Working From Home – Without Distractions.

Temptation is everywhere when working at home.

Following my previous post about what it is like to work from home, I thought it would be fun to discuss the types of distraction you may find there and ways of avoiding them.

I have worked part time from my living room and learned some lessons for myself. To add to this, many of my friends have stopped commuting to London and instead done all of their business from home for the last year and a half. They have shared the things that regularly annoy them while working at home.

Here are some distractions that we have discovered whilst trying to conduct zoom meetings and carry out our daily work.

1) The TV.

For me the television is very tempting. When I have a spare moment I feel the instinct to pop it on for a few minutes. Then, if I am not careful, I simply mute it while I work, finding myself constantly referring to it in between each task and delaying my progress.

Similarly, if you base yourself in the living room, others may come in at different times of the day and want to turn on their favourite telly shows.

The easy answer is not to work in the living room but to base yourself somewhere that others definitely won’t interrupt your meetings or put you off. Failing this, a good old fashioned ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign may work instead.

2) Pets

I suppose this one speaks for itself, and whilst I don’t currently have any animals, I often cat sit for a friend. Cats and dogs love to roam and have very few boundaries. If you close the door, they claw at it until it opens and before long they are stretching out in front of your camera, causing you to have to contort your body to get seen on screen.

Pets need training to stay downstairs (or up) during work times and have regular opportunities to go out for a run. We have all seen animals on Youtube popping their heads into Zoom meetings and disturbing TV presenters who have reported from their own houses. Getting a good routine involving pets will help your work day run more smoothly.

3) Work away from the road.

What I mean by this is make sure you base yourself nearer the back of the house or flat, perhaps near the back garden. I have found that working in a room that overlooks my street has led to all sorts of noises disturbing my work.

From deliveries to rubbish trucks, arguing neighbours to children singing, all sorts of things have disrupted me because I worked in a room that was at the front of the house.

4) Try and disconnect.

It sounds obvious but unplug the house phone during the day. Otherwise it will ring again and again during your meetings and you will find yourself frustrated by it.

Yesterday I saw two Olympians doing an interview on the TV and their house phone was constantly ringing in another part of the house so they were unable to stop it. Their faces showed their irritation and this confirms why house phones and other devices which may ring need turning off while you are working.

5) Stay away from the kitchen.

Another thing that I find massively distracting is the kitchen because when working at home I find there is a constant temptation to snack. I have learned that the best thing to do is schedule breaks like I would have if I was in the actual workplace.

That way I don’t end up sipping coffee all day and wasting time boiling the kettle. Alongside this I have to delete my fast food apps during the week as I have fallen foul to repeatedly ordering lunch by delivery.

Writers and bloggers work from home a lot and so I thought it would be useful to discuss this topic. Here is a previous post about this topic. Feel free to share your own experiences and tips in the comments below. Maybe even consider following my blog.

Managing Your Time – 5 Quick Fixes

Managing Your Time – 5 Quick Fixes

Managing Your Time – 5 Quick Fixes

— Read on

I see a lot of people mentioning they’re finding it difficult to manage their time so I decided to reblog an older post of mine which I think gives some reasonable suggestions.

I hope that you will comment your own ideas on this matter underneath.

How To Start A Blog Easily

Although I have had a blog for two years, I didn’t start taking it seriously until two months ago. Up until that point I simply wrote a poem or a book review every now and again.

In May I decided that I wanted to properly become a blogger and so began researching how to set up my blog properly. I learned so much about some the important steps that you have to take when setting up the foundations. Here are some of the steps that I took to get going with my blog. You could call it a recipe for a good blog.

  1. Know your audience

    Yes I said know your audience rather than grow your audience as step number one. That’s because you need to make a decision about your niche. Now, for me it was easy as I always focused on things to do with reading but I also wanted to keep commenting on environmental issues too, as these are close to my heart.
    If you can have two subjects in your degree then why not for your blog? If my blog were a degree then the Major part would be in literature and the Minor bit would be about the environment. 3/4 of my posts are about reading after all, even though when I do write something eco-friendly, it carries a lot of weight for me.

  2. Use titles which are grabbing

    In the past I had written whatever I’d felt like writing with titles that were totally made up. However, when I started looking at other people’s blogs and doing some basic research, I realised that I needed to be more punchy.
    Readers like list articles where they are told five or ten ways to do something. They also like to be answering a specific question, such as ‘What kind of reader are you?’ One of the most popular blog types is the How To, which is what I am writing now.

  3. Traffic

    As this article is about the very first steps that you take, we have to consider how to get those initial followers and retain them. So, it is obvious that you must make sure to write a blog post at least once a week.
    Writing engaging material is important, of course. But you also need to get yourself into the blogging community.

    Start reading and commenting on other blogs and following them.

    It is not about making people follow you back but it is about essentially making friends and showing the community that you have arrived. Some wonderful bloggers will soon take an interest in your blog. You may build very useful relationships that can later lead to guest posting.

  4. Be known

    In order to be visible and to appear on search engines you need to know something about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). To be honest, I knew nothing at the start and had to watch several Youtube videos about this to establish a grounding.

    Key Words
    Much of this I will cover in a later blog post but initially the main thing to consider is Key Words. UberSuggest is an app which is free and can help you search useful Key words to use. It shows you how competitive they are. Just noticing trending hashtags can also be very useful.
    Crucially, after you have chosen a key word or two, you must then make sure you use them in three places. Include them in the post title, the body of your article and in the tags. Search engines look for them being replicated in those three places.

  5. Shout a little

    Everyone needs to start somewhere. A wonderful blog may go undiscovered if you don’t promote it properly.

    Twitter is one of the big platforms that allow you to promote a blog relatively easily. Jump on the daily threads which have hashtags such as #writerslift and #shameslessselfpromosunday as these are safe places to share your wares without charge.

    Add am image of your latest blog post onto your instagram story and make sure your readers know to check your link in bio.

  6. Get Pinterest

    I was late to the party with this one but now am really utilising Pinterest. It seems to be one of the best ways to drive traffic towards a blog post. Have a go at sharing one of your posts there. Try using the free app ‘Canva’ to design the picture and text.

    Pinterest is such a complicated search engine to use that I will write about it in more detail in a future post (once I am more secure with using it myself).

These were what I consider to be the most important starting points when setting up a blog. My own blog is still growing and I have much to do to improve it but have definitely loved every minute of it. Here is one of my recent eco-friendly posts:

Thank you for reading my article and if you found it useful, perhaps follow my blog for more of the same.

If you put some of yourself into your blog, it will be brilliant!