Today, a badass copywriter that I know reminded me of a simple, but accurate fact about working from home.
“Interruptions: On average it takes you 23 minutes to get back to the original task.”
I’ve also read that it takes up to an additional 30 minutes to return to the flow of productivity.
Are you struggling with interruptions?
Try this article from the New York Times. It enlightened me on the psychology behind this theory or maybe this one from Inc Magazine about making your workplace a little more private ( works for home offices too ).
Need something with a little more depth? Try 9 Ways to Create Time, Space and Stillness for Meaningful Work from Ernest Barbaric.
Are your interruptions actually people in your house/office?
First, set boundaries. Tell everyone in your home that have set work hours or if you are a creative like me, have a way to notify them that you are working by using a sign or signal. I used to rely on just telling them verbally but we can all guess how well that worked. I would hold conference calls, tell everyone what I was doing, and then 15 minutes later my daughter would bust into the meeting screaming MOM I POOPED. Yes really.
Boundary setting can be tough but it’s something every person who works from home has to deal with. This is a great article with practical advice about working from home and setting boundaries. How do I get through this? I struggle, daily, but I make it work by communicating with everyone in my home about how important it is that I have uninterrupted time to work. In the past I tried getting up early or staying up late, and well my 5 year old and I are in such a rhythm that most of the time she just adapts her sleep schedule to mine and it defeats the purpose. If I got up at 4 am, I’d hear the pitter patter of her feet as she ran into my office to see where I was. We’ve got creaky wooden floors from 1931, I can’t get away with much these days.
What about you? Any tips or are you struggling with interruptions as well?