Some people love working at home. Such freedom! Others can’t seem to get it together and spend the day having accomplished nothing. Living and working in the same space can be a challenge, so we asked several NAWBO-OC members this question:

How do you deal with distractions and maintain discipline when working at home?

Here’s what they said:

Luckily working from home is easy for me because I enjoy what I do. Attitude is key. I look at every e-mail I write and every small problem I solve as steps toward my goals. Even if I don’t accomplish as much in a day as I had hoped, I know I’m better off than I was when I started that morning.

Occasionally, when I come across a problem that’s hard to solve, I find myself heading for the refrigerator. You can gain a lot of weight that way. I suggest a cup of tea if you need a break, rather than just wandering mindlessly into the kitchen. Also listening to good music helps. It makes me dance in my chair throughout the day.

~Jessica Wilson CPB, Ohana Bookkeeping

Working at home can be isolating. I’m focused when working on projects so discipline isn’t a problem, but I also try to get out and go to the gym or meet people for lunch. I make a to-do list every day and try to get all the items done. But other things come up and some projects require more work than expected. I’ll use breaks to throw in a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher. Sometimes I’ll work in the evening or on the weekend to meet a deadline. The flexibility of working at home can be great but you can’t work all the time. You also need discipline to stay away from the work, because it’s always right there.

~Mary Jane O’Brien, MJ OBrien Design

I ask myself if a task is really necessary. Some things are just busywork, and although I may feel like I’m working, maybe I’m just wasting time. So I try to stay mindful. I always finish the “must-do” things. On the other hand, I never try to force the creative part of my job – writing for a client. If I’m not in the mood, nothing good will end up on the page. Often, playing a computer game allows my mind to wander. That triggers ideas and pretty soon I’m on a roll and the game is history. It might look like a delaying tactic, but it actually has a beneficial function.

~Judy Rose, Custom Writing & Writing Repair Services

We’d love to hear from you about this new style of blog. Tell us if you like it and if you’re interested in being contacted for responses to future questions.