Working from home can seem like the right choice if you’re looking to adopt a flexible schedule and skip hectic commuter traffic. However, some people who work remotely may accomplish less due to common work from home time traps.
While you often have the freedom to create your own schedule, you also run the risk of wasting too much time and energy due to various different factors. Here are the top 3 work from home time traps to avoid.
1. Constant Distractions
You may deal with distractions no matter where you work. The main issue with work from home distractions is that it’s often more difficult to bounce back. Whether it’s your phone, television, loved ones, or the doorbell suddenly ringing, it’s important to minimize distractions as much as you can.
If given the opportunity, you’ll be distracted multiple times per hour. Imagine that reality and being unable get anything accomplished during the day.
It’s best to identify your most common distractions then block them out or position your day to avoid them. Sometimes I put my phone on airplane mode when I’m trying to focus on work and I also avoid social media sites when I’m not taking breaks.
You can also design your home office to be a place that motivated you to be productive. For me, this means not having a TV nearby.
2. Overworking (Not Knowing When to Quit)
Another common work from home time trap to avoid is overworking syndrome. Just because you can set your own hours doesn’t mean you will really work less. A lot of people who work from home admit to working more hours than necessary.
This is often due to the fact that you’re either not working efficiently during your normal hours or you just can’t disconnect and officially end your workday. It’s super easy to pick up your computer and work during evenings and weekends when you could be resting and spending time with your family.
The funny thing is that working extra hours isn’t always worth it. According to the 80/20 rule, about 80% of your results often come from the first 20% of your efforts.
To stop overworking yourself to no avail, get on a schedule when you work from home. Decide when you’ll wake up, what your routine will look like, when you’ll start working, when you’ll take breaks, and when you’ll call it quits for the day.
I typically like to work from 8 am to 4 pm most days. Some days, I do work evenings if something comes up during the middle of the day but I do like to keep a pretty consistent schedule.
3. Taking a Complete DIY Approach to Everything
This is one the time traps you may encounter that is not always so openly talked about. When you work from home, you do have to be good at working independently and being self-motivated.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to do everything by yourself. If you’re struggling with a task or have questions about what you’re doing, ask someone for help.
If you work on a remote team, ask for help and advice during meetings or reach out to other team members during the work day. When you’re confused about a client project, get clarity so you don’t waste your time going through a ton of trial and error.
Working from home can be more time consuming than you think. You need to stay focused and have a plan. Be mindful of these 3 common work from home time traps to avoid so you can work more efficiently and get more done in less time while at home.