Visual Cues - Lights
Working from home can be a blessing and a curse. As an introvert, I love the idea of not leaving my house every morning and, before we had children, when my husband left it meant hours that were mostly distraction free (outside of cat drama). Especially when he had a 1 hour commute both ways.
These days, Randy still leaves for work every day but the commute is only 30 minutes and I am far from alone and distraction free. There is still cat drama but we've welcome 3 beautiful children into this world as well and they stay home with me. At time of writing, our children are 8, 7, and 3. Finding time to work requires strategies and a lot more time management.
I do not have an office with a door. My work space is in our living room and open to all who wish to enter. There is almost a constant chatter around me and while headphones are helpful in dimming the noise, they only work when that noise isn't directed at me. In comes visual cues.
I hear those of you in the back muttering, "Aren't headphones a visual cue?" Well, yes, but the moment you wear them for something that isn't work related, you've ruined that visual cue. I have used lights in the past to convey to those around my that I am working but there was always friction in the approach and often I was the one who wasn't adjusting the color to tell my family I was working. Recently I purchased a light strip for my desk. Not only does it change color, but it also has a remote, removing the friction that once kept me from following through with the signal.
Visual cues are an incredibly helpful tool for communication in this household.
What do you use to let those around you know that you are not to be disturbed?