Managing Distractions at Home: Techniques for Focusing in a Non-Traditional Workspace


Working from home can have numerous advantages, including comfort, independence, and flexibility. However, it can also provide specific difficulties, like loneliness, diversions, and a lack of routine. Due to distractions and the tendency for home and work life to blend, working from home can take time and effort. The new norm of working remotely still doesn’t feel normal to many knowledge workers.

One of the biggest challenges in working remotely from home is staying focused on the job despite the many distractions. It’s crucial to know how to stay focused while working remotely so that you can work for more extended periods. You can conclude the day feeling productive and satisfied with what you accomplished if you maintain focus on your task. You might feel tempted to complete household chores or other non-work-related duties while working from home. You can develop better working habits by learning techniques that keep you focused.

Common Distractions of Working from Home

Man sitting on a rolling chair holding dog 

It has become more difficult to keep work and personal life distinct due to working remotely and at home with distractions. One in five baby boomers acknowledged doing laundry while working. At the same time, more than one in ten millennials claimed to get distracted by playing video games while at work. Watching TV, cooking, doing laundry, errands, taking care of children, watching movies, and cleaning are additional general distractions.

1. Children and other family members

Your spouse or children may be one of the biggest distractions while you work from home. Even if all of your kids attend school full-time, there are certain days when unforeseen events force them to stay home. A spouse with a job outside the home may experience the same thing. It can be challenging to complete any job when the kids are playing around, chatting loudly, watching television, or arguing. Your spouse might make an effort to visit you and discuss significant matters or unimportant details.

2. Checking emails and social media updates frequently

Checking your email is a crucial aspect of your job. You likely have a message that needs to be answered for your business to continue. However, it is simple to squander more time than necessary reading and responding to emails. Working from home gives you more time to check your social media notifications, which might unintentionally take away from your most critical tasks at home and reduce your productivity.

3. Messy and Noisy Environment

While some people think music makes them work more effectively, some people find it difficult to focus when loud noises are around. Unfortunately, this presents another difficulty while working from home, along with a potentially dirty workspace because there isn’t a designated workspace. Appliances, household members, and even your neighbors can add to the chaos and noise in your immediate area. These are only a handful of the inevitable situations that a worker from home must prepare for because they are not entirely under their control.

4. Mobile devices and gadgets

When working from home, additional major distractions include devices and cell phones. You can unintentionally check your cell phone to see whether you have any messages, only to get caught in browsing social media posts. Or you can narrow your phone too much, which is a mistake. Overusing cell phones results in productivity loss, which is a prevalent issue.

5. Household Chores

Other household duties that must be completed can be one of the biggest distractions when working from home. If you are not working in a designated office space, you can see the laundry that must be folded or the dishes piling up in the sink. When you are meant to be working, resisting the impulse to take a break and finish these duties might be challenging.

Tips for Managing Distractions When Working from Home

Man holding his head while sitting on a chair near computer desk 

Working from home offers schedule flexibility, which is advantageous for many people but also has drawbacks. Remote work has positive and negative effects on non-traditional office work life, including the sense of isolation and separation from people. The secret to overcoming emotions of seclusion and disengagement is for friends and coworkers to provide “a mental-health check-in.” Morning routines have also changed due to remote work and “an increased propensity to work past normal office hours.” These changes include waking up later, preparing coffee at home, spending more time with family, and women forgoing makeup. Remote workers must establish boundaries, reduce distractions, and deliberate how they spend their time while working from home to preserve productivity and a healthy work-life balance. Here are some helpful tips for managing distraction while working from home from home.

1. Establish a schedule

Setting a clear and regular routine for your job is one of the most crucial stages to maintaining attention and avoiding distractions. This will help you create a routine, prioritize your chores, and manage your time. Mix your schedule with your innate energy levels, preferences, and work expectations. For instance, if you prefer the mornings, you may begin your work early and finish it by mid-afternoon. Set out those times and schedule your breaks around them if you have frequent meetings or deadlines. Additionally, create boundaries and let others know about them to maintain a healthy balance between your professional and personal obligations if you have any.

2. Stay away from working in your bedroom

Even while a bedroom may be tucked away from the busiest areas of your house, it is the worst possible location for a home office. Working from your bed can interfere with your most private space’s solitude, quiet, and sleep schedule. Try to separate the room with a screen, bookcase, or other obstruction if you must work from home so that you cannot see your desk or table from your bed.

3. Establish a workspace

A designated workspace that is comfortable and conducive to your job is another essential step to maintaining attention and avoiding distractions. This will help you separate your personal and business places, reduce interruptions, and improve focus and motivation. Try to locate a space in your house that is peaceful, well-lit, and, ideally, with a door you can close. Provide the necessities for your workspace, including a desk, a chair, a computer, a phone, and any other equipment or supplies you require. You can also add items that make you happy and motivated to your office, such as plants, decorations, or music. Keep your desk tidy and organized to find what you need and prevent clutter.

