Many salespeople work from home offices. There are a lot of advantages to working from home. However to be successful a person needs discipline and structure.
It is easy to become distracted when you’re working from home. True, you don’t have your coworkers talking about last night’s Dancing with the Stars or showing you photos of their children. However, you do have other distractions, like last watching TV and your children. How do you handle them and still manage to be productive? It isn’t easy. Here are seven tips to avoid distraction and prevent interruption – and they’re useful even if you don’t work from home.
#1 Create “work time” and set limits. Get a do not disturb sign if you need to. Just make sure everyone knows you’re working and not to be disturbed. It’s helpful if you can create special times during the day that are devoted to work and special times that are devoted to family, chores and errands.
#2 Close any and all computer applications that aren’t directly related to what you’re doing. Yes, that means Facebook and Twitter too! And of course close your email unless you’re checking it.
#3 Speaking of email, stop checking it every five minutes! Check it three times a day, max. Check it once in the morning, once in the evening and once during lunch. This is a foundational principle of effective time management. Don’t let email control your day. Controlling email is one of the most proactive steps you can make. Instead of reacting to every interruption – phone calls and emails – that comes your way, organize your time and make sure that you accomplish the most important tasks that directly get you to closing a deal.
#4 Turn off your phone or set specific ring tones for important numbers and ignore all other calls. Google Voice is a great tool because you can have voice mail messages sent to you as text messages. That saves you time during your lunch break because you can check your voice mail and your email at the same time.
#5 Remove the television and the radio/stereo from your office if they’re distractions. Generally, television is a distraction for most people. However, some people find it easier to work to music. You decide. You know yourself better than anyone else. If music is a distraction, remove it from your work environment.
#6 Plan ahead. Take the dog outside before you settle down to work. Use the facilities and grab some food and something to drink so you don’t have to get up while you’re working.
#7 Set time aside for chores and errands. Laundry, dirty dishes and grocery shopping can wait, right? However, if you haven’t set aside time to get them done they’ll loom over you and distract you from getting your work completed. Schedule time for them and the stress is removed. You can focus on being productive. Most Importantly –Don’t do non-selling activities during time you could be selling.
Distractions are a part of working from home or anywhere else. As they arise, you’ll need to figure out the best way to manage them and prevent them. Enjoy the benefits of working from home for what they are and the amazing freedom you do have.