Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

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“Boundary issues.”

I was once told by a psychic that it’s something I need to be aware of.

Now this particular psychic specializes in animals (yes, I’m a person who totally believes in pet psychics), and she was specifically referring to my boundaries around my dog Kuma and me not smothering him with too much affection.

Apparently, my snuggly ways aren’t always good for his ability to be independent.

Bieber breaks are good for business. Click To Tweet

But it’s understandable, right?

When you share the same space with other sweet souls, it’s natural to want to hang out and play together.

But when you work from home and share your space with others (cute pets and cute people alike) — boundaries are, indeed, essential.

If you’ve ever struggled with being distracted because other people interrupt you while you work at home, today’s brand new MarieTV episode is for you.

You’ll learn six effective ways to stop people from interrupting your workday — especially when you work at home.

Now I’d love to hear from you:

How do you deal with interruptions when working at home?

Even if you work in an office environment, maintaining focus is always a challenge — so tell me, what’s your secret?

Be as specific as you can because thousands of people visit this site and your ideas could really help someone else have a breakthrough!

Thank you, as always, for reading, watching and sharing. You rock.


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  1. Oh Marie! How we’ve missed you… 🙂

    • I have no one else to blame. My worst enemy is myself. Honestly, most days I look to get distracted-usually by Law & Order/SVU reruns. For me, it’s not beginning to indulge in it because then there’s little hope of turning back…but investing in quality noise canceling head phones couldn’t hurt. Glad to see you back, Marie.

      • Emelia …. Completely agree! It’s ME that is most likely to interrupt me… Playing around with background music, “I’ll-just-look-at…” times on the internet, Pinterest!

        • Ha! “I’ll just look at…” Famous last words. 🙂

          • Yes! I have to set a timer for myself for work and break time, and discipline myself enough to follow it. It’s been working well, actually – and it’s amaaaaazing how frequently I want to click over to FB, Twitter, YouTube, email, texts…etc etc

          • Sam

            I have a real procrastination problem too. My sometimes saviour (when I’m strong enough to turn it on) is a piece of software called Anti-Social. It blocks you from a load of social media sites, plus anything else you specify (news and tabloid newspaper sites for me). You can choose whether to include email programs in it or not.

            I’m not always determined enough to turn it on for a few hours at a time though…

      • Thanks Emelia 🙂 xo

        • Marie!! Loved this! First off, awesome tips as always.

          Secondly, I thought I heard you say “beaver breaks” and was slightly surprised, since we all know what a beaver is slang for. 😉
          Thanks for the tweetable clarification.

          I work from home and work best in wifi cafes.
          Would NOT go to a coffee shop to work (!!!!) since, here in Amsterdam, a coffee shop is a place where people go to kick back and get stoned…

          Lastly, what DOES that gesture (finger tips together pointing downwards like a V) mean in sign language?

          Love and blessings,

      • Emelia, Yes me too…. I am my own distraction!
        I don’t watch tv but the internet or some randomness comes up and I pull away from my work.
        I have worked from home 9 years (2 of those were in a studio away from home) and that really was most productive time of my life.
        Marie, please dedicate an episode to Be-Your-Own-Boss Bootcamp!!! 😉
        Love you and missed you! 😉 xo Ella

        • Ella, I’m a total internet junkie, too, which doesn’t help. A separate location may be the answer as it stands right now.

          • I’m also addicted to the internet, so much so that last week I decided to go on an internet detox and stay away from my computer for the whole day.

            The next 7 days I decided to force myself to finish working on the computer at noon, and then not touch it for the rest of the day.

            It’s amazing how much more productive I became when I had such a time pressure on me 😛

            Highly recommend trying it out, oh and also LOVE the app “Remember the milk”, made me so much more productive at work! 🙂

        • I agree with you Pure: we need an episode on Be-Your-Own-Boss Bootcamp.

          Thanks to all the B babies sharing openly about their distractions! I thought I was the only one having this problem of getting distracted. I thought maybe I am ADD or something like that….. It really helps to know that I am not alone in this challenge of mastering the mind.

          To be honest, I often get distracted by my own thoughts, mostly in the form of new ideas, and great inspiration. However, these put me into the future, rather than focusing on the present task at hand.

          I am using my timers more and more. I also have designed a form, in which I have to write the name of the task I am focusing on, the estimated time, the time I begin, the time I end, and the real time it took to accomplish the task. Whenever I use the form, it is easier to focus and also to realize when I am getting side-tracked.

          Thanks Marie for so much inspiration!

        • My husband is my main distraction. We have a joint business together but tend to work on different aspects of it, however I like to be quiet when I’m focusing on something and he likes to talk.

          So we’ve reached a happy compromise. He works in a room at the top of the house, and I’m two floors down on the ground floor and we meet up every couple of hours to drink tea and have a chat.

          It works for most of the time except the dog doesn’t know whether to go up or down.

          • Lou Ann

            I don’t really have anything practical to add other than the dog comment was hilarious!

      • We have met the enemy, and she is us!

        • hahaha. So true… I’ve got everyone else trained not to disturb me during “work” hours, but I need to create some system to lock myself out of certain internet sites…

          • I start setting very specific rules for myself.

            When I am done ______ then I will indulge in _______.

            Sometimes that’s every 5 minutes. Like, when I am doing writing this client email, I will take a few peaks on pinterest. Set a timer! It’s the silliest but greatest strategy ever. I sometimes use playlists of music. Work for 20 minutes and peruse around on the net for 1 song (so pick a long one).

            Hope that helps!

            Heidi xx

        • Too true, Kathy.

      • I agree 1000% with you, Emelia. I’m usually the distraction, so I typically find things to put in my own way like Facebook or Pinterest. (Lawd Jesus, it’s a problem!) Those are my procrastination tools of destruction these days.

        My constant procrastination bothered me, so I decided to write about it on my blog. In doing so, I learned that there is a second type of procrastination, which a lot of people don’t think about. This 2nd type occurs when you feel like you are working on the things that you should, but in essence what you are doing is keeping yourself from acting, i.e. strategizing and making plans for years instead of implementing them. This also happens when you’re working on something that you need to, but it isn’t the highest priority on your plate at the moment. (You can read the post here:

        Marie’s friend Danielle Laporte has a great article about procrastination, (I included the link in my post), but I would love to hear her tips on how to stop. I think that would be a great one for Q&AT. 🙂

        • Thanks for the link, Biba. Love me some Danielle, too.

      • I definitely agree with you Emilia. I am my worst distraction. I’ve figured out why though. I get super distracted when I’m lacking clarity about what I need to get done. So, I’m working on hammering out a 6-month plan for myself (business) so that I know what I need to get done for each month, and then each week, to reach my goal.

        Also, I’m so glad you’re back Marie!! Yay!

    • Emily

      I love you Marie! You just cacked me up waiting for school Holidays to end so I can get work done! My eight year old on the other hand does not see the humour in it! Thank you. Emily x Still laughing.

    • Hi Marie, loving the video!
      well im an Irish mammy so i can use a stick or a wooden spoon!! only joking!!..
      Sometime when my teens disturbs me i give them work to do and then go out for coffee, telling them i will check it when i get back, i often come back with all my typing done and desk clean. MAKE THEM WORK, they wont disturb you much!!

      • Wow Valerie. I’m impressed — smart moves!

      • Valerie,
        Now you tell me!
        This summer was a little difficult because I’ve always stayed home with the kids. For the most part after a month of interruptions, “Mom, I don’t want to interrupt, it’s just . . .” They got the idea. Closing the door works. Also, I had to look at it, that I only have a few more years with them in the house, so I chose to enjoy the interruptions. The fact that teenagers want to talk with their mother, is a good thing.

        Great segment Marie!

      • That really is a great suggestion! Too bad I just have a cat who eats and wants head rubs all the time. It would be great if she would clean my desk or organize my magazines or something!! lol

  2. First of all … woo! New MarieTV!!

    OMG this is perfect timing — I started working from home about a month ago, and I’ve absolutely noticed all the distractions that pop up when I’m in the middle of something. Setting boundaries (for myself AND for other people) is definitely going to be necessary. Thanks, Marie!

  3. Welcome back Marie! It was great seeing you on Super Soul Sunday yesterday morning too–talk about a great one-two punch to start the short week!

    This was a tough lesson for me to learn, but in order for me to get anything accomplished (especially with two lovely little girls running around the house), I had to learn to shut the door and use a “rude alert” (great term, btw) once in a while. Just doing those two things allowed me to regain my focus, and most importantly, it allowed me to finish my work faster so I could focus on what’s *really* important (aka, my family). Welcome back Marie, you and your fabulousness were both missed!

    • Oh Shola, I feel so bad because I had isolate myself from my little sister when I was a student. She still remembers that. I hope to handle it better when I have kids.

      • I feel you, Galina. When I’m deep into work mode, I don’t look at it as isolating myself from my family. I look at it as a “temporary focus period” that allows me to get more work done, so that I can spend more time with my family when I’m done. I’m not going to lie though, I still feel guilty whenever I have to shut the door to my office, but I keep reminding myself that it’s only temporary. In fact, the reward of hanging out with my girls when I’m done helps me to work harder (i.e., no mindless Twitter checking, no constant checking of my cell phone, etc) when the door is shut.

        • Love that the “reward” of QT with your girls helps keep you focused Shola. Beautiful!

  4. Hey Marie,

    My secret is to put my phone on airplane mode so that I won’t get any notifications from social media or messages. I am constantly checking my phone so when I do this I notice I am less distracted and not checking my phone every second 🙂 Love the new video!

    • Totally agree! Checking phone, email, fb and linkedin are the worst distractions that stress me out! I think it’s because I’m hooked on receiving updates and important emails.

    • THAT is a fantastic idea!

    • Great idea! I get distracted every time the phone screen flashes on. Thanks, Caroline!

    • LOVE this idea, too! Wow, that’s definitely easy enough. My phone is definitely my biggest distraction!

    • Awesome share Caroline. I love me some ‘airplane’ mode. I’m also a huge fan of ‘do not disturb’ mode too. It’s great especially when you need to rest or sleep — so friends on different coasts don’t text at crazy hours.

    • Caroline,

      Thanks for sharing this tip! I have to walk away from tech to get things accomplished. It’s so easy to get sucked in to time drains. Like ^Emelia^ I’m my own worst enemy in this area. Airplane Mode and Do Not Disturb (thanks, Marie) are my two new weapons!


    • Caroline,
      I’ve been working from home for several years now and for the last two years I’ve had my phone on Do Not Disturb during most hours of the day. I love it so much that I leave it on all day and night even when I’m not working! BUT you just made me realize something…Airplane Mode is an even better boundary because I won’t be able to randomly go on instagram without consciously turning off airplane mode. Love this!

  5. Marie, so glad to see you back!
    I have a big loud family and it’s impossible to hide from them)))

  6. Welcome back from your summer hiatus! Great topic.

    I use a lot of these tips. I keep the door closed because it makes me more productive and prevents people from disturbing me. When I was working in a co-working space people would disturb me all the time though, even with the door closed or with headphones on. How annoying! That’s when I had to start issuing “rude alerts.”

    Now all of those things are great when other people are disturbing you but I bet many people are their own worst enemies when it comes to this topic, and get distracted by social media and housework and other things that take us away from the work we want to be doing in the world!

    This is where it’s important to have a visualization of what your week looks like because when you do I think you’re less likely to let distractions prevent you from being productive. I plan my week using a Basket System (which I explain in this video:, where I have “baskets” that completed tasks go into so I can see where I’m spending my time. You can even allocate a “basket” for letting yourself get distracted by Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, reading all the news happening in the world, gossip sites, Bieber breaks, whatever floats your boat. Then at the end of the week you can look at your baskets to see if you let distractions run your week, or if they were healthy breaks for you and your business.

    Sending you autumn love Marie + all of you entrepreneurial souls here xoxo

    • Natalie – I’m with you on this one…. I can be my own worst enemy. The “I’ll just…” list draws my attention (I’ll just… pop out to buy lunch / sort out the pile of admin / send a quick social email etc). I’ve begun to notice that the times when I’m doing this is when I’m NOT well planned. Without a list to check-off, I can end up all over!! Love your visualised-week video!!

      I do something similar, my Sunday evening planning ritual. Usually a glass of wine and my trusty planner!

  7. LOVED this video Marie! You Rock and you Roll! Here’s something I did when I was starting out working from home and was being a single mama my son would always always want to interrupt me – ESPECIALLY when I was on the phone for “mama time”

    One thing I did was made a rule that he couldn’t interrupt when I was on the phone unless there was a flood or a fire!

    I also made EXTRA SURE to provide plenty of “Mama time” to him when I finished what I was doing to make sure that he knew how important he was to me.

    Boundaries are a lifelong issue for me and for most women and I do a LOT of work with women on setting up “energetic” boundaries as well as these more “practical” boundaries!

    I have found that the “energetic” boundaries are significantly more impactful than the practical ones but do agree you need to have both!

    Thanks again for all you do to make the world a better place!

    • I think this is extra special! You’re putting everything into the task at hand, including really investing and engaging during “mama time”. You are also really present while on the phone. Hopefully this will lessen the need for interruptions.

