Stop These 4 Productivity Killers Today

One of the greatest things about working from home is the ability to multi-task. You can have laundry going while you’re writing, soup on the stove while you’re researching, and your furry friend on your lap while you’re listening to your AWAI online classes.

These are all real luxuries that many people don’t get to experience!

The trick, however, is not letting these little luxuries become major distractions.

The daily schedule we talked about yesterday is one of the best ways to ensure this doesn’t happen. But, unless you make a conscious effort to prevent distractions, they may still find their way into your busy workday.

Recent studies show it’s not only the number of hours you work that matters, it’s the focused quality of that work that determines mastery.

Here are some pro tips you can enact today that will ensure a distraction-free workday:

  • Be selective when answering the phone. You might want to consider having an outgoing message that broadcasts the four hours each day you accept and return phone calls.
  • Turn off the TV. Minimize all noise that pulls your thoughts and concentration away from your writing. For most, this also includes music.
  • Don’t use home projects as avoidance tools. If you know you should be marketing, but you find yourself cleaning out your closet, ask yourself, “Is this moving me toward my goal?”
  • Log out of all social media. If you’re logged into Facebook while writing and that tempting little (1) shows up on a browser tab, it’s too hard NOT to check. All of a sudden you’re commenting, liking and scrolling … and you’ve lost your train of thought. Just log out!

Lastly, if you specifically find that household chores are a big distraction for you, start scheduling them into your daily routine like we discussed yesterday. That way, you can stay focused, knowing you’ve allocated time for chores later. You won’t break into your concentrated work period to do the dishes and tidy up the living room.

What are other tricks you have for ridding your environment of distractions? Share with your fellow writers in the comments.

Tomorrow, I’m going to share an activity that will help reinforce your decision to become a full-time freelancer, just in case you get some first-week jitters.

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Published: May 1, 2014

14 Responses to “Stop These 4 Productivity Killers Today”

  1. When I am distracted, I tell myself, "Back to work!" It's also useful as a way to politely signal an end to phone calls: "Well, it's been delightful talking to you, but please excuse me: I have to get back to work!"

    Guest (Karen Bradford)

  2. I've discovered I simply can't work at home...Social MEdia is NOT my problem...It's my two loving and spoiled cats, and TV, like live NASA launches and live sports (Tennis, Baseball, Golf). I go to Starbucks to work! ;-)

    Guest (Karen)

  3. Discipline takes practice! Keep working at it until it becomes habit. A little virtual sticky note reminder on the computer can be a nice friendly way to keep your goals in mind.

    Guest (Leah)

  4. Busted! I am reading your email right now after finishing baking two cakes for church bazaar this weekend, checking emails and facebook. All instead of working on my AWAI writing project #14.
    So, how do I get myself back on track? Look at the quote taped to my computer, "A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." I post inspirational quotes around my house to keep me motivated. So, back to work!


  5. I know myself well enough to know, it's the chores that pull me away from the work I'm trying to complete. Working from my home is not necessarily the best option for me. I have a coffee shop I go to, to write. I can sip on my mocha and chew on a scone while typing away. The other thing I do that not a lot of people can do is put my ear-buds in, and listen to the most appropriate station on Pandora for what I'm writing. It drowns out all the background noises and acts as a White Noise tool for me.

    Happy writing, everyone!

    Kathy Moody

  6. Great tips! And you nailed me too! So easy to be distracted by animals needing attention, or a child interrupting. My way of dealing is that I've set a goal of 3 lessons a week and then I pick the times that no one or animal will be needing my time. That may be a Saturday or during the day when its quiet. Works for me! Thanks!

    Laura Mc

  7. The library here in Chillicothe, Ohio has worked great for me today. I'm in a small conference room with a table and eight chairs.... all by myself... brought my Tim Hortons coffee and have gotten more reading and notes made than distractions and it's free when not reserved. (I know too many at the coffee shop.)


  8. If I have a webinar to listen too or a training, sometimes I will set the laptop on the kitchen island and do dishes as I listen or fold a load of clothes. These are pretty mindless activities so I am able to focus well on what is being presented while getting a chore done. I won't do this if I know I will need to take a lot of notes.

    Bonnie Pecka

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