Don’t let yourself be your biggest distraction. Here are some simple ways to stop self-interrupting.
1. Focus on one thing at a time
Easier said than done, right? One way to keep focused is to stop looking at your to do list every five minutes. Of course, many tasks are of equal importance but you’re not a machine. Tackle anything urgent first, then when starting your next task, move your to do list away. Any meaningful task requires a large part of focus. Before starting anything, ask yourself why you should do it and try to be creative and passionate in your approach – really make it your own. Most importantly, take pleasure and pride in what you’re doing. If you’re constantly thinking about the ten other things on your list, the task at hand won’t be your best work and will take you much longer to complete in the long run.
2. Sit somewhere quiet
Everything from the air conditioning to phones ringing and workmates chatting cause distractions. They can also annoy you to no end. If you’re working on something important and want peace and quiet, put your headphones on for a little while or simply go and sit somewhere quiet for an hour or so until you get what you need to do done. You can always join in the conversation later.
3. Close all tabs unrelated to your current task
We live in a world where 21 Chrome tabs open at any one time is standard. You might think it reminds you of all the things you must finish that day but in reality, you’ll be so preoccupied by opening different tabs to find the one you need, getting distracted by that other urgent thing you need to do ASAP. Stick to the ones you need only for the task at hand and tackle everything else later. The same goes for emails, phone calls, Facebook notifications, WhatsApp messages and those pesky selfie Snapchats from your mate Jenny.
4. Reward yourself
Whether it’s going outside for a walk, making coffee with a colleague or 5 minutes of mindfulness meditation. Set yourself goals and use them to reward the fact you’ve done part of a project or even just started one. This breaks your time down into manageable units you can recall later and remember that you nailed that part of the task because of the walk you got to go on.
Shifting your mind-set is also a great way of getting your head around something you’ve been putting off for a while. There’s no better way to do this than to first, work on something you really enjoy. This can re-energise you, so when it comes to tackling the task you’ve been putting off, it feels like less of a chore.
5. Protect at least an hour of your most productive time
Whether it’s when you’re listening to drum n bass at 8am that helps you respond to client emails or Beethoven at 10pm working on your budget, try to allow one hour of your most productive time to be free of any other task and choose one or two things you realistically want to get done in that hour.
Featured image: knote.com