      Heidi xx

  8. Marie is so much in time, she is just NOT late for work

  9. Tammy

    I missed you so much! I haven’t even watched the video yet, just wanted to let you know you were missed. I also wanted to say that I got a lot out of your “-re-runs” too.

    • Thank you for that Tammy — we all really appreciate it.

  10. Fancy shiny things are always a distraction! Thanks for your amusing insights, you always make me laugh:)

  11. Great tips! I also go to a coworking space one day a week, which really helps me get a lot of work done without me having to spend too much money eating brownies and drinking chai at a cafe, or be in an overly sterile library.

    • Yael — you’re right. Coffee shops can be mad temptation machines!

  12. Hi Marie!

    I have two kids, who are home many times when I’m home working, so being able to block things out and work is essential! Of course, I’m one to talk – I got distracted by this post and commenting on it 😉

    That being said, I make a list (either mental or on paper) of the MUST-DO’s before I can do anything else, and when I’m working on those things my email is closed, my phone is on silent, and I focus. I also try to take short “brain-breaks” every hour or so to prevent getting burnt out!

    I get email out of the way first thing in the morning so I can get back to people who have emailed me the night before, and then I check it again once in the afternoon to get back to people who’ve emailed me while I was in the zone. That way I’m not at the beck and call of my email, but I’m getting back to clients and prospects promptly.

    Thanks for all the advice – I love your videos and style! 🙂

    Kate Lawler

    • Hey Kate! I too, am a huge fan of the daily to-do list. I like to write mine out, though. Especially because of the IMMENSE satisfaction I get when crossing things off. It never fails to charge me up 🙂

      • I LOVE crossing things off a list. The list helps to focus, I usually put on some music that is great background music yet a little up beat to carry me through the work.
        I try and keep social media and emails “compartmentalized” so that I only check them at a specific time, as opposed to mindlessly checking everything.
        I love being focused and getting a bunch of things crossed off the list in a short time. Some things that are a little “trying” that I rather avoid, I do because they are on the list and I just do them without thinking too much about them.
        Even though I have an office, I also work at home, and I need to set the stage to do the work. Music and maybe headphones, a time limit, even with a timer keeps me focused.

    • I agree – having a few things that are mandatory is key. I work from home and this really helps me. I make sure all those things are done before I can do anything else. This is a great tip to always keep you moving forward.

      Plus, once you get started and are down to business, it is easier to just keep going. Also, Freedom (which blocks the internet for a specific amount of time) also helps.

    • When you’re not distracted by another open window on your computer, you’re actually more present for your clients (yes, even over email) and often write a more thorough email. I’m sure they really appreciate that! It’s a tough lesson in self control but true productivity means creating some pretty strong boundaries!

      Heidi xx

  13. Marie,

    Great tips. And hilarious as always too.

    My struggle is as a single dad balancing keeping work flow while not short changing my three amazing daughters before and after school and especially during the summer.

    Some days the goal is just that I get any work done during the time they are home and not have them burn the house down!

    Seriously though one important thing for me is to block time off for work and attention for them and be most productive and present during both.

    My funny was about 30 minutes before I started a webinar I was putting on, my 10 yr old decided it was a good idea to show my 8 yr old how to shave her legs! Lots of bandaids and crying later I did make the webinar on time. Sometimes it just goes like that!

  14. OMG, you crack me up, Marie. Yay for new episodes!! 😉

    These same tips can be used in an office as well. I used to have a constant flow of traffic in my office, but then asked my employees take it to Skype first. I would make myself “unavailable” and ignore the flashing screens until I was done with whatever project I needed to focus on. Then I would get back to them all. It turns out a lot of the time they didn’t even need me and were able to figure it out on their own. And I got more done in less time with better focus. Win-win! 🙂

  15. dora g

    “Wear headphones” works great for me! People around me see that I have headphones on and assume I’m busy. Or, if someone does try to distract me, I simply don’t react & they think that I’m listening to something and don’t hear them.

  16. Hi Marie,
    Welcome back, love the video and thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  17. Kim

    I work in a cubicle based office environment and one of the best suggestions we ever got was from a career coach who suggested having a “do not disturb sign”. Since we don’t have doors, they have to sit atop our cublicle walls, and she suggested they be creative: a flag, a stuffed frog, a magnet, etc. And whenever that item is raised, other colleagues should know that person wants to work interruption free. It’s a great acknowledgment of boundaries, and people’s “do not disturb” items spark great conversation around the office as well.

  18. Mary-Pat O Malley

    Similar issues at work! The Please Do Not Disturb sign works a treat for me!

  19. Mye

    I love the new outfit!

    My twin daughters understand my work time but my new baby doesn’t. i don’t call him a distraction though 🙂 it’s just that I’ve never been back to my routine since his arrival 🙂

    What I do? I take breaks when needed, because I get tired too.
    When he’s asleep, I sneak in to work even if it’s just a small portion of my blog post or a project (at least I got something done)

    When my husband arrives home from work, he gets him from me and then it’s my work time (for at least 2-3 hours).

  20. Luci

    I loved the video! Please make a video with tips / strartegies to avoid people disturbing you AT THE OFFICE!

    • CheriAnn

      Yes! We need one with tips for AT THE OFFICE.
      Seems there are always people traipsing through. Mine is the main office and the copy machine is in there along with the major stash of supplies so I can’t close people out entirely, but it seems whenever anyone wants a little down time, they hang and talk.
      I learned from my Mom how to be a good listener (eye contact, etc.) and she also taught me to not be rude, so I have a really hard time discouraging them even though I may be quite frustrated inside. One interruption isn’t too bad, but 5 in one morning really cut my productivity.
      I HAVE found some body language signals that help get the message across to some people: breaking eye contact frequently and for longer periods of time, looking toward my computer screen, resting my fingers back on my keyboard, opening a desk drawer to get something, etc. I guess it sends the signal that I’m not really listening any more and, although it feels rude, I guess it’s the truth!
      Do you have any great ideas for those of us in THAT boat?

  21. When my kids were little, it was impossible for them to understand that they couldn’t see me if I was home. So I would tell them I was going to work, say good-bye and leave the house. Then my babysitter would take them out for a little while and I would sneak back in and work up in the attic. A few hours of peace to do my work, sneak back downstairs, then “mommy’s home from work!”

  22. Hi Marie,

    I sit in a corner of our kitchen. We have a small house so that’s the only place for an “office.” No door. The good news is that my man is very respectful of my work time (no naughty fly-bys from 6AM to 5PM!) and we don’t have anyone else in the house to distract me. I’m my worst distraction besides the food in the cupboard!

    The oldies were good for me since I’m relatively new to your site, but it’s nice to have you back with new stuff, too!


  23. ROFL is this Josh in the mask? I’m laughing so hard!

    Try working without disruptions with these 3 Schnoodle-a-liscious!
    A challenge I tell ya!

  24. Ah… This was my problem for the last 2 years, living in community. But now I’ve finally decided to move to my own place. It feels like relief.
    But I admit your 6 points are a MUST when you live with other people! they are exactly the ones I was applying.
    Thanks for this episode! Love you!

  25. Sally | Artbase Graphics

    Hi Marie, I missed yoooooooooooou!

    I kept checking my email in-box, waiting for your message. Now ‘that’ was a distraction.

    When I first started out, I was sharing the house with a couple of guys who couldn’t believe I was starting a graphic design business, while using my bed as an office.

    The way I stopped the continuous interruptions was to start with a serious adult conversation with them, and explain that if I worked at the local retail store or office, they wouldn’t call into my workplace, and occupy my time in front of my boss. I just repeated the same story getting ruder and louder with each interruption. Eventually they gave up.

    • My husband used to ask me to pick up his dry cleaning or run errands – I had to repeatedly tell him that I WAS AT WORK TOO.

      Ditto when he’d come home and the house was still messy from the morning. I’d say “I don’t know – I’ve been at work all day too – looks like the cleaning fairies didn’t come”

      • He Denise
        I’m half way through Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” and reversing all the hints and tips, so I can psych myself up, to stop working and go clean up the house.

        I love what I do and the hours just slip away.

  26. Erica

    I just spent an entire summer “working” with my 5 yo here at home… omg what was I thinking!! Surprisingly I had lots done, and can’t thank you enough for this video. I usually say to hubby and kiddo that it’s not because I’m there, that I’m available, right!!? It works well for us. Now that my daughter is back to school (first day today!), I’m kind of missing this action and noise around the house already… For me it’s part of working at home as well, thx so much Marie! xoxo

  27. I work, when the two very large teens are sleeping like babies or their just not here. Then the whole pad becomes my office!

  28. Yeah You’re back!!!

    Great tips – I actually find that I have no problem setting boundaries with other people it’s myself that I need to set working boundaries with. Oi! I’ve started using the [email protected] app and that’s super helpful, but I still seem to get lost in new shiny thing land ;/

    Any good tips out there?

  29. I definitely close the door AND lock the door when on phone calls since I have a six year old daughter. When I really need to focus, I listen to some instrumental music on Pandora to keep one side of my brain occupied. Sometimes it’s hard to get motivated to leave the house and go to a cafe because it’s much easier to just stay in my pajamas, so I try to make work play dates with my friends for accountability. We both talk for a little bit, but keep each other accountable by working at the same time and staying focused. I get the most work done during this time.

  30. Talk about perfect timing… my husband’s schedule just changed this month, and all morning I’ve been dealing with him interrupting me. I feel horrible for ignoring him and working, but yet, I can’t change the way I do things just because he’s home for a few extra hours. I’m going to sit with him and have my first cup of coffee and breakfast, and then after that it’s into the office I go!

  31. work at home wit 2 kids under 3 is hard, but not impossible. I’m very flexible about my schedule, that means that I have a to-do list I work on during the day : when the oldest one is at school in the mornings or asleep (after 7 pm) and when the baby is asleep, like now… baby fell asleep in my arms, its time to get some work done. working with the baby goes really well if i carr him in a babysling…,.

    • Oh Justine! I have a 4 yrs old girl, but she doesn’t let me work… So I resort to my hubby, he is a great babysitter

  32. Perfect timing as always! My husband just started working from home this week, so we’ll be navigating this new challenge. I think the best thing going for us is that we’re working in two separate rooms, so we’re totally able to keep our boundaries. 🙂

  33. Best video EVER! Who was that masked man?!

    I struggle with this a lot, because I too work from home. Unfortunately, I can’t close the door, because my workspace is my living room and there are no doors to sequester myself behind. The headphones seem like a perfect idea to push the hint across. I’m going to have to try that.

    Muchas gracias for the excellent belly laugh this morning!

  34. Marie, you’re back! Yay for new episodes!

    Caroline, I love your idea about putting the phone in airplane mode; I get distracted all the time with buzzes and beeps, so I will definitely try that.

    As a work at home mom with two boys under 3, I’ve also learnt the following:
    – it helps tremendously to know when you’re most productive. For example, I handle most of my to-do’s in the morning, I’ll get distracted the whole time but it doesn’t matter that much as it’s just basic tasks I can walk away from and pick up again when I have time. I leave the creative work and stuff that requires concentration and focus for night time, when my kids are in bed.
    – some things just require silence: I coach over the phone, and these coaching relationships are very valuable to me: a crying baby on the background simply does not belong in that coaching session. I have daycare arranged for a few days a week and make other arrangements (babysitters) when necessary.
    – Like Marie explained in an older video: if you want to get your spouse (or other family members) on board, you need to be very clear about what you’re doing and why. It helps them understand all those nights they’re ‘home alone’ while you’re working your ass off in the next room trying to build your business.
    – Lastly, for those with kids: I will definitely make time to play with my kids, but sometimes work just needs to be done. A Winnie the Pooh DVD every now and then never hurt anyone…!

    Looking forward to the next episodes Marie!

    All the way from the Netherlands,

  35. This was timely for me. I have two adult kids still living at home, most of my work is web based and they often think that because they cant “see” what I’m doing that it is not real work. I agree with EVERYTHING you said and will admit that at times I am guilty of not following through on those 6 points. I would, very respectfully, add a 7th point from my own experience: Educate those who live with you to the importance and value of your work. One of my daughters works in a bank and I asked her what would happen if I opened the little gate, walked behind the teller line to her work station, sat down and said something like “Hey. whats going on today?” Her eyes got really big and she said “I’d be in a lot of trouble and wouldn’t get a lot done.” Everyone see’s what they do as having value and honor and sometimes its hard to equate that to another persons work especially if we aren’t familiar with it. As always thanks Marie

    • AWESOME John! Love love love what you shared 🙂

  36. Great advice Marie!

    I have worked from home for 11 years now. I would just add this one tip:

    Make the most of the time you are NOT working.
    In addition to my husband (who works from home as well,) I have 2 children who love spending every waking moment with me. Of course, that is impossible. So, I am sure to make the time we do spend together really count. I also schedule what we are going to do together so that it gives them something to look forward to.

    Good stuff!


  37. Hi Marie!
    Couldn’t survive without your videos! Living in a house with 5 males (4 sons and a husband) is the ultimate constant distraction and they don’t seem to have any respect for my business and all the time I need to devote to building it. They act like my Pami Pockets are my excuse to get on Facebook and not clean up after them like I used to. It’s very frustrating. What do you suggest to do to stand up for yourself when you are so outnumbered by men (from Mars!)?

