We all experience days when it is hard to get focused and there are just too many distractions. But constantly breaking off and losing your focus will result in taking longer to complete tasks or them simply not getting done! The outcome will be frustration, ineffectiveness and feeling overwhelmed.
What you can do
Firstly, be aware of why you are being distracted. I would argue that it is often a choice to be distracted. For example, when bored or putting off doing something, finding an alternative activity is a welcome break. Or maybe you are unsure of how to approach a task and simply need more information in order to move forward.
Secondly, many distractions can be prevented simply by being more organised. Plan how you use your time and make sure you have what you need to carry out specific tasks. Set clear goals and decide what you would like to achieve each day. Think ahead and remove potential distractions as a preventative measure.
Lastly, it is all about actively managing how you will deal with anything which could take you away from what you are doing. Remembering your goals for the day will help keep you on track with what you have planned to do. Don’t allow other things to get in the way.
Here are 7 easy ways to deal with distractions and stay focused
1. Plan your time – Being in control of how you use your time is key to dealing with distractions. Allocate time for specific tasks and stick to it. You can use timers and mix up interesting/different types of tasks to prevent boredom.
2. Build in breaks – A great way to prevent distractions is to build in breaks during your day. This will enable you to stay focused knowing that you have allocated time for a chat with a colleague or short coffee break.
3. Tidy your work space – An untidy and cluttered desk can be a distraction in itself! Not only is it time consuming trying to find things, a clear space will encourage focus. Remove anything which may distract you, and file or throw away what you do not need.
4. Schedule time for checking emails – Email can be a huge distraction. In fact most people are unaware of how much time they spend checking them. Schedule specific times for checking email and resist looking in between.
5. Limit Social media – This is a big one! LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter (to name a few!) are all easy ways to get distracted, taking you away from what you are doing. The best strategy is to simply turn off notifications and schedule times to check, rather than responding to constant interruptions.
6. Manage interruption – Taking phone calls and engaging in conversations with people can interrupt your flow. Make it clear when you need some quiet space without interruptions and don’t take phone calls. You can be available to others and deal with phone calls at an allotted time.
7. Remove yourself away totally – Sometimes working away from your work space is what is required, especially when approaching an important task or deadline. Try turning off your phone and go completely off grid! You will be amazed how much more you will get done.
We live in a world full of distractions, but we can choose how to limit them. Being aware of the causes and putting strategies in place to prevent and manage interruption will keep you focused. Why don’t you try some of these strategies and discover ways to successfully deal with your distractions .
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog
My name is Diane Benson and I support busy professionals to be more effective, reduce stress and achieve a healthy balance in life. Providing clarity and focus for a more fulfilling personal and professional life.
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