Self-Employment & the Aesthetic Trap: A Quest For Perfection?

Self-Employment & the Aesthetic Trap: A Quest For Perfection?


Working from Home: Beyond the Usual Distractions

In the era of remote work, smart, entrepreneurs are often celebrated for their ability to multitask and manage their professional duties from the comfort of their homes. However, what often goes unnoticed are the unique and unexpected distractions they face, which can impede their productivity and mental well-being. I know I personally suffer from several of these, including the need to have all my pens and desk items perfectly arranged before I can possibly start on ANYTHING! 

Who doesn't love a perfectly arranged desk, right?

In fact, one of the less talked about distractions for the home-based entrepreneur is the quest for the perfect work environment. The "aesthetic trap" is real. Many women find themselves spending significant time arranging their workspace to mirror those picture-perfect home offices on Pinterest or Instagram. This desire for an ideal setup can become a form of procrastination, delaying the start of actual work. It’s not just about cleanliness or organization; it’s about creating that ‘just right’ environment which, while satisfying, can eat into valuable work time.

The Pursuit of Perfection: A Double-Edged Sword

Linked closely with the aesthetic trap is the pursuit of perfection in work. This isn’t just about being thorough; it’s about an often unattainable level of excellence in every task. While attention to detail is a valuable skill, when it morphs into perfectionism, it can lead to significant delays. The need to have every email impeccably crafted or every presentation slide flawlessly designed can become counterproductive.

The Unlikely Culprit: Undiagnosed ADHD

An unexpected and often overlooked factor affecting many women in the business world is undiagnosed ADHD. Traditionally under-diagnosed in women, symptoms like restlessness, difficulty in maintaining focus, and a tendency to hyper-focus on less critical tasks can significantly hinder productivity. This can be especially challenging in a home environment, where professional and personal life blurs.

The Social Media Spiral

The lure of social media can be particularly insidious. What starts as a quick check of a LinkedIn notification can spiral into an hour-long scroll through various platforms. The blend of professional networking and personal browsing creates a grey area that’s hard to navigate without losing significant time.

Unconventional Distractions: From Pets to Plants

Then there are the unconventional distractions. Pets, often considered stress busters, can demand attention at the most inopportune times. Home gardening, a hobby for many, can turn into a distraction, with the urge to water plants or prune leaves during work hours. These activities, while seemingly benign, can fragment focus and disrupt workflow.

The Wellness Paradox

Lastly, the increasing emphasis on wellness and self-care can paradoxically become a distraction. The pressure to incorporate yoga, meditation, or exercise into the daily routine, especially when working from home, can add to the stress rather than alleviate it, especially when these activities are felt as 'must-dos' rather than 'want-tos'.

Finding Balance in the Chaos

The key for smart, entrepreneurs working from home is to recognize these unique distractions and develop strategies to manage them. Setting clear boundaries, acknowledging the limits of perfection, and seeking help when needed (like a diagnosis for ADHD) can make a world of difference. It’s about finding balance and embracing the fact that sometimes, good enough is better than perfect, and an 'imperfect' work environment can be just as, if not more, productive.

What's YOUR attention distractor? How do you cope or work around it?


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