  38. Great episode, thank you Marie!

    For me, scheduling seems to be the biggest advantage, which means, I have to pre-game for each week and set aside maybe a half hour every Sunday for blocking out my schedule in chunks balancing the time available between:

    1. non-negotiable time (bubble baths, yoga, walks in nature, meals and adventures with the best boyfriend, getting pretty time and playing dress up for my week in work clothes, time with family, events with friends, things I value outside of “the hustle”)
    2. time at work
    3. time on each work product (I have a FT job and several side projects)
    4. time creep (this is the time that I didn’t expect something like work would get pushed back or included in my schedule…usually the “yes’s” I committed to but should have been “no’s”–while I’m learning to delegate more!)
    5. anything else, sometimes, I block out nothing time, to just, do nothing, which for me, can be a real challenge (oh what do I do? I should be productive, but I’m sleepy, lazy, distracted, etc times)

    We all are given the same amount of hours each week, how will use your hot, hot hours?!

  39. It is so easy to get distracted when I work from home but two things that help me mind my time are, 1) minding my browser tabs (closing FB and the other 10 that are irrelevant to what I am doing at that specific moment: anything important gets moved to Evernote to be saved for later), and 2) I turn my phone on silent which helps me to not over think that every alert is ultra important (bc it’s usually not and I can’t think about it if I don’t hear it). Then I don’t end up spending 20+mins on a convo that I thought would’ve only taken 5.

    I still have a long way to go on increasing/minding my productivity and lessening times of distraction, but these are two things that have worked well for me to get a head start.

    Thanks Marie! I love your practicality, style and humility. Xo

  40. Well, being the single gal I am I live alone, so the only interruptions I get from anyone other than myself are my cat, the phone, or the occasional hot UPS guy ;). Seriously though, I am definitely my own worst enemy when it comes to this. I’ll think of something I need to do, interrupt what I’m currently working on and think “yes, I’m stopping project A, but I can get this one thing done really fast and then it’s off my to do list”, which means I’m basically justifying it to myself.

    I’ve also figured out over the years how I work best. For me, I will work for 2-3 hours max, take a break, and then give myself a different project to work on after said break for awhile. For me, the variety helps to keep me from getting too bogged down in what I’m doing and makes my days ALOT better.

    • Hey Candace! There’s been a lot written about the effectiveness in working in chunks of time. The most common I’ve heard (and experienced to be mostly true) is intense focus for 90 minutes and then a short break. Physical movement, etc. and then jump back in!

      • I totally agree, Candace, that “chunking” approach is freakin magic. I tend to get into a zone and not want to walk away from the computer for 3 or 4 hours… but I’m wiped out after that. When I strategically set a timer on my phone to take even a 5 to 10 minute break after 90 min to 2 hours, I feel so much more refreshed and gracefully slide right back in to what I was doing.

        I love what you said about variety too 🙂

  41. Welcome back Marie! Loved how you took a hiatus, maybe do a video about that – it would be super helpful. My hubby does not often work from home but works on projects as a film editor. When he is off, he’s off and loves to spend time with me. I’ve shut the door + he totally respects my time when I am working. He also, loves to come in, kiss me on the head and be on his way. It’s a fun play for sure.

    Looking forward to more new videos.

    xo, H

  42. My home office is in my living room & I LOVE the idea of headphones when my family is home.

    Thanks for the tip & feel the love!

  43. Hi, Marie!
    I just discovered you about two weeks ago, and I’ve missed you! Welcome back!

    My husband and I work at home together, and I find the best tip is the ear buds just to remind myself I’m working. My worst enemy for distraction is myself. I’ve learned to promise myself a break if I stay on task for two to three hours. I get my writing done, and then when I take a break, I don’t feel guilty.

    I also schedule coffee or lunch with friends and work really hard before I see them, so I’ll have something to say when they ask, “What are you working on?”

    Love your energy!

    • Thank you so much Mary Lou — and yes, ear buds are simple AND effective!

  44. beth

    Welcome back. I enjoyed the reprise videos to especially with the chance for me to say hi to the brick wall. No, seriously, I liked the casual feeling that the brick and jeans gave to your videos. I wish they’d get a chance to come back for visits once in a while.

    I love this, as usual. Distractions are the number one work killer, I think. Like many others who have posted here, I have used all of them from time to time. When I was working in the cube farm, I used a combination of headphones playing classical music to drown all the extraneous noise, a chair in the opening of my little box space with a note saying come back in___, rude alerts, and hiding in conference rooms that weren’t being used. I also put my office phone on mute so that I was not interrupted by random calls and checked the voice mail when I was done with my solitude, after all, that’s what it’s there for.

    As for distractions for myself, that’s been the hardest thing to face and overcome because not only do I get distracted by random things that are not work related but I get distracted by work things that are not timely, relevant, and which take me away from things that need to be done..

    I recently read a new book called “The One Thing” by Gary Keller. I highly recommend it. I can’t digest its whole message here, or all the little tools that it offers; it bundles tips and tricks from many sources together with the one question. The one question goes like this:

    What is the One Thing that I can do right now such that everything else becomes easier or unnecessary?

    That question guides your day to day routine as well as your short term, mid term and long term planning.

    Then, knowing what that one thing is, you focus on it, to the exclusion (or near exclusion, you are allowed to deal with Genuine Burning Houses) of everything else, until it is done.

    By incorporating that question into my planning system, I have been able to escape the tyranny of work distractions.

    FWIW, Marie TV is on my Tues am schedule. Now to work. LOL

  45. Love the video, Marie! You’re right about the closed door policy- it seems so obvious, but I think a lot of us keep it open anyway, whether to feel less closed off or keep on eye on the family/ pets, etc. But, simply closing it definitely sends the signal, (even to ourselves!) that it’s time to switch into work mode.

  46. Hi Marie et al!

    Headphones are a must – even when I’m at home by myself. They really help create the cone of silence/focus. The other thing that I’ve done that REALLY improved my productivity was to stop giving out my cell phone to clients/prospects. Now most calls ring through to our main Curiosity number (one of the landlines at home) and that number is forwarded to Ruby Receptionists ( which is a great human answering service (remember those!?!) that fields my calls and either puts them through to my cell phone (because I’ve told them I’m accepting/expecting calls) or takes a message/sends callers to vmail. My vmails/messages come right to my email which I much prefer. Hearing ringing phones and having unlistened to vmail (as well as emails) piling up was a huge distraction for me. So now I can shut them out and my clients/prospects still get TLC when they call – just not from me! My Ruby subscription is about $200 USD and it’s worth every penny.


    • Awesome share Karen! I’ve heard about Ruby many times before — great to hear how happy you are with them.

    • Love the human touch of Ruby! Making a note to check them out.

  47. Well it’s especially hard for me to not have any disturbances because I am the sole caretaker of two little ones (ages 3 and 2). So I organize my week and what I’m going to do, specific tasks I’m going to accomplish, and all the steps needed. So when bedtime comes, which is the ONLY time I can get any of MY work done, I have a very detailed and specific game plan to tackle. I only get to work from 8:30-12:30

    Because I only have a few hours a day to actually get any work done, I can’t afford to get distracted with Facebook, Pinterest, etc. I use that time to stay super focused and finish. Working at night is actually better for me as I have the whole house completely quiet and distraction-free 🙂

    • Hey Josephine! You’re a prime example of what I experienced for years when I had multiple part-time jobs to fund my business.

      The busier I was making money to pay the bills, the more productive I was during those little windows of time I could find to grow the business.

      Nice work!

  48. I find that when I got serious about my work, other people stopped bothering me. When I first went part-time in my day job to write, my friends would say stuff like “Hey Cali, you’re not working on Friday. Do you fancy lunch?” And I would meet them for lunch, burn loads of my potential writing time and then get frustrated with myself.

    But when I got more committed to my writing and realised it was my job to write on a Friday, no one asked me to lunch any more.

    Your commitment to getting stuff done starts with yourself!

  49. I’ve worked from home for over 5 years and recently went back to work in an office for a hot second. There are no less distractions in either place! In fact…in the office, there can sometimes feel like more distractions bc ppl pop by to see what’s up and there’s a LOT more ppl in an office than my home…so it can get tough!

    Focus is essential and what I’ve found is this: once I got a taste of how awesome it feels to crank out 3-4 hours of straight up work (the kind where shit gets done…not including social media and updating your website for several hours) the results are kind of addictive. So that can definitely be motivation to make that happen again.

    When ppl DO interrupt me I simply say, “I’m really sorry but I HAVE to get back to work. But I’m really interested in that story.” Then I actually follow up with the person later. I get work done, the person gets to feel appreciated. Everybody wins!

    When I am my worst enemy: I simply have to walk away and then get down to business. I remember why I am doing what I’m doing and just get to work. I was raised with a great work ethic, so I gotta thank my parents for instilling that in me.

    Elsa so funny. So good.

    • Elsa,

      I know what you mean in the office. When I use to work in an office, I would arrive two hours before anyone else just to get some work done. I would then go back in after people left to finish up.

      It was insane! My daughter thought the couch in my office was her bed. 🙁

      Tried to institute time blocking so I could get things done during normal business hours, but my boss nixed it.

      Needless to say, I work for myself from home now.

  50. JAJAJAJA so funny and Welcome back Marie! it is good to see you and your outfit again. Thanks and very simple and helpful advises. Lot of love.

  51. I rent one room in my two bedroom home in the city. Before anyone moves in, I’m very clear about my work schedule and boundary expectations since my office (translate: small desk) is on the first floor which is one big room. After things not working out with the first roommate, I’ve learned to communicate more clearly and have an amazing person living with me now who totally gets it. It makes all the difference to be as direct as possible from the beginning.

  52. I’ve worked from home for over 20 years and distractions can still be an issue sometimes. My friends used to think that I could chat any old time and would call me during the day. My mistake? Answering the phone! Now they know that just because I work from home doesn’t mean I’m on an all-day coffee break. I don’t answer the phone. I also have a voicemail message that tells people when I’ll be returning phone calls that day. Thanks for the good videos, Marie!

  53. I worked at home for 9 years. I loved it somedays… but other days oey carumba! A honey boo boo duplicate moved in across the street. My adorable yellow lab who I love had a sixth sense and always barked whenever I was on a conference call. The best thing ever was moving my studio into a professional office. I still have the luxury to work from home on a Friday if need be but it’s always good to have an escape clause. A girl’s gotta have an escape clause.

  54. This is a great episode after the hiatus, Marie!

    I work from home, unschool my children (preschool boy & teen girl), and I use to work on my graduate degree from home, too.

    I’m done with the degree – Yeah! So, you would think that would give me more time – Ha!

    The teen girl is pretty good about letting me work and sometimes watching her little brother. However, he likes to sneak in whenever he can and make a ruckus.

    I use the timer method. If he wants to play car crash with me and only me, then I need to play with him. Geez that’s the beauty of working from home, right? So I figure out how much time I need to come to a good stopping point with what I’m doing. I double it to give myself wiggle room. I tell my son how long it will be and set the timer on my phone. He leaves and plays quietly. He knows when he hears the chime of my phone it is time to play car crash with momma. Trust me, before the chiming is done, he is right there at my side with a basket full of cars! Then I focus my FULL attention on playing.

    Staying in the flow of whatever is in front of you keeps you sane & the people around you happy.

  55. Hilary Baumann

    My cat has no respect when it comes to work time. No signs or doors or headphones keep him from wanting attention when he wants attention (which sometimes means walking on my keyboard.) 😉

    But I’m a HUGE fan of coffee shops for both background noise reasons as well as undisturbed work time. Plus you can get someone else to fix your coffee for you and it’s cheaper than renting your own office. And gives you the option for a change in scenery when you have a mental block on something.

    • Hilary, I’m with you, my cat is a total jerk! He acts out worse than a 2 yr old! I either try to make sure to give him some playtime for at least 15 min before I sit down to work. If he’s really acting up, he gets a timeout in the bathroom, or a calming treat, that always works too!

  56. Amber

    Hmmm… as I write this comment, my dog is laying across my lap, taking up all the space between me and my keyboard. My typing posture is actually tweaked to accommodate her. I guess you could say I can relate to the Kuma comments Marie. It’s a very un-ergonomic, boundary-less situation over here. 😉

    • Lauren

      Same thing with my cat, Amber. haha.

  57. Marie,

    It would appear that some distractions are worth stopping to observe. Know what I’m sayin? *wink wink*

  58. Hilarious! And useful tips of course 😉

  59. Oh dearie me Marie! My “interrupter” is my almost 4yr old! I can’t drive him out because he has brought his table and chair into my office!!! He calls it his office. he even has a ‘visitors’ stool set up which he invites me to sit on, ever so often, for a ‘meeting’! And what do we discuss? “So mum, how was your day?” – “it’s not over yet J!!” Lol!
    But seriously, I’ve embraced my young office squatter and I keep him engaged with phonetics, writing etc. so far we have a good working relationship – he stays mute when I am on the phone and I oblige him short meetings. It’s also a great mentoring opportunity for him – he is constantly talking about his business and making money – lol!!!

  60. Gargi

    The best time for me to get any work done is when my 2.5 year old is either out of the house, sleeping or with someone else in the house.

