Home based entrepreneurs or small scale business owners work mainly on their computers and face the problem of wasted time.
It’s not that they do it intentionally, there are sources one simply cannot avoid. Email pop-ups, text messages, phone calls or notifications from Social Media all add to the distractions.
And before you know it, it takes 20-25 minutes to get your mind back to work.
It’s easy to say goodbye to a chattering colleague or politely nudge them back to their work but how to avoid the other distractions that waste so much of your business time?
Here are some solutions:
Turning off email notifications might not be the best solution for businesses that rely on email as their main source of communication.
Third party management apps can be used to prioritise email notifications, allowing only urgent work related emails to pop up on your desktop.
Have a Separate Work Space
Working from home does not mean working from your bedroom or TV lounge.
Your home is important but so is your business.
Create a separate work space. It might be as simple as a desk with partitions around it – the important thing is that it’s separate.
Set specific work hours and keep people in your home from engaging you during those hours.
Social Media Feeds
Make your smartphone smart for your business rather than active for your social life.
Restrict/turn off notifications and alerts for all social media accounts, chat accounts during your work hours.
Create custom messages for quick responses like ’Business. I will get back to you later’, or ’Meeting with client, don’t call’.
Set your chat status to ’Do not disturb’ instead of ’Always at your service.
Calendar Targets and Goals
Keep a manual calendar and task book because using your smart phone will again lead to other distractions.
While doing things on digital devices is far easier and apparently less time consuming, it leads to the aforementioned time wastage.
Set deadlines for tasks and finish them on time.
Personal Time to Gather Thoughts
Train your mind to stick to the things you need to think about and not jump to things you want to think about.
When you take a few minutes for brainstorming and organising your thoughts for that next project, keep it strictly related to business.
Putting signs in your office like ’Distracted?’ or ’Stop & Work’ can help you get back to work much sooner..
If your work requires you to focus on writing you can use apps like WriteRoom for Mac and similar Dark Room for windows to block distractions for a specified time and let you use your computer solely for the purpose of writing.
Gneo App for iOS
This App helps you make a to-do list to prioritise tasks.
It can block certain processes until you are done with your high priority work.
This saves you time and helps you develop a habit of prioritising your tasks.
The only let down is you have to make an account on Gneo first.
Price: $4.99 Download Now
Freedom App for Windows, Mac and Android
The Freedom App is helpful if your work deals with offline files.
It will block the internet for a period of up to 8 hrs (adjustable).
While this can save you from all internet distractions, it can cause problems too if you need internet access.
It is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and Ubuntu.
Price: $10 Purchase here.
A final note: above all, promise your business some quality time every morning.