As a woman that is already working from home, you will know that we are all different. Apart from working in home offices worlds apart, having different freelance clients, and different sized families; we also work optimally in different ways.
Some writers might need dead silence in order to focus, while others need to type to the beat of their favorite song in order to be productive. In this sense, I’m a bit of both. But no matter your preferences, we all do have something in common, and that is freelancing is basically synonymous with work-at-home interruptions.
Those of you with children at home will know this all too well. One moment you are in the zone designing the most beautiful business card for a client, and the next your 3-year-old pulls the tablecloth from under you to have your coffee spill all over your brand new Mac.
Life is unpredictable, but we have the power to create order.
Let us look at a few ways in which we can establish truly productive hours at work and steer clear of work-at-home interruptions:
1. Block What Bothers You
One of my biggest downfalls is most definitely my addiction to Instagram and Facebook. To scroll down the feed is not even a conscious decision anymore – every few minutes I just find my fingers scrolling down the news feed and frantically liking what is being produced by the rest of the world.
Make use of applications such as Self Control to block certain websites during your work hours. Instead of you having to fight the temptation, it will remove it all together.
2. Practice the Pomodairo System
If you are trying to get into a fixed routine make use of the Pomodairo application that will train you in taking breaks only when it is needed. Not only will this timer help you prioritize your tasks but it allows lets you log interruptions, should they take place. This way you will be able to pinpoint what is keeping you out of work if you haven’t already determined the culprit.
3. Work During Nap Time
As a mother, the best time to get your working juices flowing would be when the kids are in a relaxed state. As soon as your little ones are settling down, take this time to do the most important sections of your work. Another option is to become a night owl and work when the kids go to bed. Just make sure that you yourself are getting enough shut-eye.
4. Switch Your Phone to Silent
Apart from internal interruptions in your home, what is coming from the outside is just as tempting. One of the biggest problems with freelancing is that others seem to think that you are always ‘free’. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of daily socializing when you tell yourself that you can complete your tasks ‘later’. Rather plan your social gatherings ahead of time or the night before. This way all your social events will be penciled in your diary and you don’t have to chit chat about it during the day. Even though it might feel rude you could also divert your phone calls to make extra sure that you don’t get distracted.
These are just a few ways in which you can avoid daily interruptions. This is most definitely one of my biggest downfalls – but only because I’m a serious procrastinator. At the moment I’m trying to stick to my routine and get more writing done. I would love to hear how you deal with interruptions.