    First I start with setting an intention that I actually want to get work done. Setting an intention to focus and finish the tasks on hand helps me stay on track. Something shifts energetically when I do this exercise and distractions stay away.

    Also, keep the phone in the drawer on silent mode, headphones help… and because I’ve got the shiny object syndrome I face the wall and work 😉

    Welcome back Marie!

  61. So happy to see a new video from you, Marie! Honestly, for myself, my biggest distraction is myself. I’ve found that it’s really just a matter of creating thorough to-do lists and constantly set intentions for “I’m going to do X for an hour” and set a timer and decide I won’t do anything else during that time.

    I’ve found balance between breaks to recharge and work have been tough though, as I’m inclined to just push myself to keep working. However, that is a plus to working from home because then once an idea comes I can just go and get it done at 10 PM so I don’t have to go to bed thinking about it.

    • Totally relate! I’ve a 5:30 “it is happy hour and time to go watch the news alarm”. Then I have an 8:00 pm “seriously girlfriend .. Stop working alarm”. And then the office door is closed. But the notepad for ideas tends to stick by my side so at any hour I can not down the idea and free up some brain space for sleep 🙂

  62. Danielle

    Even when I think I’ve got your topic covered, it’s great to watch! What an affirmation that I’m doing this thing right!

    My boyfriend and I often share a work space, and I just last week decided to move my work-self upstairs. Love him to bits, but being rid of all the distractions (including those I cause myself) keeps me on task and more productive. Plus I enjoy time with him more when I can get my sh** done!!

    Thanks Marie 🙂

    • You are so welcome Danielle — thanks for tuning in!

  63. Hey Marie! Missed you and SOOO glad you’re back! 🙂
    I’ve been using this app called Pomodoro. You set 25 minutes blocks of time until the timer goes off, then you take a 5 minute break, and then do your next Pomodoro (for another 25 minutes). It really helps for people who have a hard time staying focused and feel the need to constantly check their email. (Um…me!) 😉 Plus, I also LOVE my daily to-do lists. 🙂
    Welcome back,
    Mridu 🙂

  64. Rae

    Amazing episode! I work from home with 4 kidlets and a husband that works 24 hour shift but is then home for 48. These tips will help so much! Thank you!! Xo. Rae

  65. I ain’t gonna lie. I watched the dancing chihuahua part of your video 5 times! 🙂 The Nunya Clause is a crack up. Love your tips, as always, Marie! You’re my favorite blogger!

  66. Hey Marie, great advice as always. Love synchronicities, seems the Angels had the same advice this week on Boundaries as it was my card of the week on my weekly readings. Here is the link if you want to watch it
    Angel Blessings.
    A x

  67. Hi Marie
    Thanks for this I just love how up beat you are 🙂 I just want to add one thing. We have to learn how to say NO so often people call and ask me to do something and I so many times cancel what I have had planed, to do them a favor. Also I get the feeling that my friends feel that I am really working or I could do my work later because I am not working for somebody else and I dont have somebody watching over me. That makes me sometimes angry 🙁 I am sure I am not the only one feeling like that 🙂

    • Anika I loved your comment- best advice I have found is to tell friends what hours you are available… And keep it as consistent as possible. Over time they get the memo 🙂

  68. Happy Tuesday Marie and welcome back! (Ps loved catching up on earlier videos last month)

    Oh where was this wonderful advice six years ago when we began our tiny little consulting firm!! Great pointers! And sanity savers!

    A few others that have worked for my team and I as our conference room is somewhere in the cloud and we are all home based..:
    Moving from a large corporate environment to my own start up I quickly learned I had to create my own deadlines.. My phone alarm famously goes off at designated times to remind me – “hey you! Fashioneering.. Are you on task? “. And my self imposed daily schedule was something I had to make. Example : “10:30- 12:00. Market research
    2-4-vendor calls on and on including mind breaks, etc.

    Also- have learned to continually tell friends and family “I am working but can call you later”. As often I’ve learned friends and family can assume that if I am not traveling or doing accounts receivable somehow they assume I am not working.. When “thinking” is the best work any of us can do..

    My tiny powerhouse of a cottage industry team and I also regularly plan long power brainstorming chats via Skype, FaceTime or just phone )admittedly I’m usually the one with no make-up who opts for old fashioned phone.. But these brainstorming sessions are extremely critical and nurturing to our businesses and our souls.

    And when über stressed and nobody seems to be respecting my boundaries I have been known to text and send out FB updates “gone fishing… Fashioneering is off the grid this week! ”

    Even when the only peeps at my home based business may be my hounds I have found times that they need to nap in the kitchen too 🙂

    And find the most soothing place in your home/office environment to work to avoid the “I should empty the dishwasher, paint the ceiling, or rearrange the furniture type distractions.”

    And if you can’t find a room in the home without distractions- hit the public library or your back patio. I’ve yet to be interrupted at the library where silence is golden.. And have not had any Disney moments where the butterflies or squirrels actually began talking to me :). Plus.. Fresh air does the mind wonders.

    Looking forward to everybody else’s tips as well !

    Wishing you all a happy and productive week!

    Ps Marie- we are in the business of fashion- I was right there with your mamasita missing your outfits!! As I love you’ve gone with a great dress and statement accessories each day! Beautiful branding!!

  69. Marie!

    So great to see you back.

    I have two strategies for getting work done at home.

    1. Wake up early.
    I’m a writer and I NEED quiet and peace in order to write. When I’m under the gun to get work done I wake up at 5am and get in 2 hours of interruption-free time in order to get words on the page.

    2. Chunk of your time.
    I have two kids and multiple things on the go all the time. Rather than fight against interruptions, I’ve learned to chunk up my time into blocks of anywhere from 10 minutes to 90 minutes. There’s something about knowing you have only a limited amount of time to get sh*$ done that really helps you put the blinders on in the face of interruptions.

    Awesome post (as always) and great comments too!


    • Feel the same Eleanor… Beside of using my hubby as a babysitter, I wake up early. Nothing like a quiet place!

  70. Brenda

    My worst habit when working from home is, I get a call, and I answer it (as not to be rude), then find I can’t stay connected to the conversation. I am still working in my head. I think I need to learn to not answer the phone, then call them back when I’m not distracted, therefore, controlling the distractions!

  71. Hi Marie and everyone!

    I love these tips. I work from home and find it really hard unless I’m there alone. And even then, there’s laundry, cleaning, cooking that I need to do too. It’s taken some wrangling to figure out what works but I think I’ve found the sweet spot.

    I am a firm believer in asking for what you need so all of your tips fit within that. How are people supposed to know you’re serious about working if you aren’t acting serious? How are people supposed to know you’re not just doing some banking, or catching up on personal emails or doing something less important unless you tell them. Ask for what you need ya’ll. “What I need today is to get a whole whack of work done so if everyone could not bother me from 1-4pm I’ll take you for ice cream tonight!” (bribery helps too!)

    So now I ask for what I need and I also post a schedule on the outside of my closed door. I don’t wear headphones but I softly play music so it muffles the rough and tumble happening just on the other side.

    Thanks Marie! So glad to have you back!

    Heidi xx

  72. I like to mix it up. I work best at my home office during the morning so I jam out the most important stuff then. Around lunch time I start to get antsy so I allow myself that..I normally get some movement in whether thats going out for lunch, doing a quick work out or washing the dishes. Then, most afternoons I head to my co-working space and get in more productivity time. I like the mix of being surrounded by other people who are working and the quiet of the morning. So far, it’s what makes me most productive.

  73. Angie

    Funny…. but I have WAY less distractions at home than I do at my office. I work from home so I can be more productive! I like the headphones idea. I will be using that next time I am at my desk.

  74. Hey Marie,
    Glad you’re back. Missed You! I loved the 6 tips in todays show. I have a problem with ‘staying focused’ and interruptions only add to my problem. I will put these tips to use for sure.


  75. New tip—don’t check the box below to be notified of followup comments because Marie has so many followers that you’ll get distracted reading all the comments and won’t get any work done! Just shows how great she is at finding the right topics!

    • You’re right Mary Lou! Happened to me too.

  76. I totally get distracted on my own. I see all the chores that “should” be getting done, or its nice and sunny outdoors and then I get overwhelmed and just say “eff it” to everything. Also, living with my mom and gram, who rely on me for care-taking at times, spells disaster for my productivity. I have tried some of these, but the last one may be my only recourse! I get more done at a busy coffee shop in an hour, than I do all week at home. And, I am going to try the headphones – that worked for me in the past. Thanks for the reminders.

  77. Welcome Back, Marie!!!

    Your mom isn’t the only one who loved seeing the new fashions of the day today! Loved the necklace!! Seriously, GREAT tips (as always)! I will have to try the headphones!! I have two kids that LOVE to interrupt. We don’t do Bieber breaks in our house…more like 1-D breaks!

    So glad you’re back!

    Sarah 🙂

  78. This is pretty fantastic. I’ve had room mates for awhile and I remember during one group coaching call, I was in the living room, and one of my room mates was walking around and being in the kitchen. It was so embarrassing and distracting. (Though the internet connection was really poor in my room which was why I was in the living room in the first place!)

    And more recently I was on a group G+ Hangout and my room mate was knocking at my door and wouldn’t leave. I should’ve just ignored him, but I answered it and he needed to borrow my headphones. UGH.

    When I had a live interview, though, I put up a sign on my door – DO NOT DISTURB – and even though I don’t think anyone was even home, it made me feel a lot better about working. So in the future, I’m going to use the sign.

    But it’s definitely one of the main reasons why I can’t wait to live alone!!

  79. That was fun! Don’t see much of that kind of distractions around here. What a pity!

  80. Maria is HOT today! 🙂

  81. I use a thing called freedom on my computer. It doesn’t let you use the internet for a certain amount of time that you set. Soooo good for me so that I’m not tempted to find all the wild and wonderful things I love online! Keeping focused takes some planning but makes me happier in the long run!

  82. Great video! I have a corollary dilemma. Since making a career shift about 6 months ago, I work from home in glorious, distraction-free solitude during regular working hours (9-6), but many friends and family members seem to feel that working from home = not really working. Sometimes they’ll drop by unannounced to visit, call to chat in the middle of the day, or ask for favors (e.g., watching the baby for an hour, picking someone up from the airport, etc.) smack in the middle of my workday. Other than politely explaining that I’m fully focused on work and suggesting alternative solutions or visiting times, how can I be more proactive about setting boundaries? I love my friends and family and know they don’t mean to be rude, and I do realize my schedule is a bit more flexible than theirs simply by virtue of having no manager or boss to monitor my comings and goings. But my time deserves respect too!

  83. Yay! Marie’s back!!

    I wear earbuds all the time. It’s usually because I’m watching videos, but I’ll leave them in for hours long after the video is over. It keeps interrupts to a minimum, but my boyfriend will still turn flips to get my attention. It gets really annoying, especially since I’m an introvert.

  84. I set timers on my phone – work (and only work) for an hour, then a half hour break when I can take care of laundry, check email/social media, fix something to eat, then another hour of work, and so on. This really forces me to take my attention away from distractions for an hour and focus on work.

  85. …to continue, since my desk is in the den (aka in the middle of everything) I wear earbuds to signal my “leave me alone” time. I wish I had a door…oh, I wish I had a door…

  86. Great video, Marie! I especially love the one about sending mixed signals. I would only add that if we expect the people who live with us to play by our ‘rules’ when we are honoring our sacred work time, then we better be prepared to NOT work when we are spending quality time with them. No sneaking a few texts at the dinner table, working on the laptop while watching a movie together or taking biz calls on a family day at the beach. I’ve learned this from experience – very messy experience 🙂

  87. LOVE this – I had some serious issues with this when I started now we’ve found our rhythm. Not only do I have set times I’m working I also am super clear if there are some serious do not disturb times like meetings or if I’m recording webinars/tutorials/podcasts.

    For my money, honestly is the best policy with this. Tell folks where you’re at and what you need and then listen to them. Somewhere in the middle is an answer that works for you and your house!

    Glad you’re back Marie, it was great to revisit some “classic” MarieTV but fresh stuff is the best stuff.

  88. After working from home and honestly…working too much instead of getting distracted…I found the perfect way for me to set up boundaries – get out of the house!! Cafe’s are my working sweet-spot. I get a ton done in a focused amount of time and then can unplug (mostly) when at home. Regardless of whether you get distracted or find yourself working too much creating those clear boundaries are SO important! Even setting a routine in place for when you’re starting or stopping work is a great way to get out of the work headspace and into one where you can enjoy time with family and relax.

  89. I love this video! I do most of what you talk about in the video already. I also set a timer to be able to focus knowing that when the timer goes off I have a break time! It totally works. My door closed or my headphones on let’s my family know I’m focusing and not to bother me. The two things I learned from your video: “Beiber breaks are good for business” and instituting the “rude” rule. Love it! Thank you!

  90. What if you have kids and/or nieces or nephews living with you? What do you do? You can’t very well tell a three year old to get his/her own breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner. Daycare may not be an option, and you may not have the luxury of having grandma/grandpa watch your child while you work.

    Teens are a horse of another color. You can set boundaries, but sometimes, they’re crossed.

