Working From Home: Dealing With Noise And Distractions

For people who work at home, those pesky people who live in your house can be a major distraction. Here’s how to deal with the noise and still get work done.

1. Music. If you can find some music that will allow you to block out the more random noise in the background, use it. Music that you have to concentrate on or feel you have to sing along to will not cut it. You need to find something that will be soothing enough to allow concentration, while not being interesting enough to actually listen to.

2. Activities. Give the people in your house something to do. A spouse can be mopping the floor to keep quiet for awhile. Kids can colour or take pictures of things around the house with your digital camera. Whatever the age, even for adults, there are sure to be activities that will keep them quiet. The key is not to let on about what your end result is. Instead of, “Why don’t you rake leaves and be quiet?,” try, “You know what we really need done? The leaves need to be raked. You are so good at it and it, I’ll bet you could do the whole garden in less than an hour.” Of course, use whatever flattery will work for your particular noise maker.

3. Alone time. If you ever find yourself alone in the house, immediately use that time to get some work done. That is not laundry time or window cleaning time – those things can be done while there is noise in the house. Alone time is the best time of all to get work done, so utilise every second.

4. Earplugs. Earplugs are actually very effective at blocking out sound that is distracting you from working at home. This is a good idea only if you aren’t alone with young kids in the house that might need help. But, if the kids are older and know better, or if your spouse is there to help with younger ones, there‘s no shame in using earplugs to block out that unholy racket.

At some point, you will likely have to work while there is a lot of noise and you either can’t use ear plugs or they’ve gotten lost. Those are times to take deep breaths, remembering that you are actually working to help the ones making the noise and that the work is really just a distraction from them. Keep that in mind and the noise won’t seem quite as trying.

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


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