Do you ever get all geared up for a work session and then boom: distractions are everywhere.
You check your Instagram, you surf the web, you catch some Pokemon, you browse Imgur, and all that productive energy crumbles around you.
You’ve become, completely distracted from the task at hand. When this happens to me, I’m still able to get fleeting moments of work in here and there, but it’s probably the most inefficient process ever (I’ve checked ESPN at least 10 times while writing this post).
So what can be done? Eliminate the distractions.
With some planning and a little discipline, you can rid yourself of the many distractions that haunt you every time you need to work. Here are 5 ways to eliminate the distractions.
1. Turn Off the Tech
The elephant in the room is of course technology. Smartphone blips and beeps, the infinite possibilities of the internet, and media galore make it difficult to focus. Especially when everything is calling for your attention like a siren song of procrastination.
Your best bet when it comes to tech is to try to remove them from the equation. Silence your phone. Turn off the TV. Use web blockers to keep you from your favorite sites (try StayFocusd for Chrome), and better yet, disconnect from the internet completely.
Turn off the technology to remove the many distractions they hold.
2. Find a Sanctuary
A great hack for creating a productive work habit is by finding and building a sanctuary to work in. Whether its writing or coding or designing, pick a place that is meant just for that task and that task alone. This means that when you are in that space, there is a single goal in front of you.
It can be at home at a desk or it could be your favorite coffee shop or co-working place, the point is that it’s where you go to work on a specific task. If possible, make this space as work friendly as possible. De-clutter the junk, keep the necessary supplies at the ready, and make it comfortable for the work at hand.
Environment greatly impacts your productivity, and you’ll find that it just feels right to do your work when you’re in that space.
3. Distract Yourself Before You Start
A simple trick I’ve discovered is to just get distractions out of the way before you even start working. Check your email, read that blog, check Twitter, play that game, and so on.
All those things that usually interrupt your work flow, just do them now so they become less tempting when you’re in the middle of your work.
4. Create Bite-sized Tasks
Instead of trying to complete a massive project every time you sit down, break things down into smaller, bite-sized tasks that can be completed in 5 to 15 minutes.
This allows you to avoid distractions interrupting your flow from task to task, but it also allows you build momentum and find a sense of flow.
The best part is all those little tasks add up fast, yet they are much easier to complete.
5. Understand Your Personal Rhythm
When do you work best? Are you most awake in the morning or evening? Do you need a cup of coffee to kickstart your brain or maybe a quick workout?
Pay attention to when you work best and try to use those triggers to empower your work time. When you’re at peak capacity, you’ll be better suited to fight of distractions and focus.
Man can move mountains if only he turns off his TV and silences his phone.
Distractions are everywhere and its all we can do to overcome them.
Using these methods, you can set yourself up for success to defeat your distractions and focus on the work that matters.