In this world, jam-packed with prompt access to information, friends, family, and coworkers, completing eight hours of solid work seems like an impossibility. But avoiding distractions isn’t impossible. Much like squeezing in time for fun, staying focused at work, whether in your workplace or at home, is just a matter of mastering sound time management habits.
Set Clear Goals and Learn to Prioritize
Rather than saying that you’re going to work for eight hours daily, list down the most crucial tasks for the day or the entire week. This way, you avoid responding to every distraction that crops up. Check your list before sleeping or after waking up and then decide which tasks you can realistically accomplish on that day.
Then, set the other tasks aside until you’re done with the urgent tasks. It would be best if you also were specific when setting goals for the day. For example, “I should complete steps one to four of this task before lunchtime.”
Wake Up Earlier
Doing so will give your head some time to clear before you get swamped with your to-do list. Start small. Set your alarm 15 to 20 minutes earlier than usual. Break your fast with healthy food, meditate, squeeze in a workout session, or practice your piano lessons. Create a morning ritual that will help you center yourself and prepare for the day ahead.
Turn Off The Rest of The World
We live in a distracting place, period. So avoid temptation by turning off the rest of the world. This includes your coworkers, cell phones, office phones, and email. For urgent matters, create a system that will allow you to attend to them without extra distractions.
Work in Blocks of 60 to 90 Minutes
Throughout the day, your alertness and focus will naturally drop off, which increases the temptation of giving in to distractions. To avoid this, set the alarm and take short breaks in between each cycle. You can reset your focus and energy by snacking, walking around, listening to music, or stretching.
Practice Makes Perfect When It Comes to The Art of Avoiding Distractions
Meditation is one of the best ways to do this because you’ll be forced to focus on your thoughts or lack thereof. But if meditation doesn’t float your boat, try single-tasking instead. For instance, if it’s mealtime, eat and don’t check your phone, email, or read something simultaneously. During meetings, don’t sneak glances at your phone or doodle on your notepad. Be present.
Make Time For Distractions
Distractions aren’t inherently bad for you if you know how to make them work to your advantage, like as a reward for completing a task. Start with easy and calming distractions like communicating with friends or working out. If social media is your thing, set a time for browsing your connections’ updates or posting, but make sure to stay on schedule. Remember, don’t let the distractions control you—control them.
From monitoring your online habits and avoiding distracting websites, there are lots of free apps that could help with your focus. Once you’ve identified your habits, choose apps that will enable you to meet your objectives, taking great care not to let those apps distract you from your goals.
Keep A Close Eye On Yourself
Pay attention to how and when you get distracted. Remember what thoughts occurred just before you got distracted. Were you bored, hungry, or tired? Learn your distraction triggers so you can make a plan to address them before wasting your time.
We get it. With your busy work and personal schedules, it could sometimes feel like there’s not enough time in the world to finish work. So try these tips to keep your mind and body up to task even when you feel slammed.