    What about pets? The dog won’t let itself out, and a dogging door could be a security issue. Cats are usually independent, but my cat Benny isn’t. He needs lots of attention. 😉

  91. Toni Hogan - Agent Success Coach

    Funny, I was thinking about this yesterday and using an “out to lunch” sign. Fortunately, though, I don’t have this problem so I wouldn’t get to use a sign. My husband and I have the strange ability to be alone…together. My “office” is in the kitchen because I refuse to leave my “window seat”. He works in the spare/room office or on the sofa. When either of us has a question, it’s usually a welcomed break because we don’t take those as often as we should. We use email a lot too…yep, in the same house. I can’t get him to turn on his chat, though. ha!

    When my daughter is home, she rarely interrupts, and unless it’s important she gets “the hand”…aka totally ignored.

  92. My distraction-busting secret? Nobody can stand me. Therefore they don’t want to bother or distract me. I get mountains of work done, but of course, naturally… nobody seems to care. 🙂

    • Hahaha!
      That’s too funny. But I think it might actually be useful.

  93. Zelah

    Bieber breaks? Timberlake toasties more like…. Come on, he’s a great business role model AND has the best hips in town ;). Inspirational all round….

    • Totally agreed! Timberlake’s breaks much better. 😉

  94. This video just came to me on the right time. And YES, I was a huuge “bugger” of myself as well. But as soon I realized, I focused in making my lists of to do using the super cool Wunderlist app and my constant agenda. So, I organized time like crazy. Buuuuuttttt… again… but, I work with Internet and Social Media a lot and my husband knows that I don’t take phone calls from him anymore ( during work time). So he’ll “inbox-me” on the Facebook. Oh Boy! That’s annoying. Didn’t think about that one before.
    Anyways, thank you so much Marie for posting this one. I’m super grateful for you and your “good” celestial connections. Seems you got great timing with God posting videos that I really need to watch! 😉 Bless you girl.

  95. fio

    1 – i put my iphone with the ringer off into another room: THIS REALLY MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE for me! as per internet distractions i shut mail and safari, so there are no windows around who could pop up misteriously on their own, with a subtle ‘hey i’m so interesting read me right now’ vibe.
    2 – i work on pages with the black background, where you only see the sheet you are writing on. that focus my attention a lot.
    3 – i choose the most remote of the rooms and i shut the door behind me, AKA, ‘i mean business’

  96. Welcome back, Marie! You were missed this summer. 🙂

    Great tips on stopping interruptions.

    For me, turning off my phone and sending all calls to voicemail has changed my life, my productivity and my business for the better. I used to be a slave to the bell – no more! I gather messages once a day and then return them – and from there, the phone is off again.

    I also use an app called Concentrate when I am writing. This app turns off ALL of my web distractions, including email. I can work for chunks at a time and then everything goes back on when the designated work slot is over.

    Ah, they have an app for everything, don’t they?

  97. I have a two-tier Do Not Disturb system. When the door is shut on my home office, it means I want quiet time to get things done, but if there is a brief or urgent interruption, it’s ok.

    If the door’s shut AND the Do Not Disturb sign is hanging, it means no interruptions, period. Good for client calls, meditation, teleseminars, etc.

    For self-induced interruptions, I’m a big fan of heading out to the park with a notebook when I need to do some brainstorming, as it totally removes me from all the temptations of i-whatevers, email, FB, fridge, etc.! Besides, nature is a fabulous support for right-brain activities.

    • Love the self-induced interruptions – you need those some days.

  98. I loved your video, especially the Dray rap in the beginning;) But yes, I do all the things that you suggested. What typically works is my post it note on the door that reads, “Poi Planet in Orbit,” which will signal to my Mom that I’m in work mode. Sometimes, I leave the door open and put on my Sony noise canceling headsets (the kind that go over the head?) and that works too. Mahalo for your vids. From one retired dancer to another, you ROCK.

  99. Great post! As a mommy working from a home office, I sometimes get a lot of interruptions.

    If I am on a call, you get the hold-on index finger without eye contact. For some reason, if I look at her, my daughter thinks that is the go ahead to talk to me. We also have a dry erase board in the studio, so she can leave me notes if its something important or pressing.

    Other than that, she is great at letting me get my work done. If I need to truly disconnect to the rest of the house, I just close my studio door.

    Call me crazy, but I don’t really mind the interruptions. I started my business to be at home with my daughter in the first place. So seeing her pop into my studio throughout the day is cool with me. She loves to help me with small tasks. And when we do take a moment to have a little chat, its a nice break in the day.

    My advice would be to embrace the interruptions, especially if they are from your kids and not taking a huge chunk of your day. Find a fun way to get them involved in your work – shred papers, scan things, or file stuff. They’ll love it and you can get back to work.

  100. I put headphones on (even if there is nothing playing). That is a visual clue for my family that I’m “at work”. Granted, this worked much better with my kids than with my husband who was off from work (teaching) this summer!

  101. Marie,

    This is so timely!! I just cleaned out my closet so I can put a desk in there (it has a door!). Kissing my distractions to the curb and moving on to the bigger and better stuff.


  102. I remember needing all these tricks and MORE when I started years ago, so this vid just makes me take notice: at last my friends and fam are trained – they never interrupt me. I must thank them.

  103. Marie! Oh have missed you! I recently had to deal with this when I was in Bschool. My afternoons used to be flexible time so my Fella got used to being able to have chit chat time. However once I was squeezing in my Bschool lessons into my already full time teaching schedule that changed. So my afternoons became work time (still are). I just started off by explaining that I needed to get work done in those windows. But old habits die hard, so we implemented a 3:30 juicing date so we got a little window to connect ( I often need a break by then) . I also told him that evenings when I got home after lass were all his. For the most part it works well but when he forgets then I go upstairs and close the door or put head phones on 😉

  104. I really need to set up some boundaries. I have two children and will need to send them to their grandma’s some days, while I am probably also there. Other days I set up in the bedroom and let them play in the living room and when I need a break we go to the pool where I get free wi-fi. I definitely need different environments to help me keep inspired and productive. And the kids need excitement to keep them out of my hair when I’m busy.

  105. Oh, and I’ve got kids too!!! This is a real one, Marie, thanks so much for addressing this.

    For me, I’ve put into action all of the tips you’ve said (even the nunya approach lol). I found that the best practice was using #1, and communicating clear expectations and boundaries… not because I don’t love them, but because daddy’s gotta work! 🙂

    Eventually, with a new baby in the house and needing to record shows and always being interviewed for one thing or another, I simply made the decision to utilize my office (in a swanky part of town that I’m paying for anyway) and only work from home when I need to do small, trivial stuff.

    I hope that helps someone else out there. Thanks again Marie!

  106. Mia

    Welcome back Marie! This vid was a needed one! I am constantly being interrupted while working. Sometimes its a necessary thing, but other times its just like, “Hey Mia, come see what the cat’s doing! It’s hilarious!”. Unfortunately, I’ve fallen for it several times. And other times, the cat is the one doing the interrupting. I’ve done all of the tips, except the most important one, #1. Definitely doing this today!

  107. The biggest distraction can sometimes be yourself when you are constantly coming up with things to do besides work!

    Like getting a text or email that you don’t need to deal with or a friend that calls….

    I like to give myself goals to achieve little things for the day – always works!

    Great episode!

    • I’ve definitely trained my friends not to expect a quick response to a text or email – in fact, I’m notorious for it!

  108. This new video is like a glove for me. I also aplly all these steps. I wish I heard you sooner instead of months of interruptions and learning on my own skin all these lessons. 🙂

  109. This is a great video. I have a day job so my nights and weekends are priceless for doing my real job. I worry about having time on my weekends for my loved ones, and right now I tend to hole up to get everything done.

    • Hey Allyson! If I were you, I’d be proactive about scheduling QT with your loved ones every weekend. This way that sacred time is built in — for you and for them. Gives you all something to look forward to!

  110. Ahhhhh the joys of working from home. After 8 + years of it, I still struggle with interruptions from time to time. Your headphone suggested is prompting me to get a new pair, the ear buds aren’t that comfortable. Funny, the kids are trained to let me be most of the time (teenagers) it’s my other half who also works from home who “pops in”.

  111. I have two jobs – one pays the bills, and the other involves tirelessly working on my computer on my new website. My partner works during the day, so I’ve got the house to myself. My biggest problem lies in prioritizing and time management. I get overwhelmed with everything to do, which leads to paralyzation and procrastination. I’m sure there’s a Marie TV episode about this.

    BUT, my “job” job is at a combination fitness club/PT clinic. There are people everywhere and always some little thing to do, but most of my work consists of blogging and marketing stuff. I have a very hard time with distraction there, so I usually decamp to a coffee shop. But that has its drawbacks too.

    Maybe I just need to take more Bieber breaks?

    Welcome back, Marie!

  112. Hey Marie!

    Wonderful to see you back with a new video 🙂

    I am always amazed by the timing of these inspiring videos as it is something I am currently experiencing. I’ve let others know when I will be unavailable and closed my door but this usually results in there being a knock on my door from the person to say its just a “quick question” and you know it’s never a “quick question”. Or the person calls out when the door is closed. I am going to try some of the other fabulous suggestions you had starting with headphones and a sign on the door.

    Thanks so much, Marie 🙂


    • Awesome Joanne. One other thing to consider. If there are one or two people that are “repeat offenders” — you may want to have a conversation with them and create “scheduled interruption” time. Time when you make yourself available for questions, etc. This way, people know that they can talk with you — but it’s not “anytime” — it’s during a planned time that you’ve both agreed to. Let us know how it goes!

  113. Hahaha, loving the Elsa cameo today Marie – too funny!
    Great tips too. I don’t really have people disrupting me when I work, even though I work from home. My guy has a full-time job outside of the house, so luckily I’m free as a bird during the week.
    However, L.A. noise can get a bit much so I’ll often jaunt over to the coffee shop, don my Beats headphones and write away.
    I also love work dates with friends. For some reason, even though we’re together (and could be tempted to chat the day away), we get down to biz and work together. Oddly I get a lot done that way!

  114. I can’t stop laughing long enough to write a comment! It’s the blue mask…. invading all of my funny thoughts! Much better than a Beiber break! Okay! now back to work (in the living room).

  115. This is some great advice, but it doesn’t cover one small subset of interrupting humans – children. My biggest interrupters are ages 8 and 4 and the electronic babysitter (TV) doesn’t cut it for more than 30 mins or so. The school day is only so long, and working after bed time can be tiring an unproductive. Any advice here?

  116. I had to sign out of Facebook today to block out all the distractions. Turning my phone off works too.

  117. Yep! As soon as I saw the title of this one I had to watch it! Although my sweetie is pretty good about it if I specifically say “I need to work and focus on this” he sometimes still talks to me from the other room or comes in and starts talking to me and showing me stuff. I have found that being very clear on needing uninterrupted time and if it is really important, closing the door, has been the most effective. Welcome back Marie!

  118. Thanks Marie! Setting yourself up to concentrate is really important for building up your memory skills also. (Not that you have to worry at your age!) But for we older folk, reducing distractions is all-important. I LOVE your videos!

  119. My bf and I both work from home – a home that has two doors. One to the bedroom and one to the bathroom. It can be tough. But we both let each other know we need some work time to be left alone and we both use headphones. It’s just about having plenty of honest, communication.

  120. “ABANDON WITH LOVE” is what I call coping with a loved one at home who wants your attention while you’re trying to write.

    Writing stories on a deep level requires going to “another place’ and this is the sort of concentration mode that CANNOT be disturbed, and for large chunks of time. (My books are published by major houses internationally; going deeply into story is the only way I can write.)

    This level of deep concentration makes your loved ones feel emotionally abandoned: to your partner it is as if you have another lover. Even outside writing time, you talk about this book, you think about this book, you are in love with this book. How do you help your loved one cope with this sort of “competition”? Lots of love and reassurance. I find advising them of set writing times, as you say Marie and other wise souls here, and I also assure them of what wonderful things we will be doing together LATER: a meal together, a night out, some enjoyable recreation the next day, even a little night-time hanky…well, OK, this part is CENSORED 🙂

    I find this assurance of your love goes a long way, along with a reminder of the good, FUN things we will do TOGETHER after this time. And hey, I am the world’s worst for distracting myself with emails, Facebook, news and other online drivel! Last week I told my partner to TURN OFF THE MODEM as he left for work, no good, I turned it back on. I was then contemplating telling him TO TAKE THE MODEM TO WORK WITH HIM. But hey, I read above that there is software you can put on to block any incoming messages (“Anti-Social”, thank you Sam)…I will get it!

    So THANK YOU Marie for more timely, informative and invigorating advice, and thank you to all the other inspirational souls here who offer their time and their wisdom. Cheryl x

  121. Yes I totally agree and approved on what you said Marie-thanks!

    I personally use your tips and they really helped me out focus on my work.
    Instead of being annoyed when people are disturbing you, be frank and gentle to tell them that you can’t be disrupted and they will honor that.
    People will understand and respect your time if you yourself knows how to respect and honor your own time.

  122. Loved this episode Marie! Made me laugh. Working from home has been a tough transition for me. I like to get out of the house and occasionally work from a local coffee shop. Luckily, my fiancé is gone during the day but our two dogs can be pretty disturbing. But hey, sometimes you need some puppy snug breaks!


