In a perfect world, you would be so focused on your work that nothing could distract you; but in the real world where you live in, it rarely work out the way you expect. Why is it so?
There are many things can get you distracted. Never-ending phone calls and emails that seem to need urgent replies can often be the source of distraction. You may also have other distractions like people want to have a conversation – either work-related or social.
There is a wealth of information available online, including social media which you can refer to. Even if you only plan to check some info for a while, you could end up wasting hours without even realizing it. And if you are working from home, you may feel that the household chores are pulling you away from work. Often when people work from home, relatives and friends imagine that they are not very busy and find ways to interrupt them.
Even if you are surrounded with distractions, you can set up a working environment to combat them and be productive. First, it is important to determine priorities for your day.
With most businesses, it is impossible to avoid phone calls and emails that need to be returned. What you can do is set aside a specific time of the day to handle those replies. E.g. you may decide that the first task you will do each morning is to respond to any new emails or calls, and that you will do so twice more at different times throughout the day.
You will keep distractions down by redirecting calls to voicemail and shutting down your email window. While this doesn’t work for every office environment, it can work for many. If you enjoy checking your facebook, schedule it instead of letting it become a distraction. E.g. arrange your break to be a time to relax and do things that take your mind off work.
You can schedule a few 10 minute breaks throughout the day. Recognizing that break is coming can trick you to stay motivated to be on task the rest of the time. If you work from home, it is necessary to set boundaries with people so that your business takes priority.
In addition to that, you don’t have to answer every phone call. And if you feel household chores calling your name on a daily basis, schedule time to work on those first so that you don’t have to spend time thinking about them. If you are distracted by ideas that hit you time after time, write them down and then allow yourself to come back to them later.
5 Tips To Help You Get Going And Stay Productive
#1 Give A Deadline To Everything You Do: It is easy to put something off when you have an open-ended dateline. Instead, set a deadline to finish specific tasks on your list. Set a goal to end your workday at a specific time and have everything done before then.
This psychological trick will help you get more done in less time and allows you to have more time to enjoy yourself rather than worrying about what you haven’t completed yet.
#2 Exercise Your Body: Exercise is something that people often put at the bottom of the list. By exercising each day, you will help your brain to get more oxygen and nutrients.
This will help increase your productivity level. On the contrary, if you spend too much time at your desk, you will get exhausted shortly. Make sure to get up at least once an hour – go take a walk outside, or do a few jumping jacks just to keep your body moving.
#3 Avoid Multi-Tasking: Some people think that being able to multi-task is a good thing, but eventually it could actually mean you are not focus on anything at all. You may not be getting anything done well. Carve out specific times for specific tasks and focus on them.
The phone and emails are often to blame for taking too much attention away. Arrange a specific time for returning phone calls and emails. If you are expected to respond quickly, you may want to schedule several times each day to do this – don’t leave it open-ended.
#4 Set A Timer For Little Tasks: If you are struggling to focus on getting a simple task done, try setting a timer to focus on the task and allow yourself to have a break. This can help to break a task into smaller chunks and avoid the paralysis of feeling overwhelmed.
#5 Write Them Down: If you are the type of person who gets sidetracked easily with new ideas, keep a pen and paper note (digital memo) so you can write down your ideas.
This allows you to put them down so you won’t forget them, and focus on the main tasks first. You can go through the ideas later and decide if you want to do anything with them.