Distractions come in all shapes and sizes and can ruin even the best laid of plans and intentions. Some distractions cannot be helped or ignored (fire alarms or crying babies), but many of our daily interruptions can be. Keep reading for five simple steps to minimising and eliminating disturbances that are keeping you from focusing on what matters most.
- Turn Off Notifications. We love notifications. From our phone, from our computers, from everything. Turn them off. You do not need to know every time you get a like or a retweet. You can also turn off notifications from other apps (health, email, news, coupons), and do the same with notifications that come from your computer for emails and ads. This will significantly lower the number of distractions you will have throughout a day.
- Put Away Your Phone. If at all possible, put your phone on silent or away for a set amount of time. You will no longer be tempted to check-in needlessly every few moments, and when it does go off, you won’t know it. The vast majority of messages received throughout the day do not need immediate responses anyways. If you still worry about missing important calls or texts, change your settings to allow messages and calls from specific people.
- Only Necessary Programs. If you are working on your computer, be sure only to have open the programs that are necessary for your project. Are you working on a spreadsheet? Close your email and internet browser. Closing the unneeded programs will limit distractions and having the programs you need already opened will save you time and energy.
- Clear All the Clutter. Clutter comes in many forms. Physical clutter on your desk, visual clutter (notes stuck to your monitors), or mental clutter. Get everything put up, cleaned up, and out of your head so you can focus on your task at hand and not worry about distractions.
- Prepare Your Needs. Preparing your needs is about setting up your environment. Make sure your room is the right temperature or that you have a blanket if you tend to get cold. Make sure you have a beverage, a snack, and any other tools or supplies you will need. Having everything ready means you will not be leaving your work area frequently where you can get distracted and wander off.
Taking a few moments to prepare yourself and your work area can go a long way in helping you to maintain focus and complete projects promptly. Looking around your area, what steps can you take now to eliminate distractions?