working from home

Don’t Let Your Family Affect Your Work

If you work from home, you’ll understand what I mean when I say “don’t let your family affect your work”.

We love our family members, there is no doubt about that. Consequently, their smallest actions sometimes leave behind prolonged shadows. An argument with a spouse is a lot more draining than an argument with a colleague in the office. Your child’s behavior may leave you totally shattered when you are in the midst of drafting an important document. Even a single remark from your boyfriend or girlfriend can shatter your entire schedule.

When you go to office you normally leave your home behind. It is a completely new world where, although you are surrounded by people you know, they actually don’t matter to you as much as your family members do. If they say something to you or if they do something that is not agreeable you will be simply angry or enraged; there is a very little chance that you will be heartbroken. This is because you are not emotionally attached to those people. To family members you are. They can hurt you like no one else.

Since you are working from home you are always exposed to their capricious ways. Sometimes they forget that you need harmonious environment to be productive and to deliver your projects on time. They don’t even think twice before starting an argument, dumping on you everything that weighs them down, and hurling upon you all those small, nagging things that totally put you off. Sometimes it feels like it’s only you who are concerned about the financial security of the family.

Concentrating on your work can be quite challenging during these times. In some way or the other and you have to figure out how to draw a line between your personal life and your professional life. Here are a few things you can do:

Talk to them

Mostly it is just a lack of understanding. Unless you are yourself in a position you cannot understand what the other person is going through. So you have to make all your family members sit together and have a heart-to-heart talk with them. Tell your spouse or your girlfriend or boyfriend how important piece of mind is for you. Tell your children not to barge into your room all the time demanding your attention. Holding the baby might be the most wonderful thing in the world and it may make you your spouse’s “darling” – but it can also totally distract you while you’re trying to create a web design layout or number crunching report (although I’m sure some would say they feel more creative and focused during such conditions).

Draw definitive boundaries

Make it clear that during certain hours you are out of reach unless it is a matter of life and death. It may seem drastic but if you are not strict about this timing thing before you know it you will be working with your entire family practically settled upon your work table. Tell them that you are always there for them but in order to keep doing that you need some space to earn money for the family.

Work in a separate room (if possible)

Working from home does not mean that you must have your office in your bedroom or the sitting room or in the lawn where the entire neighborhood can greet you and chat with you all day. It is another matter if there is no extra room in the house but if it can be arranged then do arrange it. You will feel a marked difference once start working in a separate room. Then even people in the family will start taking your work seriously.

Resolve the issue there and then

Don’t let small issues and arguments simmer in the pan of your rage. Resolve the issue and come back to your workplace with a clear mind. Say what you want to say or accept your fault if you are at fault. This way you won’t waste time arguing inside your head.

Learn to detach yourself

If nothing else works, for the love of your family, learn to detach yourself and learn to work under the conditions that are not going to change. This is not as hard as it seems. You will have to make some lifestyle changes but hey, that’s life all about. When you don’t find a path you have to hew your own path. My favorite is listening to music through a headphone or earplugs. Avoid songs because then you want to sing along. Select some orchestral pieces or the recordings of instrumental music; anything that is soothing and that eliminates the background noise and that helps you focus back after the recurring disturbances.

Author: Amrit Hallan blogs about online content publishing, blogging and SEO at


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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