4 Ways to Minimize Distractions in Your Home Office

When you work from home, it can be a real challenge to get your business tasks completed without repeated interruptions.

What can you do to minimize the distractions and be more productive?

There are four keys to creating a home office environment that allows you to minimize those distractions and stay focused.

1. Choose your location carefully.

Do you have an extra room you can use for your home office? A room with a door is a good place to setup your home office since you can literally shut out the distractions by closing your door.

If you’re creating your office space in a room that will serve more than one purpose, choose a room that will allow you to still close out interruptions and stay focused when needed.

You might also setup a “portable office” with your laptop computer, business binder and other necessary tools and resources that you can take with you to wherever you choose to work. A coffee shop or the library can provide a quite environment to allow you to get away and focus when needed.

If you don’t have an extra room or the flexibility to allow you to get away, then plan your working hours for a quiet time. Work early in the morning, late in the evenings, or whatever time your home has the fewest distractions.

2. Set working hours.

One of the best ways to minimize interruptions is to set regular working hours. Allow your phone calls to go to voice mail if needed and let your family know that when you’re “in the office” you need as much time to focus as possible so you’re only to be interrupted if it’s urgent. It’s necessary to set reasonable boundaries when you work from home.

3. Create a work environment conducive to focus and productivity.

What can you do to create a work space that supports you in focusing? Soft music? Quiet? Brightly colored decor? Know what inspires you and helps you stay on task and incorporate those elements into your office.

4. Keep a balance between work and family.

If you find that you’re frequently interrupted by family entering your work space, you need an action plan to help you keep the balance. It may be that you’re not setting aside enough family time. If you have young children it can work to set a timer or create a visual schedule that allows them to see exactly when you’ll be ready to take a break from work and play.

Have you used these strategies?  Do they work for you?  Or, what else works for you?  Please share in the comments!

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19 Comments

  1. This is the post that I needed to read this week! Especially #4. We are planning on making a transition from 9-5 cube heaven to working from home. We have a room ready for a home office but I have two young kids. I will pass this post along to my wife.

    1. Finding that balance can be a challenge. The timer thing really helps me with my kids. I set it for 15 or 20 minutes and they know that when it goes off it’s time to play. I can get more done in 15 uninterrupted minutes than 30 with interruptions. LOL

    2. Congratulations and good luck, Jeff! Working from home is awesome, but before you know it, the hours can get away from you. Be strong and stick to a schedule. I am speaking from experience, I’ve worked from home off and on since 2002 and Michelle is still teaching me things to get my “stuff” together.
      Amy recently posted… White Seramas – Day 1My Profile

  2. Working from home gets less challenging as children get older and move out but mine seem to like to move back in. One of these days I will have my days totally to myself save the occasional email or phone call from one of the kids.

    I have a separate email for all my social media stuff including the blog challenge. I can keep my normal email up and not miss anything there but when I need to get web projects done, I may not open my social media email all day because it’s too easy to get distracted there.
    Laura recently posted… Have Blog – Will Promote!My Profile

    1. Excellent tip. I have several email addresses as well including one that’s super-secret for work and one that’s more general and everything goes to it. It definitely makes it easier to keep up with important work first.

  3. Thanks for these great tips, Michelle. I guess we need to make it hard to get distracted as well as eliminate as many possible ones as we can too.
    Jeannette Koczela recently posted… Wildly Wealthy WomanMy Profile

  4. These are great tips, Michelle. I think the biggest challenge in working at home is distractions. For me, having my own room as my office keeps distractions to a minimum. Also for family balance, I tell my husband how long I will be before I can spend time with him and I keep my word. That helps a lot.
    Jeannette Koczela recently posted… Wildly Wealthy WomanMy Profile

    1. Yes, that’s key – being able to stick to the time limits we set and letting our family know when they’ll get our complete attention. :)

  5. Hi Michelle!
    Love this – need to declutter and un-distract (is that a word?) my home office again. I got away from using it for a short while (worked far from home for about 2 years) but I’m back to needing a home office again, and this will help me get started on limiting distractions.

    I’ve seen lots of other posts I’m going to come back and read – good stuff!
    Dianne M. Daniels recently posted… Introducing Elite Choice – Fab Accessories at Unbelievable Prices!My Profile

    1. I find it really helpful to have my own office space. Enjoy getting yours set back up! My favorite part is always decorating and organizing.

      Appreciate the kind words and you’re welcome back anytime. :)

  6. Setting working hours is really difficult for some people. Sometimes people work extra hours and sometime they don’t work at all.

    1. It’s definitely a challenge. I get so much more done though when I have a schedule and manage to stick to it.

  7. Great post Michelle. Setting work hours has helped me tremendously. I don’t feel guilty any more about not working every waking moment.

    I wish my house was set up better for a home office. My office now is in the big open living room. I’ve got plenty of space but no one to shut everything out. When I buy a new house, a actual office is the first priority on my list (right next to a big kitchen.)
    Erica Cosminsky recently posted… 5 Best Headsets and Microphones for Recording in your Home OfficeMy Profile

    1. Yes, it’s on my “wish list” as well. My office right now shares space with my husband’s office and the homeschooling area. So it’s a pretty active area during the day, but after “school” is done it’s quiet. :)

      Also agree with a big kitchen – that’s a must!

  8. I love your tips Michelle! As someone trying to make the transition from SAHM to WAHM, your post couldn’t be more timely.

  9. If someone is really working for 3 to 4 hours a day then he would have more choice of doing it at any time of the day.

    1. Yes, it does depend on how many hours we need to work and how flexible those hours are.

  10. This has been a work in progress for me, lol since 2002. Michelle is really helping me learn to get my focus and get organized. thanks, lady!
    Amy recently posted… White Seramas – Day 1My Profile

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