The Home Office: Is Your Work Area Distracting You?

By Barbori Garnet

Is your work area distracting you from writing or is it a place where you can truly focus and concentrate? The answer to this question could mean the difference between reaching your writing goals – or not. Take some time to consider these possible distractions that can be found in a home office and some ideas to implement a solution.

  1. Location: Where your home office is placed – such as near the kitchen or by an entrance – can have an effect on your productivity. If you are tempted to take frequent breaks to go and get snacks in the kitchen or are interrupted by comings and goings through door, then see if you can find a better, more conducive spot to move your work area to. Having a location where you are not distracted and instead can fully concentrate will help you focus on your project and get more writing done.
  2. Light and Temperature: Is your home office too light-filled or maybe does not have enough natural light? The amount of light in your work space can affect your concentration when writing and working. If you find that it is too dark, then your thoughts will be on that. If you do find that you need more light, some suggestions are to add a floor or table lamp or possibly having a skylight or a Solatube installed. On the other hand, if too much natural light is flooding your space, then install blinds or curtains so that you can control and have a choice as to how much light filters through. Also consider the temperature of where you work. If it is too cold or hot, it will also keep you from writing as you will continually be either putting on an extra sweater or vest or taking off a layer. Try to see if some solutions such as in-floor heating or selecting a better insulated or ventilated space for writing could be the answer.
  3. Noise: The noise levels in and around your home office can have an impact on when you work and the amount of work you accomplish. Whether you thrive in a quieter or more noise-filled (from sources such as music, the phone ringing, people talking in the background, vehicles or construction) environment, be aware of what is best for you. Then, take the necessary steps to create the sound atmosphere that is perfect for you.
  1. Things to Do: Having many tasks, deadlines, and things to do – whether for writing or other areas in life – can leave you feeling weighed down, keep you from completing assignments, and make you feel stressed. To lessen distractions from things to do, some things to try include: making a list and writing down ideas as they come to help your mind relax and unload or taking the time to assess and identify what your goals are and what is truly important to you. You can review your commitments and take action on the items you can do, keeping in mind your preference to have many projects on the go or just one or two at a time in order to keep things manageable.
  2. Social Media and Technology: Constantly checking social media and technological devices for the latest updates can be tiring, stressful, and distracting. Some ways to mitigate this are to begin your day or work time with writing, stay logged out of social media accounts, or even temporarily disconnect from the internet. You may find that by taking these steps to remove the distraction or disruption of social media from your home office, the quality of your writing may improve.
    Start with assessing the above potential distractions in your home office and then see if there are any other distractions which may be unique to your work space. By identifying and then reducing or eliminating these, you will enjoy a more focused and productive writing time while in your home office.

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