Nearly 37 percent of the U.S. workforce does some telecommuting, according to Gallup’s 2015 Work and Education poll. Working remotely often helps people create a better life-work balance. But imagine the difficulty some may face working from home during the holidays, especially if there are guests in the house.
The hardest part of working from home are the distractions. Family members are less likely to leave you alone because they arent working, and especially children are going to want that time,” shares Summer Blackhurst, who works from home and blogs about parenting as well.
If its hectic normally at home, with out-of-town guests demanding your attention it can get really tough. Add to this the flurry of activities surrounding the holidays themselves. Distractions are even more abundant. You may have more home projects and decorations you are tempted to procrastinate with. You may have new appliances you got as gifts that you want to set up. You may have family or friends that have days off that you don’t and you are likely to want to spend more time with them, says international business and career coach Angelina Darrisaw.
How To Stay Productive
–Wake up early. We are early risers anyway but when we have guests we normally wake up 45 minutes to an hour earlier than normal to get work done before your guests wake up. We shoot for 4:30am-5:00am to start our day. That prime morning time before the distractions and emails start flowing in allows us to get a majority of our day’s work finished before 9 or 10am, says Brandon Slater, co-founder of Life’s Secret Sauce which offers social skills education classes for young professionals and others.
–Discuss your schedule: When guests are in town, let them know the hours you will be available and the ones you wont be, says Blackhurst. Adds Darrisaw, Set expectations for your guests. Communicate in advance when you will have free time and when you will need to work. Make suggestions for activities they can do to occupy their time while you are working.
–Leave home! Consider going to a nearby coffee shop or co-working space if you know your work time may not be fully respected when you work near your guests, says Darrisaw. Adds Slater, If working with guests is not working, find an offsite location where you can work effectively. I’m a big fan of writing outdoors. If I’m not getting work done in the house while we have guests, I’ll take my computer outside and visit a park or a coffee shop. Sometimes all you need is a simple relocation to get the creative juices flowing.
–Map out time for your guests. Plan days or even weeks ahead of time how you are going to get those hours in. Naturally, there will be parties, Christmas shopping and decorating of course. Put hours in when the parties arent hopping and the kids are sleeping. Pile in a lot more hours on a less busy day and then you can take less hours on the days the parties are hopping, says Blackhurst.
–Invest in some cancelling headphones. They are an absolute lifesaver in our house. When the headphones are on it means I’m focused, so please leave me alone, says Slater.