Are You Easily Distracted?
Try These Tactics
It should come as no surprise that distraction is responsible for a massive waste of productivity. The problem is – there are distractions everywhere! Even the things designed to help us work more efficiently (like communication apps and notifications) can steal our attention. Before we know it, we have lost an entire hour!
So how do you distance yourself from unnecessary interruptions? And, if you are interrupted, how do you get yourself back on the productivity train? The following tips and tricks will help.
Stop trying to multitask
It might feel like you are getting three times as much done when working on three things at once, but the chances are that you are actually probably just taking longer to do these things less well. Plus, when you have several things up in the air at once, there is much more of a likelihood that you will get distracted. Focus on a single task at a time, and you will find that it is much more easily accomplished.
Use technology to your advantage.
Maybe you are working on an investor presentation or responding to client emails. While you are taking a minute to think of your next point, it can be all too easy to pull up your Twitter feed or check Facebook “real fast.” Some apps and plugins allow you to block or limit your time on social sites that can quickly suck up your day. Beyond that, you should have your phone turned on silent, or your notifications turned off. If you use a company chat app, set your status to “busy” or “away.”
Be strategic about your working times.
It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes having less time to complete a task can help you work more efficiently. If we know we have a certain amount of time, there is not always an incentive to finish early, so we end up using all of the time we have (often filling in anything “extra” with distractions). When you set yourself deadlines, you will need to make sure that you can hold yourself accountable; otherwise, you will likely blow it off. For example, you can let a colleague know when they should expect something.
Bribe yourself with rewards
Okay, not really. However, studies show that scheduling breaks can help us be more productive when we are “on the clock.” The right work-to-break ratio will depend on what makes sense for your personality and work schedule. You might want to try staying focused for fifty minutes straight, and then giving yourself ten minutes for “free time.” It will not be easy at first, but as you train your mind to concentrate, it will quickly become more effortless.
Hopefully, you made it to the end of this article without encountering too many distractions! And, even if your mind wandered along the way, you now have some tactics for making sure it will happen less often.