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Distractions at work – A guide for those that work at home- Part 1

Updated on October 31, 2011

Working from home has become more and more popular, with an estimated 20% of the working population now working from home either part time or full time. People choose this option over the outside place of work for many reasons.

Why do people work from home?

It could be due to having family commitments that require them to be at home for a lot of time. Young children, a disabled relative or elderly parents can be very time consuming and limiting. However, these two things don't stop a lot of people from working from home while they carry out their other duties, and making a good living out of it.

The person that actually stays at home may be the one with health problems or disabilities. This doesn't mean that they are unable to have an outside job, they simply choose not to. Not having to commute, and the hours being flexible to fit around any medical needs, are a big attraction. Working from home permits many behaviours that would be unsuitable for an outside work place. Such as not getting dressed first thing, showering in the afternoon, taking a nap if needed.

Working from home is also a popular second job/income, done alongside an outside work place job or studying. Many people run two jobs, why shouldn't one of them be working from home? Students are always seeking more cash, so a flexible job that they can fit around their studies is appealing.

The economy isn't always in the best shape and it can be hard to find a job. With so much competition in the outside work place market , more and more people are turning to working from home. They need to have an income, so they find a way to earn one by adapting their skills and making money from them.

Having worked the proverbial 9-5, the rat race, for many years, some begin to seek an alternative. Working from home, usually part time to begin with so that they can learn what they have to do and gradually build their earnings. As their income builds, they begin to do less and less, some even managing to soon quit their outside jobs. This trend is on the increase,

These are the main categories that most home workers fall into, however there are many random reasons why people choose to do it. What's yours?

Working from home??

Why did you choose to work at home??

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Work Distractions!!!

Having chosen to work from home for whatever reason, there are many issues to face. One of the biggest being all of the distractions that occur on a day to day basis. There are just so many of them and nowhere to safely hide.

If you work from home, then there are two types of distractions that can affect your productivity. One is the type of distraction that you yourself employ, the other type is interruptions from outside sources.

Let's take a look at Type 1



Your need to put work hours in, but they usually come after almost everything else. Your family commitments, especially if you have children, take priority. Taking care of the children is a 24 hour dedication. Finding time to work, especially when the children are young and at home all day, can be difficult. When they are in school, at least you have a few hours in which to get some things done. All be it not always your work, your time can easily get swallowed up with housework and chores. You will need to find a balance.


Working at home means that you can't avoid seeing what chores need doing around the home. Someone has to do them and that is more than likely YOU!!! Just because you are at home, even though you're working, doesn't means that you have all the time in the world. Keeping the home clean and tidy is challenging enough, but when it your place of work, the two can clash. Unless you adopt a system of balance, one can over take the other.

If you would like to discover how this balance can be found, take a look at this and this.


There are also chores that are a necessary part of life that take place outside of the home. Grocery shopping, going to the bank, picking up the dry cleaning, going to the post office, the list goes on...... The all need doing and unless you have a P.A., they are probably your duties.



Going back to the 'all the time in the world', family and friends often assume that you're always available. Just because you don't work a 9-5 doesn't mean that they should be able to encroach on your valuable time. Impose limits! Learn how to say NO.

Of course when it comes to some certain social engagements, you have no choice but to participate. Such as the Christmas school play, birthday celebrations, visiting the dentist (ok, maybe not a social event, but you still have to leave the house) and other such like general social engagements.



Once you have taken all of the work, family, household and social needs into account, what time is left? Very little probably, but you still have personal needs of your own. You need to eat, sleep and stay clean at the least. These are necessities, but often come in the form of procrastinations. Over eating and napping too much can sometimes become a problem. We sometimes get stuck in a rut and do too much of these things as a source of comfort. However, if we don't find the time to meet our own basic, personal needs, trouble will ensure. Again, it's all down to finding a balance.


These are all TYPE 1 distractions, most of which can't be avoided. The chances are, because you work form home, they are your responsibility. They might be the reason that you chose to work from home in the first place.

Getting everything done and finding time to commit to working is a challenge, but isn't the impossible. On the other hand, if you're working too much, the Type 1 distractions will suffer. You need to fit them all in, effectively, if you want to succeed. You need to get into a routine and build up good habits, this will serve you well. For advice on how to do this, go HERE.

In part 2 of Distractions at work – A guide for those that work at home, we look at TYPE 2 distractions, the self imposed procrastinations. Do these effect you? Do you get distracted from your work by things other than those mentioned as TYPE 1? Read it to find out.... HERE.


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    • kerlynb profile image


      6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      "Getting everything done and finding time to commit to working is a challenge, but isn't the impossible." - Amen to that! Some people say that it's too difficult to stay at home,work and do household chores. It is difficult, just like all the other kinds of work. So it's important to have a schedule and stick to it :)

    • billabongbob profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from South Wales, UK

      Thanks for the comment ktrapp.

      Doing household tasks when you need a break from work is ideal, it's exactly what I do :). Someone has to 'play house', the fairies seem to be on strike lol, so I guess it's down to us that work from home. It does feel unfair sometimes, but it comes with the territory.

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      I have found that when I work from home that there are some chores that I can work in at points when I need to get up and take a break. For example, it only takes a minute to throw a load of laundry in the washing machine, etc. and then an hour later, another minute to throw it in the dryer. But, if you don't have a plan, you are right, you can become very easily distracted while working at home.


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