Many people never quite grasp the “work” part of working from home. They figure that you aren’t directly answering to a boss, and you can do your work whenever and wherever, so there is no reason to not take a few minutes of your time.

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Managing Interruptions When You Work from Home

But if you give in to these frequent interruptions, you will quickly find that your schedule and routine is thrown off. For every stop and start, you lose more than just the time spent conversing; you lose the steam you had built up, you lose your train of thought, and you lose your productivity. And all of this means that managing interruptions when you work from home is vital. How can you do this? Implement the tips below.

Don’t Worry About Being Nice

No, we don’t mean you should tell off your interrupters using your most colorful language. Rather, what we mean is that you should stop worrying about offending people when you have to say no to a favor, ignore their call, or skip out on an invitation. Being caught up in being nice can be a huge problem, causing you to give into interruptions even when they aren’t particularly temping. Remember: your workday is just as important as any other.

Set Your Hours

Do you want to work 9-5? Or maybe 8-3? No matter what hours you want, pick them and set them. Then, be upfront with the usual suspects about no longer being available during these hours. If you have made yourself available during these hours in the past, you might get some pushback, but just be firm—these are your working hours and you will no longer be available.

Use Phone Profiles

While turning your phone off might seem like a great idea, there are still those who might need to reach you: your child’s school, your boss, the employees you manage. Phone profiles can help you silence your phone to all alerts except for those from specific contacts, allowing you to better manage distractions.

Create Signals with the Kids

While interrupters come in all shapes and sizes, our kids are often the worst culprits. And since it can be hard for them to read a situation and determine if it is a good time to speak with you, you need to develop signals that make it clear. A simple touch light is a great way to show the kids that you cannot be interrupted for the time being and that they must problem solve on their own.

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August 31, 2016

Managing Interruptions When You Work from Home

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