I’m passionate about productivity. I love getting the most out of my day, finishing everything I planned, and achieving my goals.
However, distractions are real. The right distraction can derail our progress.
I have found that the best way to deal with distractions is to be aware of what can pull me off task and have a system to deal with it.
I will share with you some techniques you can use to deal with distractions because I’m sure you would rather stay focused and on task so that you can spend time on what (or with whom) you want at the end of the day.
Before we can create a system to deal with a distraction, we must first identify the distractions for you.
I find the best way to uncover your distractions is to do a time study. I can hear you groaning now. LOL
But let’s face it, tracking your time will give you a clear picture of when and what pulls you away from your tasks.
You may not be aware of how many times a day you check your email. Or how often your phone rings from family and friends. Maybe you allow meetings to run overtime frequently, or that 30-minute social media check-in becomes 90 minutes. Mine is the half-hour lunch break that turns into 90 minutes because I got lost in a book.
A time study can efficiently uncover what your distractions are.
Try tracking all your time for one week and see what you learn about yourself.
Here are some distractions that you might uncover:
Any of the above distractions on their own are not bad things. What makes them troublesome is that they pull you away from the task you need to do right now.
The best way to handle them is to have a plan, a system to deal with them.
After doing your time study, you know what your distractions are and can pick the right tip for the right distraction.
These are my three favorite tips for dealing with distractions. Yet, I want to share two bonus tips to bring to your attention.
You can use technology to help you manage your distractions. For example, you can use apps to track your activities and limit your use. Others can remove or block access to websites and applications.
I also recommend you go offline or device free for periods of time. Let’s start with a few hours a week or no devices at meal times. Then you can work up to no tech after 10 pm during the week. Or you may pick a day a month when you go offline. The goal is to allow yourself to rest and relax. Get outside, enjoy your family or friends. Try it; you never know what you might discover.
Looking at your distractions, what will you put in place to help you stay on task?
So far, I’ve talked about external distractions; honestly, I could leave the blog here. But the biggest thing that distracts me (besides a good book) is my head. Every day, when I write out my intentions, I include the following:
I intend to stay focused and not get distracted today.
And while I do an excellent job of managing the external distractions, I need help managing the internal ones.
However, I have found some ways that work for me and will share them with you now.
You can stay focused and achieve more by implementing the techniques to manage distractions effectively. But remember that your productivity journey is unique to you. Experiment with these tips, and find out what best suits your needs. Start by trying one of two of these tips. But be sure to evaluate them. What worked, what didn’t, and what will you stop, change or start and tweak to fit you? Then try another tip.
What tip will you try first? Let us know.
There are always distractions if you allow them.Tony La Russa
There are always distractions if you allow them.
Let’s stay connected. I offer monthly tips to help you with productivity and self-leadership.
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