Being as productive as possible is often mainly about avoiding distractions and making sure that you aren’t flitting from one little task to another. The objective is to get into a productive flow state such that you are completely focused on what you are doing and once you’re in that state you should avoid distractions at all costs.
Unfortunately though, that’s easier said than done these days seeing as we’re constantly plugged in and always getting ‘notifications’ and calls and constantly responding to ’emergencies’.
So how do you avoid distractions and instead start actually focusing on what you need to be doing? Read on and we’ll look at some powerful tips.
Stop Checking E-Mail and Making Coffee.
When many of us first start our day, we will do so by checking our e-mails and responding to them, reading our favorite news site, making a cup of tea and having a chat. The result is that after about an hour we still often haven’t done any actual work.
How do you stop this? You stagger all those distractions and make them rewards for doing other things. If your job is based on the amount of words you write for instance, then you might say that you can only make a tea after you’ve written the first 1,000 words. If it’s based on data entry, then maybe you only check e-mail after the first 100 entries.
By doing this, you will find that by the time you’re making that tea or answering those e-mails, you’ve already managed to be very productive. As a result, you’ll often find you ‘put off’ the distraction and instead increase your target amount. This puts you in a whole different frame of mind and helps you to get tons of work ‘under your belt’ before you’ve even started.
Another important tip to avoid distractions is to turn everything off. That means putting your phone on silent and avoiding your e-mails from popping up on your desktop. Change your approach to these things so that you’re only looking at them when it suits you and not when it suits the person who wants your attention.
Finally, tell people that you aren’t going to be available and don’t want to be disturbed. The main distraction for most of us is other people – but you can’t expect to be left alone if no-one knows that you should be. Learn to close your door, to put up a sign or to just ask to be left alone between certain hours of the day.