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Isolation vs. Chaos: How Do You Work Best?


Do you prefer complete silence when you work, total chaos, or something in-between? Discover your working style to reach your highest performance level.
A woman sits on her desk meditating as she is surrounded by office work.

Some people thrive on chaos. It feeds their energy, gets the mind working, the creative juices flowing and keeps everything moving right along. Others must have absolute and complete silence to stay focused and be productive. Those in the middle like a lull of noise – classical music in the background, the whirr of a fan, the quiet chit-chat of a coffeehouse.

Your Work-From-Home Style

Find the perfect balance for your productivity. Some jobs do require that you have a dedicated, quiet place to work. If that is the case, then even if you'd rather be blasting your favorite guilty pleasure tunes, you're being paid to buckle down. Other jobs are flexible enough that you can work while sitting in bed at night after the kids are tucked in, or while you're in the car on a road trip with as much or as little noise as you want. How much noise or lack thereof you can handle to be a successful WAHM will be up to you and the demands of your position.

The Sound of Silence

Studies conducted on elementary children have found that noise is subjective. While one child may be okay with the sound of a fan blowing, for another it is disruptive. Noise, however the individual defines it, will block the ability to learn and to be productive. What qualifies as noise to you? Teachers love to talk about learning styles -- as an adult, you have a working style that is going to help boost your productivity, enhance concentration and let you enjoy what you do. Take some time to identify what is noise to you and create a working environment that cuts down on the disruptions so you can be at your best.

Amid Distraction

Distractions while working from home are all but inevitable, so learning to manage them will be a large part of your success. Take short breaks. If the chaos is too much, stop and manage it. Calm your mind and limit distractions by focusing your energy on one task at a time, rather than trying to juggle everything at once. Give the kids snacks, TV time, naps or projects they can work on while you're working. As they focus on their tasks, you'll buy yourself time to focus on yours. Prioritize your time by deciding what needs to be done when. If you need to schedule an important call, do it when the kids are playing outside or napping. If you're working amid major noise and chaos, however you define it, use that time to accomplish projects that require less of your absolute attention.

One of the best gifts you can give to your working mom side is the ability to sense what you need and to require it of yourself. If you need sound, put on the radio, turn up the volume on the TV, or throw some cookies into the air and watch the kids tangle for them on the floor. Then settle in with an "aah" and get to work. If you need to silence the noise, don't be afraid to require it during working hours and get creative on how to manage your projects alongside the needs of your kids. A big part of successfully working from home means having the freedom to work how you work best, even if you have to move some things around to do it.

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