When I first started working from home, I struggled with distraction. Every 20 minutes I’d find a dog to pet, dishes or clothes to wash, or something shiny to look at. My phone would buzz and I would check it, only to be on it for 15 more minutes, scrolling away when I should be working.
Am I the only one?
According to a cursory search on Google, distractions at work are common. But I’m at home! Why am I so distracted?
The first thing I did to set myself back on course was download the Forest app to my phone. Instead of scrolling social media, I saw a little digital plant grow on my screen. Determined not to be a plant killer in the virtual world as I am in the real world, I kept at the task at hand: my work.
Using this app helped me stop phubbing for a while, but part of my job is to manage social media accounts. Sometimes I need to view multiple accounts at once and while I can look up an Instagram account on my computer, it’s easier to do so on my phone. There’s also a calculator on my computer, but I prefer using my cell phone for that.
And I was still distracted.
No boss calling me. No coworkers chatting me up. No patrons asking questions. Just me, my laptop, and my sleeping dogs who occasionally bark and want to be walked.
People may think it’s easy to focus when you’re home alone, but as an only child, I spent my entire childhood entertaining myself, finding things to do and people to speak to. I invented tasks that needed to be done, which helped my boredom as a child and helped my parents not go crazy, I’m sure, but as an adult, it’s made me struggle with distraction.
I had to find a new rhythm.
A few months into this job, I am finally finding my groove. My schedule has many breaks in it, but it works for me. I start my day by taking care of my dogs and working out. Then I settle in at my desk with my coffee and breakfast to work. A few hours later, I make lunch and my husband joins me. After we eat, we both return to our work for a few more hours. Somewhere in there I walk the dogs again before my husband comes home and I eventually call it a day after about eight hours.
If you’re new to working from home, whether it’s a full-time job or a part-time hobby, be patient with yourself. Creating a schedule can be very difficult, especially when one has always been given to you between school and day jobs.
Be patient with yourself. You will find your rhythm.
For more on how I started working from home, visit this blog post.
Challenge: Whether it’s for a job or a hobby, how to you “find time” AKA create a schedule for yourself? How have you overcome challenges as life throws you curveballs? Share in the comments.
Extra challenge: If you plan on participating in NaNoWriMo, download the Forest app now. Then use it throughout November for those word sprints.
If you liked this blog post, please buy me a cup of coffee.