Building our own business in our house and around our kids is such a blessing.
But it’s also full of distractions. The key to our success at home and in our business is to minimize these distractions as much as possible.
Here are 10 ways to ditch distractions and get things done!
Ditch Distractions at Home
This one actually works for both business and homemaking distractions and I use this method every day. I have taught my kids how to have down time every afternoon. My oldest dropped her naps only a couple of months after my son was born. Momma still needed some time to herself! So I started implementing quiet times every afternoon.
It started by her spending time in her room looking at books, coloring, or quietly playing. Now that she and my son are older, they get time on their iPads every afternoon. This is as important for my kids to learn to slow down and take some time for themselves. It also gives me time to get things done without distractions.
I can tackle an organization project, sort and put laundry away, or focus on a project for moving my business forward in this guilt-free time.
Let them Help
An excellent way to get things done AND prepare your kids for leaving the nest (eventually)! This is also a great way to eventually be able to delegate tasks later on. Have them help you vacuum, do the dishes, dust, etc. They won’t pull your attention somewhere else and you’ll be training them.
I don’t know about your’s but my kiddos love to help out. Sometimes it feels like a drag to slow down and teach them or have to redo whatever they’ve done, but it is so important! Take advantage of their excitement to teach them. Then, when they lose that excitement they will already know how to do it when you delegate it to them.
Turn off the TV
It can be so easy to zone out to the TV and lose track of time, even if you aren’t fully focused on watching it. I’ve even been known to catch myself watching Paw Patrol while my kids weren’t even in the room. (Please tell me I’m not alone here!) It is extremely rare to find my kids still and totally focused on the show, so it’s easy to just let it run while I’m distracted too.
To ditch the distraction, I set an alarm on my phone to go off at a certain time. I turn the TV off and sometimes I hide the remote because my youngest, who is just learning how cool it is to control something, loves to bring it to me so I’ll turn it on.
Evaluate your TV time and set time limits or a schedule for it. It’s an easy distraction to ditch and it comes with the added bonus of removing one more source of blue light for us and our kids.
Put Your Electronics in a Box
Start your day with all electronics in a box or drawer. This includes phones, tablets, laptops, and remotes. You may even find it easier to make this box the home base for these items. Make it a house rule that none of these items may be removed until certain tasks are accomplished every day.
This can be a specific household responsibility every day or simply choosing from a list of tasks that need to be done. Once those 1-3 tasks are done, you can relax and enjoy your electronics for a bit because you have already been productive! It’s 100% acceptable to reward yourself a bit after getting some work done!
Earn Your Screen Time
Or whatever else you want to reward yourself with. Similar to achieving certain tasks before opening the electronics drawer, make a list of home tasks that you need to get done over the course of the week and assign a reward to them.
I realize this may seem childish, but it all works for our kids for a reason. You need a motivation to put easy distractions aside and really get things done. We are human and motivation is required. You can read here about the value of scheduling your motivation like this.
Ditch Distractions in Business
Leave the House WITHOUT the Kids
This one can definitely be a big challenge as most of us are the primary caregivers for our kids. It’s why we’re building our businesses after all. However, there are times when our business deserves our entire focus. That just can’t happen when we’re at home, even while our kids are having their quiet time.
Leaving the house removes all guilt you may feel about being home but not getting housework done. You won’t see the full sink, the dirt on the floor, or the laundry pile if you aren’t home. Work it out with your spouse or other family and friends to take care of your kids for 3-4 hours every week or so. Leave the house and find a place you can focus.
My husband and I look at our schedule and arrange time for me to get away. I get to have focused time on my business and he gets to have focused time with the kids. He works long hours during the week, so he often takes advantage of this time to take the kids on an adventure or work on a project of some kind. It’s another way I ditch the mompreneur-guilt!
Do Not Disturb
I’m not sure about Androids, but iPhones have a feature called Do Not Disturb. You can turn it on and it quiets your phone. You won’t get any notifications or phone calls unless the person is marked as a favorite. Here’s further information on how it specifically works.
I use this feature every time I have an extended time to focus on my business. I also turn my phone upside down and set it aside so I’m less tempted to check it to see what I may be missing. My family talks off and on all day every day via group text so if I don’t use Do Not Disturb, the likelihood of keeping my focus is slim.
Turn Off Notifications
Sometimes minimizing distractions is as simple as removing a permission. Go into the notification settings of your phone and turn off all notifications. This will prevent your phone screen from lighting up all the time and remove the little red bubbles.
If you need the bubbles to make sure you act on things on time, then I strongly suggest that you put those apps on your second page. This way when you open your phone for a specific purpose, you won’t be distracted by those bubbles.
Close all Unnecessary Tabs
Similarly to turning off notifications you need to close your extra tabs. Not only will this help your computer run a little faster, but you won’t be drawn to other tasks or other thoughts while you’re in the middle of something.
I hate having unread emails or notifications, so before I started working on this post, I closed my email and Facebook tabs. When I see that little number across the top of my screen, my brain automatically thinks “I wonder what that email is about?” Then I have to refocus on this task.
If you can’t close the other tabs, try opening a new window with just the tab(s) you need for this task.
Turn on Music and Use Headphones
Music often helps me focus by covering little house noises without drowning out my kids. I choose music that doesn’t have words so my mind doesn’t start singing along but I know of other people who focus best with music they can jam with while they work.
During quiet time or when I’m out of the house I’ll often use headphones so I can drown out just about everything else. I have cats and dogs, so it’s common to hear little noises all the time and sometimes they can break my concentration. Listening to music with headphones on blocks these little noises out.
Every time you change your focus, it can take up to six minutes to refocus on the first task! Which of these methods do you use or are you going to try first to ditch distractions?