Budgeting for distractions while working from home

Budgeting for distractions

I’m sure everyone can agree that life is full of distractions, and that is no exception when you are at home. It is so easy to become absorbed in a tv show, lose time to chores, or even fall to the trap of scrolling through Facebook and Instagram on your phone for hours at a time. It’s okay, we are human and this is part of life in our time. Acknowledging this and planning ahead is the way to get these habits in check. Today we can show you how to plan ahead for this and master it.

If you’ve made it this far you’ve probably started scheduling out your day ahead of time. You’ve got time in each day for a morning and evening commute, lunch, appointments, deadlines for projects and more. Now take a step back and think how the last couple days have gone. Try and identify what sort of distractions you’ve encountered and is there a way you could afford to structure them as part of your day? Has the laundry been a constant battle? Perhaps you could budget in 5-minute chunks throughout your work day to make that part of your tasks! Wouldn’t it be nice to finish work for the day, wind down on your virtual commute home with your favorite podcast and when you’re done not have to sort through and start laundry?

Take identifying a step further to look at the non-productive distractions. Maybe you have been watching your favorite Netflix show on your lunch, but it typically runs an hour. You’ve scheduled yourself 30 minutes for lunch but always end up finishing the episode, or watching more than one! This can still be budgeted, albeit differently. If this is something disrupting your work day then perhaps on your lunch break consider doing something else entirely while you eat, and saving the show for after work! You could even make your show your daily ‘virtual commute’ home to unwind and relax to.

So now that you’ve covered the things you can identify, we should also plan for the unknown. Every day brings new challenges, and if you live with others you never know what you’re going to get. If you find yourself having to stop 2-3 times per day to attend to someone else in the house, there are ways to handle that as well. Perhaps your spouse interrupts your work day with good news about your neighbors and their new born baby! Maybe you get a call from your friends trying to make plans for the weekend. This list goes on, but you can handle it. If it seems like this sort of thing happens daily, consider extending your work day 20 to 30 minutes, by ‘closing up shop’ at 4:30pm instead of 4pm. Once you’ve decided on that, maybe place three 10-minute blocks (or two 15 minutes) in your schedule that you can adjust throughout your day as needed. If you’ve been interrupted, give yourself the designated amount of time you need to handle the situation and then once time is up, return to working on your task (“That is great news! Hey I’m right in the middle of a work project, can I call you after 5pm?”). Check in with yourself at the end of your work day, if you only had to use one of your two or three allotted time slots for breaks, maybe call it early at 4:10pm! Be flexible with yourself.

The best thing you can do for yourself in this time is to not treat this like a vacation. When friends and family call to schedule something, or call to talk, make sure to stick to your schedule! Don’t move work around to fit your social life, you wouldn’t do this at work right? Keeping structure will help you stay productive, happy, and healthy.

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