiently you work.
Find Time Alone
As a work-at-home mom, this is by far the hardest distraction-buster to accomplish. As my kids have gotten older, I’ve found that I can get most of my work done while my kids are at school. However, when they were still small and home with me all day, I tended to work in small chunks. Twenty minutes here while they watched a little T.V. or half an hour here while they played outside (and many times I sat outside with my laptop so I could keep an eye on them.
Another tactic I used was to trade babysitting time with a friend who also needed some “alone time” or to ask family members for help. Be creative!
Make a List
This is my go-to tip when people ask me how to become more productive. I couldn’t get nearly as much done without my lists. If plan out tasks with lists of steps that need to be accomplished. I make an outline out of an idea to see if it is feasible. And when I’m writing I outline what I want to say. I find that if I have an outline, I’m much more likely to take on the task and actually complete it.
While distractions still sidetrack me from time to time, these tips help me stay on course. And, as mom always used to say, “Practice makes perfect.” The more we practice these ideas, the more “perfect” our workdays will seem.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jill Hart is the founder ofChristian Work at Home Moms, a website that provides resources andencouragement for women who work from home. She is the author of So You WantTo Be a Work-at-Home Mom and has been featured in places such as The WallStreet Journal and FIRST magazine. But mainly Jill is a wife and mom of two.She lives with her family in Nebraska.