  123. Glad to have you back, Marie!! Unfortunately, I am my worst distraction when I work at home. I’ll keep these tips in mind when others are around.

  124. Joyy

    Marie your video was on point and what I really latched onto was the portion that led to your tweetable! I’m a writer with a full-time gig as an admin assistant that has very little to do with the writing I’d rather be doing. When I do have the time to write after work or on weekends, it feels like it happens between my “Beiber Breaks”. I usually jump on myself for taking these breaks but usually they lead to proper productivity. So glad, that you’re giving validity with breaks, makes me feel that much more empowered 🙂

    Looking forward to next Tuesday!

  125. The kids have been home for the summer so I wrote a blog about strategies to keep them occupied while working from home, thus minimizing the distractions–Enjoy!

  126. I completely agree with those of you that said that we’re our biggest distraction! Even when I’m really getting down to business stuff comes up that pulls me in different directions… ‘gotta post that on my FB page’… ‘that would make a great article, must jot some notes down’… ‘the laundry needs folding’… whatever it is, it’s hard when you’re at home! It’s the thing I’m really trying to work on now that I have an eco friendly personal care line in addition to my lifestyle blog! I must find balance.
    Great to have you back Marie! XO

  127. I love this episode! I was just talking about this with my husband recently. Being a mom entrepreneur, my little ones want my attention at all times;) – so when it’s their nap time, it’s my ‘power hour time’- or shall I say ‘power hours’. It’s during that time that I’m really productive and get alot done.
    Many times, I have friends and family members that call me to chat during that time and I tell them it’s my ‘power hour time’, some understand and some don’t. So, if I get phone calls to chat during that time, I let me voice mail pick up and call them back during a time when I can talk to them.
    Thanks for the great episode Marie 🙂 !!

  128. n

    super awesome.. 🙂

  129. Candice

    This was excellent info yo! (In my Marie Forleo voice). But it is totally hard for me to stay focus when around other people I love to be around. I have to “GET OUT OF DODGE”. My personality type loves to goof off and have fun so it’s best for to ME get alone or at least go to my business office STARBUCKS!

    • I don’t understand the attraction of working at Starbucks (or any coffee shop for that matter); seems like there are more distractions there. I believe in HPLL~ Head Phones, Latch & Lock. 😉

  130. This is just timely!

    I have a distracting environment.
    Moved in a new place with neighbours that are very intrusive – making noise, lots of distractions.

    I feel, though, that I am, in a way, looking for these distractions, because I don’t know how to do what I have to do right now.

    So, when I find myself distracted I’m asking myself: what is that really bothers me? What it is that I find challenging? Let me focus on that, because the environment distracts me only if I am letting it to.

    Thanks, Marie,

  131. Melissa

    My partner and I work together from home and we SKYPE chat eachother if we have a question or want to chat about something, since we bounce stuff off eachother throughout the day. That way, we aren’t yelling across the house or coming in eachother’s offices and pulling the other person. Skype chat allows us to check it when we are complete with our thought/tasks.
    If we do in fact go in eachother’s offices we pause and don’t speak until we are acknowledged, so as not to interrupt the flow.
    Thank you Marie for fully being yourself and owning who you are, thus giving us all permission to share ourselves openly and authentically with everyone. <3

  132. I actually live alone these days which is helpful but I am really good at distracting myself with other activities that habe nothing to do withmy business tasks. So I like to put my phone on silent, and disconnect from internet when working. There are a few hotspots in my home that have no internet which helps working in those places. I do live on a beach which callls to me often (big distraction HELLO) and I just make sure I can bring my office to that pleasureful spot too! Self discipline with my own time for work and play is challenging for me:)

  133. Hi Marie,

    Thanks for these useful tips, I shared the video with friends that are struggling with their folks interrupting their work 😉 I don’t experiment these issues, since I live alone.

    But, at the moment, my biggest interruption problem is one of my clients who calls me on the phone ridiculously too often. He called me 4 times yesterday afternoon, for example, for not-so-urgent things, that could be handled by email (funny thing : after calling, leaving a message on my answering machine when I don’t answer… he emails me the same exact thing he told me on the phone).

    I find it challenging to get him to understand that these constant interruptions are innapropriate (I’m even starting to think it’s kind of rude from him). For now, I’ll just get my phone on « airplane mode » to avoid these calls, but since he is a regular client, I know I should find a way to explain this to him.


    • I totally had this problem – although it wasn’t calling me – it was Skype and Facebook messaging me all day.

      I finally had to tell the clients that kind of support wasn’t offered in their package and reminded them what WAS included. Plus – that they should save up those issues for our next official meeting.

      I felt like a bitch, but I was really empowering them to think for themselves a bit more.

      They stopped asking the non-urgent things because they didn’t want to waste their face to face time with me – and I stopped training them to expect a five minute response in inappropriate ways.

      Good luck!

      xx Denise

  134. I live alone and can interrupt myself so easily…

    Actually, I have found that inviting someone over to work with me at my home office means I actually work. Because they don’t live there, they don’t do things like put on the washing etc and neither do I. We set a time to work and take breaks. We act as if we were going to an office – we start at 8am, go out to get a takeaway coffee and bring it back and to our ‘office’ and in the afternoon we sit in the coffee shop for 30 mins……just like when we worked in a corporate office.

  135. Can so relate. I’ve been working hard for the last 4 months on launching my estore and creating a sellable catalogue for my site. I work from home and there are so many days when friends or relatives drop by for some work and then proceed to sit with you for hours, while waiting for their stuff to get done.
    Initially, I caved in and gave them company. (small confession: So I did enjoy gossiping with them after days of being cooped up working from home) but the next time they came, I made up my mind to tell them politely that I had to work, and really had to stick to my deadline.
    They didn’t mind when I was upfront about it. I shut the door to my study from where I do all my work, put on headphones and worked away.
    Although, I laughed at the idea of time sheets when I was employed in a company- I have found them to be especially useful when I am working from home and all by myself.
    I print out the timesheet and jot down the time i start an activity and the time i stop doing it. It helps that i don’t put a scheduled time slot for it- that puts too much pressure- I only note the time when I finish said task or stop working on it. That also helps take stock of work done in a week/ month.
    I also jot down breaks. It helps me in feeling super productive & if I slag off, it helps by giving me a disapproving, empty look (all in my mind of course- don’t judge me!)

  136. It’s been a long summer without the wise words of Q & A Tuesday, and you come back with something that’s being bugging me a lot recently. I am going to use your advice and may even disappear to the local cafe to be free of distractions.

  137. I used to have a friend who would call me 4-5 times a day to ask things she could easily Google.

    Because I was working from home, she thought it was fair game.

    So, I started answering the phone with “Hey babe – I’ve got a client meeting in five minutes, what’s up?” or I just wouldn’t answer until “after work”.

    This time boundary is SOO important to feel like you’re going pro in your business.

    xx Denise

    • Completely agree! I have relatives calling up during the day, as they know I’m “just” at home! Love the idea of answering the phone with a ready answer! Thanks 🙂

  138. THANK YOU! Especially now starting to work after a looong summer break. These tips work well with adults, but with little KIDS it’s often hard. These are my tech-free strategies to get some work done when they are around (even if it would mean with little breaks in between): 1. Get them distracted that you are working: I would build a castle with chairs and covers where they would play for an hour, or get some of stored toys up from the cellar (this means that you would need to always have some stored). 2. Cover everything up and let them paint, splash and color all they want. 3. Ask your neighbor to swap playdates with kids. 4. Give them a snack that will take time, like unsalted pistash nuts or anything that includes pealing. 5. Kids LOVE water – have them set up a “tea-shop” for you in the bathroom (even my boys love to do it)
    And best of course is to put these steps behind each other, and you’ll have yourself hours more to work AND happy kids 🙂

  139. sharon

    My rule is, when you come in the room, wait for me to address you, rather than walking in mumbling at me. That way I can finish my thought, sentence on computer and turn to you and give my full attention.

  140. Oh Marie – what do I do when my puppy drapes herself all over me for some play time? It’s simply too hard to resist.

  141. Hi Marie,

    Hope you had a great summer. I took an August break too, precisely because I work from home and having my boys (age 8 and 13) at home while I work is usually a recipe for Cranky Mummy!

    However…. this year, I decided to not fight the inevitable (ie school holidays) and I turned a dusty old outbuilding into my work retreat and I LOVE it! It overlooks the garden so I could watch the boys playing in the pool but I also felt less distracted by the mayhem and noise.

    Just being out of the house (with all the summer noise and mess!) makes it so much easier for me to stay focused. I’m much more productive and efficient. I have set hours when I can ‘retreat’ and the boys will do their thing. Then I’ll call it a day and take them out somewhere fun.

    It worked a treat this summer. We all had a great time – both together and doing our own stuff. Plus, I managed to get my work done (which makes me happy and, as a result, a nicer mummy.)

    I wish I’d done it years ago. Though my family do sometimes come into my new sanctuary, it’s much less often than when my office was next to the kitchen. So now, when they need me, I just take a deep breathe, give their request my full attention and let them know how or when I can help them. It seems to work!

    So that’s my latest solution but it is definitely a tricky thing to juggle. Thanks for addressing it and for the useful tips – I love the headphones idea.

    Great video (despite the scary naked guy… 😉 )


  142. Marie, I will tell you that for sure, this headphone thing works for me.

    When I’m at home working, I used to have the music I use for working on the speakers instead of headphones. But since sometimes I can be my own worst enemy, even when no one is around, I remind myself that with my headphones on, I don’t interrupt MYSELF. I close my email and silence my phones and with those babies in my ears, I’m good to go. Something about drowning out everything else definitely helps!
    Love your energy, your mission and your work!

    PS: Super Soul Sunday was amazing!


  143. Marie,
    My wife works upstairs, I work down. We see each other during morning coffee, lunch, and in the late afternoon for a bike ride. We developed our idea of being alone together while living on a sailboat, a small sailboat, for 8 years.

    When developing new habits it helps to remind others of your need to change. After awhile they develop new habits of their own, like respecting your new habit. Wow, that’s kinda deep….

  144. I recommend REALLY talking to your significant other about your schedule. I have a BIG old fashioned calendar in our kitchen where I post all of my appointments, meetings and deadlines. Then on Sunday we go over it we both know what we are doing that week. It has helped tremendously!

  145. Excellent relatable entrepreneurial issues addressed in a hilarious way!!

    Another great video Marie! Thanks


  146. This was too funny, Marie! I struggle with this constantly since I have three kids at home. The only thing that works for me is to actually leave the house, so I’ve rented an office 🙂 I am more productive at the office than I can ever be at home!

  147. Jay

    I love love love your content Marie but I am sad to say, that very few of these tips apply to me.
    I have three young boys, ages 1,2, and 10. Although I am not a single mom, I am fully responsible for their care 6/7 days of the week. I wake up early, and go to bed late, the times that I carve out for myself are 20m of Yoga and 15m of meditation and 10m of email and Marie watching.
    These 45 m are what keep me sane. I love my children, but they are my biggest barrier to getting work done. (I am in part time online school, and have small business goals that I set each month) I know they say for moms the only solution out of this is to wake up even earlier, or go to bed even later…I’m at the point where if I stretch myself further I am going to burn out, or become super-angry/bitter-young-mom. My study day is the 1/7 days that I have to myself, and I am finding that it is simply not enough. Welcome any suggestions or advice!

  148. Hi Marie,

    My husband and I both work from home and we came up with a very simple way to see if we are available. ASK FOR PERMISSION! Yes, when either one of us walks into the others office we ask “is it a good time to talk?”. and we quantify the time we need, like “it will only take one – 5-10 minutes. If it is not a good time, we come up with a scheduled time for later; like “not good right now but in 20 minutes I can take a brake. Can it wait til then?” That way no one get their feelings hurt.

  149. Leanne Richards-Williams

    Just in the nick-of-time! Its been a month and half now since I have been working at home…and there have been countless periods were I have been stressed about keeping husband and 1-yr old from distracting me.

    So I tried delegating tasks, and getting outside help…but even the outside help is interrupting!

    Ahh…by then veins are bursting in my head!!!….As my job frequently rates my performance.

    I then had the bright idea (aka Marie’s tip # 2)—Shut the doors!

    And I did. I shut my self on half the house, and the husband, babe, and helps…with food on the other half of the house. Only for 6 hours though

    What also do is observe my productivity levels each week and adjust myself and my family activities were necessary to ensure I don’t miss quality time.

    I have something special to offer…and I have to teach my family how to help me accomplish that.

    Thanks Marie!

    PS. If used to feel guilty about #5 but no more!

  150. Hello Marie! Welcome back!

    I’m a work-from-home pro … had two jobs that required home offices as well as a home-based business. Every now and then I get distracted but the key is to stay focused and build yourself a reasonable to-do list.

    The to-do list is good for setting boundaries because one thing you don’t mention in your video that is inevitable with home offices is the ‘always on’ aspect. Sometimes I’ve found myself working until 8pm and didn’t even notice because I was at home!

    Setting a daily task list with priorities that are reasonable for the time allotted and taking your aforementioned ‘bieber breaks’ throughout the day make for a happy home office life.


  151. llisa

    Ohh! Work interruptions. They are the worst! I have no answers. Thanks for the post.

