In the constantly connected, speed-obsessed modern world, I find it quite ironic that we tend to be less productive. Distractions abound, and they suck out so much of our time. Time that could have been spent doing proper work. With that in mind, is there a way to improve our focus?
Certainly. It all begins with driving away those distractions. Then you can keep on doing what you need to do. Take note of these five things you can do to drop those distractions and get more done.
Turn notifications off
Nothing is a bigger distraction in the modern workplace as push notifications. They’re everywhere – in your phone, your watch (if it’s a smartwatch), and even your PC. The constant pinging, buzzing, and tingling really robs your attention from whatever you’re doing. Before you know it, “just checking it out” has already led to half an hour or meaningless checking.
The best solution to avoid this “time suck” of constant checking is simple. Turn off those notifications altogether. Most modern phones have a Do Not Disturb mode, so activate that mode in your phone while you’re working. Or better yet, turn on Airplane Mode; this way, apps will have no networks to pull data from. No data, no notifications.
Save those emails for later
Taking two minutes to answer an email is tempting. Again, this can be another of those time sucks. One email leads to another, and another, and another, and another, until you’ve spent half an hour or so just checking and answering emails.
Whenever you’re in the middle of an important task, keep away from your inbox. It’s even better to set a regular time each day to check and answer emails, instead of spreading it out over your entire workday. Especially if most of those emails are work-related, you should set a proper time for dealing with them.
If you also would rather not be distracted by those emails from your credit card company, insurance company, or mobile carrier, you can group those emails into a separate folder. You could call it “promotions”, just like what Gmail does by default. Or, you could even group them by sender. That way, you’ll have to go into that folder before you see them. All you will see in your primary inbox are just the most important emails.
Have as few browser tabs as possible
A cluttered browser confuses your mind. Instead of having twenty (or more) tabs open, reduce it to just two. If you can, even one tab will do for many situations. Suppose you’re writing an entry for your website. The only tab you need here is the admin console of your site; nothing else! If you need sources, you can have two or three more tabs open. But that’s as far as it goes while you’re writing. Stop yourself from opening any other tab that you don’t need. That way, navigating between tabs will be a lot less of a chore. Compare that to the horror of finding the tab you were on last when you have more than twenty other tabs open.
And, for the love of sanity, close that Facebook tab. Not only is it so distracting with its incessant pinging and updating, but it’s also a huge memory and CPU hog. It’s in your (and your computer’s) best interest to close that Facebook tab. Let it be. You’re much better off without it while working.
Stop the selfies
Often, it’s quite the relief to take a quick selfie while at your desk. But again, that “quick” selfie session can turn into a marathon, as you try your hardest to get that flawless, Instagram-worthy shot. Not to mention picking the best-looking filters. Plus, there’s the nearly endless hashtagging. And once you’ve posted the photo, it doesn’t end there. You’ll have to scroll down your feed and like your friends’ photos. It just goes on and on and on.
Taking a selfie is a tremendous time suck too. So stop it. At least while you’re working, don’t do it. Once you’re on your way home, feel free.
Tell others that you can’t be bothered (for now)
Many times, your colleagues (or family if you work from home) will interrupt you while you’re working. It’s inevitable; all of us have to live with it. But it doesn’t mean we have to give in to the distraction.
Simply tell them that you can’t be distracted right now, so whatever they’re asking will have to wait. Of course though, you don’t want to be rude. So once you’re done with your task, call them back and tell them you’re free for now.
But don’t let it be a time suck as well. From the beginning, make them aware that you still have work to do. That way, they’ll know not to hang around for too long.
Once you have all these distractions dialed down, you’ll be surprised at how much more you can do each day. Your productivity could double, or even more. The less time you need to get your work done, the better your work-life balance will be. That means more time for family, friends, and fun.
You may want to check out this proven online business idea that you can even copy yourself!
Click here to find out more. You won’t regret it. And it’s very affordable: just £1!
And if you like to keep on learning, wouldn’t it be great to get regular updates in your inbox, so you won’t miss anything? So if you haven’t done so already, apply for our small business tips newsletter. Leave your details on that page and I’ll send you my free report, “Online Business Ideas”.
Thanks and remember: Commit To Success! We are part of your team!