The fridge is not your enemy

By Audrey Thomas, CSP, Organized Audrey

After dreaming about what it would be like to work from home, avoiding a stressful commute, you have now discovered that dream is a nightmare. We recently polled more than 1,000 people who are new to working from home. They listed distractions and loss of productivity as two of their biggest challenges. Their comments included:

  • All I do is eat!
  • It’s taking me longer to get my work done.
  • I can’t get my spouse/kids to realize I still have a job to do.
  • I miss my team members.



First of all, recognize that the distractions you face today are not the same you faced in your office. You may now have kids, pets, and housework all vying for your attention.

  • If noise is an issue, wear noise-canceling headphones, put your earbuds in or use a white noise app to provide some ambient noise.
  • If you’re distracted by what’s going on outside your window, you may need to face another direction or lower the blinds.
  • If you used to do your housework in the evenings or weekends, keep to that schedule and tune out that basket of laundry.



The routine you once had is now gone. Keep these things in mind as you set about getting your work done in a new manner:

  • Get up at the same time each morning.
  • Get showered and dressed.  You can skip the hair/make-up routine but getting out of your pajamas will go a long way in helping you engage with others.
  • If you used to take your lunch to work, keep it up. Put it in the fridge so when lunchtime rolls around, it’s ready for you, reducing extra time in the kitchen.
  • While you’re packing your lunch, set aside snacks that you plan to eat throughout the day. This bit of planning will help keep you from grazing the pantry and avoiding those extra pounds everyone is talking about.



Once you’ve got your early morning routine established, you’ll be in a better position to focus on your work. Here are 4 areas to pay attention to:

  1. Establish your working hours. Make a sign with your hours and post near your workspace, communicating to others a reminder of the job you’ve got to do.
  2. Take short, 15-minute breaks throughout your day, allowing family members to interact with you as well as building in an opportunity to get up and stretch.
  3. Be aware of procrastination. Perhaps you’ve already developed procrasti-baking, procrasti-cleaning or procrasti-eating! It’s amazing how many things we find ourselves doing when we are distracted or don’t want to work.
  4. Prioritize work projects by using The First Fifteen planning tool to prioritize projects, phone calls, and personal tasks. It’s a tangible tool that helps you identify priorities and find focus.



Whether you’re feeling stressed or not it’s important to take care of yourself. Be intentional in devoting 20-30 minutes a day with activities such as:

  • Taking a walk
  • Listening to music/podcast
  • Reading a book
  • Praying/meditating
  • Exercising
  • Playing with a favorite hobby


At the end of the day, it is not going to be what you found in your fridge that brings you the most comfort. It will be the time you were able to invest in others, including your family members, customers, and co-workers.