If you are an online marketing, ecommerce, or SEO professional, you may work from home either full or part time. While this is unquestionably one of the greatest contributions the Internet has made to modern life, being in your home has a tremendous potential to disrupt your ability to work. This is especially true if you work for yourself. The beckoning pile of laundry or unfinished dinner preparations, to say nothing of ringing phones and doorbells, can be very hard to ignore. If you have young children or even pets that are home during the day, the number of potential distractions multiplies. Fortunately, there are some coping methods you can use to maximize your work time.
Create a Space
If possible, use a room in your house as an office. Remove materials such as art supplies or junk drawers that will cause family members to disturb you. If you don’t have a spare room, at least create a desk space in the corner of a low-traffic room. Make that spot your dedicated office space, so that when your kids see you there, they will know you are working. It may be helpful to use a covered desk so that you won’t find yourself pulled into work when it is family time. Depending on the age of your kids or size of your dogs, you might find a playpen set up next to your desk to be useful.
Sticking to a clearly defined schedule will help your kids and spouse respect your work time. If you are tempted or asked to complete a household task when you should be working, wait until the end of your work time. After you have resisted the impulse several times, it will become easier. Of course, if you have children, especially young children who are too little for school, you will have to balance work time with parenting time.
Get a Body Double
Consider outsourcing tasks that will lighten your daily schedule. Hiring a dog walker, even for only one or two days each week, will guarantee your dog is tired out and ready to relax when the walk is over. If your dog is distracting you from work by chewing on inappropriate items or making mischief, regular exercise will improve his behavior. If you don’t want to use a babysitter for your kids, opt for a mother’s helper. A mother’s helper will care for your child while you are home. You can work more peacefully knowing that your child is in the next room. If your work from home requires you to interact with clients over the phone or webcam, having an in-home nanny will help you maintain a professional appearance.
Focus on Quality Time
If you work from home with kids, plan to spend a set period each day, such as when you stop for lunch or when they come home from school, to give each child individual and focused attention. This might take the form of a walk, a board game, or making dinner together. Children will be more understanding of your work schedule if they feel that they are receiving your undivided attention at other times. If a rambunctious pet is the problem, plan for a game of hide-and-seek or fetch to break up the monotony. A hollow rubber ball stuffed with peanut butter will also distract your dog for an hour or more, allowing you to make money from home peacefully.