I have worked at home for over 15 years and I know a lot about distractions. While I no longer have children or teenagers in the house, the distractions dangled before my eyes by the rest of my life are countless.

Know your direction

Facebook is fascinating, blogs are brilliant, and email is endless, but if spending time on any of these will not result in my business success, I will have wasted precious time looking at them. In order to avoid distractions it is vital that you know what your goals are for your work.

I will be the first to admit that it’s not easy to stop and ask yourself if what you’re about to do will contribute to your goals, but once you get in the habit, I think you’ll find that your productivity will increase, and most likely your bottom line, too.

The Internet is a fun toy, so if you remind yourself that cat videos and knitting blogs are for off-work times, you won’t feel deprived of those enjoyments, and you will get a lot more done.

Give your brain a break

For creative people and dedicated individuals, putting your head down and working straight through can happen without you realizing that hours have passed. I tend to write or work on art or websites only to look up and realize that it’s already 4:00 PM and I’ve hardly left my desk.

A good way to avoid this is to set a timer to ring after 50 minutes of work. When it goes off, get up, walk around, breathe deeply, and adjust your gaze to something far away out your window. This is good for your brain, your circulation, and your eyesight.

Move it, baby

This brings me to my final point in this series. Be sure to build breaks into your day that include going outside and getting some fresh air. Go weed your garden for 10 minutes, take a brisk walk to the mailbox or the corner store, or just walk around the block. It’s not healthy to sit for hours at a time.

It’s also important to have human contact, so if you work alone all day, be sure to factor in a trip to the library, or a networking event so that you get out of the house. Working at home can be lonely and isolating, even if you’re an introvert and love your own company.

Get up, move around, see people, and do something fun.

You will have more success if you balance your work life with lots of other activities and you’ll enjoy it all more, too.

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