Distractions, Distractions

When it comes to the fact that I work from home and that I’m constantly working on things at home, I often find ways to distract myself.  It’s not a great skill to have, but it’s one that I think will be hard to beat.  I’ve been struggling with this kind of situation since I was a kid and doing homework regularly.

One of the reasons I think that I distract myself so much is that I actively live in the space that I work in.  It’s one of the dangers of working from home.  Everything that I would do during my spare time is within reach when I’m working.  And most of the time you can ignore that part of your mind that wants to work on a Minecraft world, but there are some days where it’s impossible to ignore that voice in your head.

I have a few pieces of advice for people that are struggling with this as much as I am right now.

1. Get Out

This may sound a little funny, but you should get outside.  You’ll feel less restless when you are sitting down to work if you try to get outside of your home every now and then.  Luckily, I have a significant other that’s going to school right now and also loves food.  I regularly get out and drive to the school to drop him off and pick him up.  Not only that, but we go out to the store often.  And that’s a little silly to some people, but I really do wake up a little more after I get out.

2. Change Your Setting

Whether you move from your bedroom to a kitchen table or from the kitchen table to the living room couch, getting out of your typical space can make you a little more focused.  It was something I would do if I needed to do a lot of work for school in the past, but it still works now with work.  If I change where I’m working, I’m more productive.  I don’t have all the place in the world, but I also know where the nearest Starbucks is.

3. Use A Tomato Timer

Or something similar.  I use moosti.com to work for 25 minutes and take a break for 5 minutes.  I do have to click the buttons, but it keeps me focused on work for short enough that I don’t drift off and gives me a break for long enough to decompress.  And after three productive periods, I take a 35 minute break.  And while it may sound ridiculous that I’m only working an hour out of a two hour period, this method has actually led to some of my most productive days.  And it still allows me to take some time for myself.

Keeping yourself mentally sane while you’re working at home (or doing homework) is incredibly important.  Of course, the ways that I deal with that stress are going to work for some people, but it may not work for everyone.  Try tweaking how you live your life when you’re working at home and figure out a rhythm that works best for you.

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