With our need to always be connected, distraction is everywhere. However, here are some tips to eliminate distraction to be more productive.
1. Don’t Check Email First Thing
It’s a slippery slope. You can get stuck responding to emails and addressing little concerns as your to-do list sits collecting dust. Start off your morning by completing at least one of your priority list items. After that, you can put some attention toward your emails and you’ll feel more accomplished.
2. Clean Out Emails Quarterly
At the beginning of every quarter, take sometime to clean out your email. Archive any messages older than 3 months. You should also take this time to unsubscribe to newsletters that you don’t read. Clutter in your inbox is just a distraction that will hang over you and even slow you down.
3. Keep Meetings On Track & On Time
Meetings can be a distraction and disruption to your work flow. Having an agenda in every meeting will help you stay focused on the topics needing to be discussed and keep it short, so you can go back to your usual flow. When other topics start being introduced, you can politely say “Let’s discuss a time to discuss that later, since we only have an allotted time for this conversation.”
4. Use Deadlines and Time Limits
Use deadlines and time limits for all of your tasks. Even if there’s no actual deadline for the task, scheduling every item on your to-do list will help you complete as many tasks as possible.
5. Reward Yourself Using Distractions
Whether your distraction is Pinterest or talking to your work buddy, you can use your favorite distraction as a reward when you complete difficult projects or tasks. Knowing that you’ll get to spend 10 minutes doing something fun can be a great motivator.
6. Stop Attempting to Multi-task
We’re not really built for multi-tasking and even attempting to multi-task can cause you to finish slower than it would if you did one task at a time. Accomplish one task at a time to get things completed faster.
7. Eliminate Desk Clutter
Just the clutter on your desk can be distracting. Piles of unorganized documents or a desk full of odds and ends would cause anyone to lose focus if they were working at that desk. Take on a minimalistic view on how to organize your desk. Remove the items you don’t use and organize the things you need.
8. Turn off Notifications & Plug in your Headphones
If your devices are set to vibrate or ping when there’s a notification, turn those settings off. Even a vibrate from your phone that you try to ignore is distraction enough to throw you off your flow. Not everyone gets their own office to be able to close the door when the office gets too loud and you need to focus. Put in your headphones. Even if you’re not listening to anything, your headphones can act as a buffer to dull the noises and help you focus on your to-do list. Listening to your favorite music can also motivate you to complete difficult tasks.