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As I work-at-home mom, this has been a big issue for me. I hate those stupid telemarketer calls interrupt my day, even if I don't pick up the phone.

Unless it's the school calling, which might mean a sick son, or a client, letting the answering machine pick up saves me from time-consuming chats that may be nice, while totally blowing my concentration and productivity.


Victoria, thanks for sharing the link to this post. Vanessa, I think we live in the same neighborhood (what is up with the leaf blowers?)!

As much as I love my sleep and red wine in the evening, I'm finding, as the single mom of a 10 year-old, that I might get the most work done with the fewest interruptions at night, after my son has gone to sleep (unless, of course, "American Masters" or "Frontline is on PBS. Then, it's a wrap!).

At any rate, it's good to know I'm not the only one struggling to find balance. Thanks for the post, Jason.

Wendy Burnett

This is a good one. I work from home, and my immediate answer to #2 was, "at home when my husband is working." Then the dryer buzzed at me and I discovered the empty Crystal Light jug on the washer. Ummmm, maybe I should rethink my answer?

Thanks Victoria - I can see that this blog is going to be very helpful to my productivity.


Thanks Victoria for sharing this link with us. Jason has brought up a tough one. I work in a rural setting where temps outside are reaching 100 degrees F. There's no good place to be unplugged. Too hot to go anywhere. But what I do is use the "25 minute timer rule" I read about online. I use a timer to give myself permission to break away and go get a cold drink, work on a puzzle book or watch a little TV. When my mind is ready to work, I go back at it and leave all of the "connectedness" turned off.

The timer rule is also used to keep me focused on my project so I don't waste too much productive time on non-essential things.

Teaching my family to leave me alone while I work is the next problem to solve.

Victoria Ipri

Hey, Jason, I'm one of those people with the door open, 4 emails going at once, Skype, LinkedIn, the house phone, the cell phone...Yikes! I totally agree...if you've got something that must get done, and you really want to "find your groove", shut everything off! Then go to your quiet place and do your thing.

For Moms of young kids, like Vanessa (she's a fantastic writer, by the way), you may need to break your day down into smaller bites, but it can be done.

Keep the great posts comin', Jason!

Bob Medak

I found this from Victoria Ipri, The Confident Copywriter Group on LinkedIn.

Working from home there are myriad possibilities for interruptions that one needs to be aware of. Also the time of day that one chooses to work. I find that later in the day works better for me.

Your two questions are relevant to everyone. It really does boil down to one's mindset. What is important, and why you are working on a given project.


Hi Jason - like Vanessa, I work from home and have no end to the opportunities for interruption. I appreciate your thoughtful ideas about finding focus.

I've also learned to become an ally with a tool that many find to be an enemy - my wireless device! In my case it's an iPhone, but it could just as easily be a Blackberry, Android device, or any other of a myriad of ways we sometimes feel "tied" to the job. By making my iPhone my ally, I've reduced the stress of trying to fit my job into a 9 to 5 routine. I no longer mind answering an enquiry from a new customer while waiting in line for my coffee, or checking a customer's email server during a lull in the baseball game! Because by making friends with my former enemy, I'm able to happily accept the invitation to the ballgame without worrying about it being 2:00 pm when I should "be working".

Thanks for sharing Jason's blog with us Victoria!


Vanessa Nix Anthony

Great post Jason! Glad Victoria (over at the confident copywriter)sent me your link.

Working from home (being your own boss) can be a challenge. We all struggle with lost time from things like -- toddler temper tantrums, mother-in-laws' phone calls and loud, incessant leaf blowers -- and that doesn't even take into account client questions, new business inquiries and putting together pitches for that super story idea that came to you last night while you were sleeping. It's good to a few new tools for the arsenal. Keep 'em coming. . .

And if you have the time swing on by and check out my site at www.play-onwords.com

Shehryar Shaukat

Thanks Victoria for sharing this Blog post with me.

Nice tips for time management, Jason

Shehryar Shaukat
CTO, www.optimizedwebsolutions.net

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