  152. This is a great video. Working from home is always challenging. I try to get out of the house where I find I am much more productive. I’m always looking for more tools around this. Thanks!

  153. Funny, we talked about this earlier this week. My husband and I both work from home. I explained to him that when he interrupts, I lose my focus and sometimes it takes me up to a half hour to get it back. So to help me be more productive, let’s chunk the items he needs to talk about for times that I take breaks. He didn’t care for it at first, but we are doing it and he seems to be happy. Of course I am delirious that I finally have my space back and my focus.

  154. tabassum

    In this case, I can be my worst distraction as many other people have said here earlier. I’m using 2 strategies right now that do seem to be working ( and that says a lot from a person who “struggles” and I mean “s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e-s” with procrastination):

    1. Reward/punishment: If I get my priorities done for the day then I can
    “reward” myself with ……. And the same is true for not getting them
    done, I have to forfeit my reward as a punishment. I make my
    list of priorities reasonable and my rewards juicy enough to keep
    me motivated to get through my tasks.

    2. Using Brendon Burchard’s 1 pg. productivity plan. You can see how
    to use it on his you tube channel and the sheet is on his website.
    I’ve done it for about a week and it is really helping. I “highly”
    recommend the video about this. It’s all about “managing your
    world first” as he puts it.

  155. Thanks Marie, great video that reminds me to focus!

    Cheers Rachel

  156. Ear Phones! Yes always works for me. Its so funny I have been doing it for a while and for it to be on your list makes me feel like I am on track! Hope to meet you and your team one day Marie! I had some of my photog divas follow you and they love it. Having a Marie meeting and sharing what we learn from all that you teach us, seeing it and hearing it is great but validating it and working together is more stronger.

    Keep up the great work gals! ^_~

  157. Great suggestions everyone! I love all things about GSD, so this is a great post for me Marie. (In fact, my long-time work mantra is “Less talk, More rock”!)

    Anyway, currently my mobile design consultancy (Swipe) is based out of my home where it’s just me and and a very naughty cat. Most of my distractions come from the interweb, and I’ve developed a few strategies for working productively:

    1) I use a to-do list plug-in ( to jot down distracting thoughts as they happen. Evernote works too for longer form stuff.
    2) I use an activity tracker called RescueTime. It monitors what sites and apps you use over the course of the day and ranks them for distraction.
    You can set “work hours” and create custom ratings. The pro version lets you block distracting sites as well (ahem, Pinterest).
    3) I have a membership at a great co-working space for creatives here in SF, called Makeshift Society. But get this, I don’t pay for internet while I’m there!
    Here’s why – I use it as dedicated “offline” time to work in Photoshop or code without interruption. I’ve found I can get a 4-5 block of work out that way, which is awesome!
    4) Errands and house-keeping can be *very* distracting for me at home. If you can’t keep it off your mind – outsource it! I used to work for TaskRabbit (where I designed their Apple award winning app btw! ;p ) and highly recommend using them or similar services that help you get stuff done.

    Hope this helps!

  158. I work a lot from home and I truly suffer from interruptions a lot.

    I loved your tips and will try to use them to the best I can to stay focused.

    Thanks a lot Marie.

  159. Ngoc Khong

    Awesome video, Marie!

    So happy to see you back with great creativity and fun! <3

  160. Iris

    Naked guy struttin’ his stuff in the background is PRICELESS!

    No one dares bother me. I simply tell them not to – or I tape a sign on my door (with a time when I’ll probably have a break and come out). I get really cranky when I get disrupted and peeps at home understand and respect that.

  161. Boy, it’s tough! I have a 15 mos old. Things were easy before she was born–I could work when I wanted or needed to. Now at least 12 hours of my day are dedicated to her. Normally when my husband gets home, we have dinner, and he takes over, putting her to bed and tending to her, if she wakes up. I reserve the rest of the night, sometimes until 1 or 2 am, to working. However, it is not always so clean and neat–there are times he wants to be spontaneous and go out, or his job requires for him to stay later… without any notice. That totally messes my plans.

    While I am all for schedule setting, some days we just role with the punches (mostly me ;)). I hope it gets easier as the kids get older.

  162. I always have that rude alert. I also have a to-do list before I start doing any work and have specific times to social network and watch my favorite TV series. We have our own strategies how to deal with distractions and I so love reading them.

  163. I have two methods, one doesn’t work at all and the other’s good but rude. The first is I let them interrupt me BECAUSE IT’S FUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNN, WOOHOO! and the second is
    “f**k off, I’m working”.

  164. Elsa snuggling with the gimp under the princess sleeping bag is the f*cking funniest thing I’ve ever seen… Haaaaaaa!

  165. This are all great tips. I’m a virtual assistant and freelance writer who works from home so I encounter these problems now and then. My tips:

    1. Housework on wait until the work or after work hours.
    2. Skype is for work contacts only!
    3. As for Beiber breaks, I use the excuse, “I help my clients with their social media. I’m working on THEIR facebook page right now!” Even if I'[m not!
    4. The headphone trick really does work.
    5. Tell the truth, just say, “I’m sorry, I’m working right now and can’t give you my full attention.”

    • I meant to say for #1: Housework can wait until the weekend or after hours. 🙂

  166. For #1 I meant to say that housework can wait until the weekend or after work hours.

  167. I have a 2.5 year old, so interruptions are a HUGE part of my work from home struggles. Thanks for the tips! Will have to start training everyone (even me…) ASAP.

  168. Dawn

    Hey Marie!

    This episode was very timely! My best friend and her daughter moved in with me a few months ago and we had a pre-move in conversation about expectations and how to honour each others needs. The main areas I was concerned about was the noise factor given I work from home a few days a week. Prior to their move in I set some boundaries and it has been quite good. They have been very respectful but I still find it noisy sometimes and hard to focus (my office is by the kitchen). So, last week I decided I need to get noise cancellation headphones – the earbuds just weren’t cutting it! We also have a “house meeting” in the next few weeks. I strongly recommend this to anyone who works from home! It’s a great way to discuss what is going well and what we can do to support each other!

    Dawn xo

  169. LOL, I totally identify. I had a conversation with my step babies. When I was interrupted, I asked my youngest to call her Mommy at work or Daddy at work and tell them what she wanted to say. She replied “I can’t, they’re working”. I pointed out that so am I and that she should only be interrupting me if she would pull one of her parents out of a meeting, for the same reason. She never does anymore. (BTW, she’s 14.)

  170. Yusi

    OMG! You’ve been missed Marie! Love the video and just in time! 🙂
    Thanx Marie 🙂

  171. This was hard at first for me.

    When I first started working from home I had friends and neighbors dropping by and calling none stop. Which for me was double bad since I’m so ADD, so every tiny interruption would be very derailing.

    Then I realized I had to get serious, the thing is when you really respect your time and work space others tend to do the same. So I had to tell everyone I had a work schedule just the same as if I was in an office and that I would be happy to meet them for lunch or dinner but no personal stuff during work hours.

    Eventually it worked but it was a process 😉

  172. my husband is absolutely darling — that’s the problem. he also works at home… he’s constantly coming to bother me — usually something funny or informational. however, headphones help — seriously they do.

  173. I work from home and have a 9 year old and a 6 month old. My husband and I used to both work from home and after two years of him being in the office, he’s coming back to the work from home life. We have vowed to do things different this time around.

    Obviously, my kids come first so my husband and I have worked out a schedule so that we each know when it is our turn to work. This is extremely helpful in allowing me to shut off my work brain and pay 100% attention to the kids when it’s not my turn. I also find I’m more productive now that I’ve moved my office into the garage. Being in the house (even with an in house office) made for easy distractions. I would get distracted by household chores, hear the kids having fun and want to be involved, get into a creative slump because my brain was in house mode, etc. Walking out of the house and into a separate space helped me get into a different mode.

    I also leave my cell on silent in an out of reach area so I’m not distracted by text messages and email alerts. I have designated times throughout the day to answer emails and phone calls so that during other time periods, I can get into the creative flow.

    Thank you for sharing your advice, Marie. You put a humorous spin on so many important and helpful topics. You rock!

  174. Lauren

    Marie, I hate to confess this, but I wanted to see what new outfit you were going to wear (just like yo momma). 🙂 Fabulous. Though I truly love the boundaries info, too. And Beatles break or Body break or Beaver break (per someone above) would be more tweetable than the Beibs. Love ya, Marie! In addition to headphones, I just may need blinders.

  175. Taiia

    When I am working from home and my fam is around, I
    1. Get up at least 3 hours earlier than them to have complete
    peace and quiet.

    2. Tell them that I need the next 2 hours to work, or else
    it will take me longer to finish, if I have to stop and deal every time
    they claim to have breaking news.

    3. Don’t answer calls/texts.

  176. Marie,

    Perfect timing as always!

    I only work from home on weekends, my hubby and our older boy take care of our 4 yrs old daughter. I must say that they are interrupters as well. This is natural, knowing that we are talking about the weekend.

    I used to work in the living room with all the noise (despite the headphones), but now, we accomodate a room to be part office part bedroom. Now I’m able to close the door and of course I will use your advice.

  177. I love what you wrote about not smothering people/dogs with affection. I have a couple I am working with who is learning when NOT to over-give love…or over-ask for it. That, too, is a healthy boundary. Sometimes to not love is the most loving thing to do. Go figure. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  178. Ana Paula Cavalcanti

    Thank you sooooo much! I am sure it will work for me!

  179. jose

    Hi, apart from the great advice from Marie, if you ever need help for concentration, try listening to some barroque music, particularly Bach.
    Even more particularly, i would recomend his 6 cello suites and the Golberg Variations. Each peacce last from 20 min to 45, enough to get a lot done.

    • jose

      sorry, i meant “each piece lasts from 20 to 45 minutes”

  180. Ali

    These are awesome tips, Marie! My husband and I not only live together, but also work together in a few different capacities, so we definitely have had to address the whole distraction thing, sharing a work space at home. We follow David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” organization/productivity system, so we have physical inboxes that we use to slip one another notes, to-do’s, reminders, etc. We also e-mail each other things even when we are in the same room working! This helps us to stay on task and not get irritated with one another for distracting us from our work flow, even if it is for something work related.

    Thank you as always for your amazing videos!



  181. I can so relate to this topic. I’ve been using tip #4 (noise canceling headphones) and it works like magic! Plus, I truly can’t hear if someone is talking to me (they are called noise canceling for a reason!) so I don’t feel bad not answering someone’s call or ignoring them on purpose.

    My partner has learned that headphones ON means I’m not available and does not interrupt me anymore.
    Also, while on my headphones I plug them to my iPhone and play “brainwave frequencies” on them to better focus. I use two Apps: Brain Wave and AmbiSci BN1.

    Like many of you, I’m my worse distractor! But the noise canceling headphones + brainwave frequencies combo works very well for me.

    Thanks Marie for another great episode of MarieTV and welcome back!

  182. Joseph

    Hey Marie,
    Thanks for your episode, its been a goodtime though watched later, Yes its true, I perceived the six(6) ways to stop interruptions while working at home, alternatively; its better to keep myself focussed on the ongoing assignments.
    Joseph Tomusange

  183. I am a new subscriber and I love your videos 🙂

  184. I have had a home office for well over 25 yrs.
    I keep my office door closed if I do not want any interruptions. I also have the email indicator turned off so I do not get distracted by emails. It is best to only check emails twice a day. This is a habit I am working on and really like. I also do not answer my phone unless I can deal with the person and their issue. Voice mail is my friend.

  185. Bibi Lafleur

    I have 3 children – 10, 8 and 2 years old – all girls. The older one is AWESOME with looking after the younger one if I need to get something done. I find with the older children so long as they are well fed they don’t distract me 😉 They all attend daycare and school so I try to get as much done during those hours. On the weekend hubby helps – and I just ‘close the door’ in the office/bedroom when I need some privacy.

    I don’t have any naked men wondering around – but depending on who it is that just might be a welcome distraction. 😉

  186. I have small children. I give them a time frame where I am working on my things and they are to work on their things. It usually works out.

  187. Oh yes! It was the last one that got me. Mr Jen has Fridays off work, it’s impossible for me to work while he’s there. So I plan my week around that, and on Fridays go out and do my offline tasks. He’s happy and I’m productive! It’s full of WIN!

  188. Marie, welcome back! I work from home while my husband works at a traditional jobby job, and right now our only kid is technically a cat. So I don’t struggle with the same issues that you mentioned. BUT, I struggle with neighborly boundaries!

    I went out and bought some pretty, sheer curtains for my office windows, so I can still get daylight but block my awesome neighbors from seeing straight into where I sit. See, I live in a wonderful and super-friendly block, but when I’m in a groove I just can’t say hi to one retired neighbor’s visiting sister or another stay-at-home mom’s spunky toddler. I delight in our 50s-feeling “just drop by” culture, but my neighbors now know that when the curtains are open, visits are welcome; when they’re drawn, I’m in heads-down mode and our visits will have to happen later!

    This simple step has helped me so much. The only problem is when it’s so hot that I need to open the windows… but really, I live in Seattle so it’s not such a huge problem. 🙂

  189. Sue B

    Some of these comments even work for people like me who work outside the home. I work in health care in a position where I work directly with patients and am required to be 90% productive (billable), but with a loosey goosey type of schedule. I am forever giving mixed signals because I want to help all of the patients and all of my coworkers with everything all the time. Trying to learn to set schedule boundaries. Thanks for your insight, I LOVE the work you do!