4. Share your schedule with the other household members

A timetable posted on the door of your home office might be helpful if there are other people at home when you’re working. This can make it clear to kids or significant others when you’re available and when they shouldn’t be distracted, such as when you’re busy. People may respect your boundaries and be less likely to ask you to run errands in the middle of the day if you have a schedule, which can give the appearance that you are working from home in an official capacity. 

5. Be aware and eliminate your distractions

Prior to starting to work, identify and eliminate your primary sources of distraction. You’re more likely to concentrate on your task without problems. Distractions hinder your focus and productivity even if you have a routine and a workspace. You can disable or mute any notifications, emails, calls, or apps unrelated to work to lessen or eliminate them. Use a browser plugin or app to restrict or ban access to annoying websites or social media channels. Listen to background music or other noises that will help you relax or concentrate while wearing headphones or earplugs to block out background noise from your surroundings. If you have roommates, family, or neighbors, tell them about your work hours and ask them to respect them. Take regular breaks and treat yourself after work to keep your mind and energies fresh and prevent burnout.

6. Establish goals and make a list of priorities.

By giving yourself an objective to work toward, setting goals might help you stay on track. For instance, you should finish a job by the end of the week. Record your progress each day this week as you work toward achieving this objective. You could be more likely to maintain your attention on your work if you set deadlines for yourself. Make a list of your top priorities before you start working. Keep the list wherever you can see it so that you can quickly recall what needs to be done that day when you begin to get sidetracked. This enables you to complete your most critical chores first and use the leftover time to work on less important ones.

7. Put your phone in “do not disturb” and avoid turning on distracting media. 

Try to refrain from using any devices. How easily you can be drawn into them is remarkable. Even background noise, like the news, might easily divert your focus. Similarly, you should ban any website you catch yourself scrolling through, such as social media and news websites. Distractions abound on your phone. This device may rapidly interrupt your work with notifications, games, and social media apps. The “Do Not Disturb” feature on your phone is the best option because it will block calls, texts, and notifications until you decide otherwise.

8. Allow distractions to occur occasionally and take breaks when necessary

Regular breaks can assist you in resisting the need to get up from your desk too soon. You decide the precise timing and frequency but strike a balance. You can plan those breaks around your children if they are at home and make the most of your time together. You’ll be as productive as you should be if you find what works for you and your family. Working from home will expose you to distractions. As they arise, try not to be too hard on yourself. Allow those distractions to last a little while, especially if they are significant to you, and then get back to work. 

9. Continue to be active and connected

Working from home can lead to emotions of loneliness, isolation, and disconnection, all of which have a negative impact on contentment, motivation, and attention. Communication frequently and effectively with your team and stakeholders using various technologies and channels is crucial if you want to stay connected and involved when working remotely. Additionally, aggressively provide ideas or solutions to meetings, conversations, or initiatives. Building relationships and trust with coworkers and superiors is also essential; showing gratitude or appreciation can significantly help. Last but not least, remember to have fun. Participate in or host online lunches, happy hours, games, and other activities.

10. Think more clearly and finish the most complex tasks first.

Try to remain in the here and now without allowing your thoughts to stray. Make a conscious effort to bring your attention back to the topic whenever you daydream. Understand how to be present and aware of your thoughts. One method to achieve this is to check in with yourself and monitor your development periodically. You might feel more energized and capable of handling more difficult chores at the start of the workday. Get complicated tasks finished first so that you will still have time for simpler jobs later in the day when your focus begins to wane. 


Tech professionals are increasingly choosing to work from home. More people are able to work from wherever they are most productive while staying connected because of the proliferation of cloud technology, collaboration platforms, and cutting-edge devices. Some workplace cultures are also changing to be more supportive of remote workers. While some organizations permit more remote work, some professionals may need help to work effectively from home. At-home workers may not be able to do as much as they would want or need to due to distractions like kids, household tasks, and ready access to a TV.

Any workplace, even your home office, requires you to manage distractions. You’ll set yourself up for work-from-home success every day by proactively predicting distractions you may experience as a remote worker and coming up with solutions in advance.

You may occasionally only need to put up a barrier between yourself and your distractions. There are many inventive alternatives if you lack the room for a home office with a door. Undoubtedly, different people have responded in their adjustment to a remote-work lifestyle. To preserve a healthy work-life balance, many people have changed their routines and rediscovered enjoyable hobbies. However, in general, people are now more productive; however, they should be cautious of burning out. Many believed that additional benefits for working from home would be excellent.