  190. Erin

    I tell them “I am flipping working hear people! Do you want me to be financially independent or what??!! Leave me ALONE!”

    Just kidding.

  191. Not doing too bad as it goes on this one, I did have a self made do not disturb sign up for a while, problem with that is that if someone comes home and you are upstairs, they are likely to come in and yell something like, “Hi, I’m home!” or “Did you get yoghurt today?” so a sign downstairs if you are recording a webinar or on a call can be mega useful too.

  192. Ohhhhh, just in cue as I started watching the video my son came in with questions- got his answers left door open and I thought ‘must definitely watch this!’ timely advice, thanks Marie

  193. I think a lot of it has to do with communication- giving a time frame that you’re going to be in the work zone, closing the door and putting a “working” sign on the door and headphones. Doesn’t work all the time, but a good 75% of the time 🙂

  194. Oh yes.

    When my children were younger, I would tell them that I’m working for X amount of time. I’d set the timer and give it to them so they could see how much longer I was working (keeps them from coming back every 3 minutes to ask “how much longer”. And then, and this is important, I’d tell them when the timer rings it’s time for mama’s coffee break. And everyone knows a coffee break is more fun with company.

  195. Thanks for the advice Marie!

    I aslo think that sometimes we say we don’t want to be interrupted but in reality we do want to be interrepted because we are not commited to achieve what we have started!

    That is why I think it is important to have our outcome clear so we can go after it no matter what!

    And of course use the strategy you propose!

    Best of all,

  196. Here’s what i do.. I have a cd playlist that runs 35 minutes long. I listen to it while i write an article for my website, the goal is to finish writing each article before the playlists ends, that way I’m not spending more than i should on 1 article.

    Getting rid of the phone also works wonder, that thing is like drug sometimes. Just leave it somewhere close, but not close enough where you can reach it if you get a text messages or a notification from social media.

  197. I love the video. Great suggestions , I really like the “Rude Rule”. I will use that.

  198. LMAO, I told my husband to be quiet because I want to listen to some educational stuff on YouTube. So I played your episode and then this Dancing Chihuahua came up and I just had to search it on YouTube! And my husband’s like “I see you’re done with education!” LOL

  199. Awesome, Marie! So helpful!

  200. Three words: Download Self Control

    🙂 Thanks for this Marie!!!

  201. Workathomemom

    I work at home and speak to clients back to back all day. My 70 year old father and I love together. He occasionally knocks on my door asking for something. He still works himself so I don’t know what he is thinking when he does that. One day I left my door unlocked and he barged in and called my name really loud when I was on the phone with a client. I can’t afford to move right now, what should I do?

  202. One of the perks to working from home for me is that I am feeling so unproductive with all of the people coming and going and distracting me!

    So now, I can concentrate 100% in my home office. However, the occasional call from my mom or sis is always a huge distractor, because I wanna chit chat with them!

    What I do to keep myself focused is 1. put my phone in the other room, and 2. have milestones – for example, when I finish editing those emails/writing this post/creating this campaign I will have a snack/do the laundry/call the delivery guy/watch Marie’s new video.

    It makes it easy for me to focus when I know that I will be doing what I want in a few minutes.

  203. Rob

    Thanks Marie. I’ve been working on my website for at home and frankly my dog has been making me nuts when he comes into the kitchen looking for a snack. Well, yeah I am working at the kitchen table. Any how, just before I found your site I finally smartened up and found what I am hoping is a working solution. He is in the bedroom, he goes up on the bed, then down, then up again, well, I am sure you get the picture. The bedroom is adjacent the kitchen, so each time I hear him shifting positions I already become annoyed then he will come into the kitchen and distract me. So, I told him I was going to close the door for a bit while I do my work. I closed the door and I am so hoping this helps the situation. I guess I found the solution just before I found your video blog, but your blog did help me realize that I am not alone with this as it is typical of working in a home environment.

  204. Jai

    This is so timely for me Miss Marie…as part of my 2016 goals is to work from home one day a week. For me in the hope of less distractions and time to focus ON my business not IN it.
    But loved the video, as always – your sense of style and humour I treasure.
    Jai xx

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Thank you so much, Jai! We’re so glad you enjoyed this episode 🙂

  205. Ziva

    And what if you work from home and you have a really small flat, just one room?:))

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Oh man, I’ve SO been there, Ziva — I totally hear you! You could get creative about letting other people in your space know when you’re busy. That could be a sign on your desk or something you can attach to the back of your laptop saying something like “work mode” and wear headphones when you’re in the middle of something important. That way you can let others know not to bother you when you have that sign up.

      You could even do something kind of silly like wear a particular hat if you’re really deep in a project and don’t want to be bothered!

      The most important part is about boundaries — establishing them and making sure those who share your space respect them. If they’re established up front, it’s a lot easier to say “I have my sign up so unless it’s super important, please give me [30 mins, 1 hr, whatever] and then you’ll have my undivided attention! If I don’t have my sign up, you can come talk to me whenever!”

  206. Oh boy, my boyfriend and I live in a tiny flat and we both work from home. My life (and his, I daresay) was saved by a pair of earmuffs. And I’m not talking about the cutsie pink ones here—I got the industrial real deal earmuffs, I’ve seen on construction sites. Writing time has never been more blissful.
    ♥ Lin

  207. Danielle

    I love these short videos. My brother is my business partner and he interrupts me non-stop all day, as does many of my staff. I think I have felt like shutting the door is rude, but I’ll implement these boundaries and explain it helps my productivity. If I just schedule it, they’ll learn to work around it.

  208. Loving these short clips with practical advice. It almost feels like permission to just go ahead and set boundaries that I already knew needed to be set.

  209. Alexandria Slegers

    These were helpful reminders! I work best when hiding in my room with head phones and a closed door. I love working on communal spaces, like the kitchen table,but they are dangerous. As soon as more than one person walks in, I gotta force myself to go!!

  210. Lyndsay

    Fab! Im working through the Follow through formula.
    Love the video and the tips xx

  211. Christian Kennedy

    Fantastic recommendations. I definitely have this down as I have been working remote from home part-time for awhile. I find having a separate space and a closed door critical to keeping distractions at bay and keeping myself focused. The only time I break the rules is when I hear a “scratch scratch” at the door. That means it is time for a puppy cuddle break so I allow myself a couple of minutes to give them a little attention and then get back to work. Both pups seem pretty good with this arrangement too so it is a real “win-win” exception that keeps everyone in the household happy. Cheers!

  212. Thanks Marie these are definite reminders of what I can do, I am the one that creates my stalls. When I am painting i.e. my Power Animals, the world could blow up and I wouldn’t know it until I got up. When I am doing paper things, I continue to say to myself overtime I open myself to a distraction. When I get to this particular part, or finish this particular thing I get to i.e. take the dogs for a quick walk, take a bathroom break, make tea, i.e. little 5 min breaks as I complete a task help me keep going for hours. Thank you

  213. Amber

    My biggest distraction from working from home is home life itself. I have young children, and often I get concerned with – not to sound too lame – laundry, piling dishes, unmade beds, clutter scattered about, grocery lists, monthly budgets, etc. I begin working and the environment around me starts to bug me. What I need to do to help this distraction is set a designated time after my kids are home from preschool and elementary school to do those things and have them be more involved in those responsibilities. I mainly work from my desktop computer in the living room because we have very limited space, but I could do research, etc from a library or coffee shop and leave the house. I’m also someone who gets distracted by listening to news on the tv in the background which gets me aggravated and following a never ending trail of articles online researching what I’ve heard. I could avoid turning the tv on altogether and listen to podcasts inspiring creativity, etc. And I’ve been known to literally go on a Bieber (or Timberlake or Levine) break wasting minutes catching up on gossip that in no way affects my life. I’ve been pretty liberal with set working hours, but I need to designate time devoted to just my freelance and commit to not mixing mom life responsibilities or social media check ins during that time. It’s all about focus!

  214. Lesa

    hilarious and on point….

  215. Ah, I’m on my own, so no disturbing peeps at home with me now, but I am distracting myself sometimes when I want to switch activities. That is the way I distract myself and I’m trying to be aware of it when it happens.

  216. Carla

    It is so easy to procrastinate nowadays specially because of our technology dependency lifestyle my goodness I really have to address this problem. Thank goodness I am here with you guys reorganizing my whole life.

  217. My puppy is the most distracting thing at home. I now ensure I work from my office upstairs and keep her downstairs instead of allowing her up in the office with me where I have to keep an eye on her chewing things. It makes me more productive and makes our time together more special.
    I do allocated my B School time downstairs to be with her though…she is currently lying on my feet…she must be soothed by the sound of Marie’s voice! 🙂

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      This is such a great idea, Natalie and it sounds like a win-win solution! LOVE that your sweet puppy enjoys Marie’s voice as you’re working through B-School 🙂

  218. Earbuds! Great idea that I will put into practice.
    My BF and I both work from home, and the nature of our work it very different. He’s a skilled tradesman and doesn’t get that I’m working while at my computer. I’ve mentioned it a few times, now I either ignore him or stop everything and give him my undivided attention, usually with a look that reminds him very quickly.

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      Love it, Dawn! We hope the earbuds help. Setting clear boundaries when you both work from home in different capacities is so important, and communication is key. It sounds like you’re doing a great job of finding the best solutions for you both!

  219. Raakhi Rupani

    Love Love Love this episode. I wear my noise cancelling headphones and it helps ! 🙂

  220. How about this, I work from home and my workspace doubles as a music studio. But my room connects one side of the house to the other, and six people need to use my work/ studio to pass though continually. Not to mention the times they actually just want to talk or ask something of me. I can’t change rooms. I’m on the verge of just quitting the music :o((

  221. The only interruptions I deal with are from my dang phone! I know the simple answer is to turn it off or put it in the other room but dang… the insta addiction is real. Guess “Do Not Disturb” will have to do for now! #babysteps I have already turned off notifications altogether, and the book “How to Break Up With Your Phone” was helpful! Too bad I lost it halfway through. *ring ring*

  222. Jacki

    Definitely something I struggle with! I actually help combat this by getting up a few hours earlier than my partner. He is just distraction city, and while I love him to bits, even when I am clearly reading something for fun, he’ll want to start laughing out loud and immediately start explaining what he found while scrolling on his phone. This doesn’t help that we pretty much have the same work schedule AT THE SAME JOB!

    I’m taking today to go to the library while I get my car worked on so I can get some work done! Also thinking about investing in one of those “Writer at work: do not disturb” signs I found online for like $6. or just making one myself.

    Thanks, Marie!

  223. Wow! Great tips. But what’s even better is that I have used pretty much all of them. My biggest distraction is actually myself! (well, and my social media….)

  224. Mary

    I really thought you said something ALMOST like Bieber. But, really, I try to stay in a room in the garage where no one can find me. A little cold out here, but it IS quiet and I don’t get to blame anyone for interruptions….

  225. Very nice idea. It’s necessary to have a concentration on your work. very helpful article. Thanks and Keep sharing.

  226. This video is really amazing. I learned a lot from this blog. Thanks for the wonderful piece of article.

  227. Sarah

    How do I get my DOG to stop distracting me!!! He’s one year old, has abundant energy, and is super social. He barks at me while I’m sitting at my desk if I don’t play with him. He’s driving me insane!!!

  228. AHHHH very helpful and also conscious!!

    Going to use ALL of these. I used to avoid at home work but I think these are golden!!!

  229. Michelle

    A B School alumni after a massive life changing event or two, I’m now sharing the family home with one of my daughters, her partner and six of my twelve grandchildren (aged three to fourteen). It can be unbearably noisy, chaotic and the internet lags horribly with nine people on devices.

    Thankfully, as much as I love them, they go to school and most of them sleep at some point, so I have adjusted my lifestyle to work around them.

    So I’m in bed by 9:00 pm and up at 5:00 am that gives me the best opportunity to get eight hours sleep. Then I can get about about four or five hours of almost uninterrupted work from about 7:00 am to 12:00 pm five days a week.

    Then I can take a ‘Nana Nap’ for an hour or so and see how I feel about the afternoon.

    If I have a deadline there is always a coffee shop, or a coffee from home and the nearest parking space with a great view, the hotspot on my iPhone and both my iPhone and my MacBook plugged into my car for power and I have an office anywhere, with a comfy reclining seat.

    It doesn’t get much better than that!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      This is awesome, Michelle! We love your creativity and willingness to carve out space for yourself within your environment. We’re cheering you on 🙂

      • Michelle Kleinig

        Thanks Mandy!

  230. OK, I watched one heck of a lot of Marie TV in the last three years, all life-changing thank you. And… This is the first time that it just so happens whoever asked the Q, to which she is giving an A, has the same name as my own. So when she’s talking to Elena (Who sent the question) she was talking directly to ME ?-she says, “… well Elena …” and then goes on to give the advice. For anybody to think that God doesn’t exist, well -nuff said!???

  231. Honestly speaking, this article is very helpful for me. I will share this blog with my friends. Keep posting.

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