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Last Updated on February 16, 2021

9 Ways to Eliminate Distractions and Do Your Best Work

9 Ways to Eliminate Distractions and Do Your Best Work
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There are hundreds of decoys and distractions jumping in the front seat of your life and they will take over the steering wheel if you allow them. They always promise extraordinary results and outstanding effects, but what they really do is keep you from doing important things and achieving your big goals. You have no choice but to eliminate distractions if you have dreams and aspirations to attain.

There are several ways these distractions can be managed and eliminated when you’re at work.

1. Remove Bad Habits

Manage your life habits by resting well, eating a healthy diet, and exercising to boost your energy. Turn off the TV, or better yet, move it to a less frequented room. Set up a bedtime routine, which will help you sleep well.

These simple actions will give you a clearer mind and energy to do your work while also eliminating bad habits. They will make you appreciate relaxation and physical wellness. The negativity voices from the media vultures won’t reach you as easily once you get to know the state of blissful health and clarity.

Remember, you won’t get very far in a broken machine. You’ll need it well-oiled and ready for a challenge to avoid feeling overwhelmed and losing focus. Being an achiever in the long-term is what you want, but burning out quickly is what you get without sleep, a healthy diet, and exercise.

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2. Declutter Your Mind

A cacophony of voices, text messages, tweets, sales pitches, and bold headlines fight for your attention. You hear a song on the radio hit list, and you can’t hear your own voice over its continuous replay in your head.

The first thing you should do is notice that you’re running on autopilot. The next natural step is to turn it off. It’s not easy to fight your default mechanism at first, but with practice and mindfulness, you can overcome it and eliminate distractions from your racing mind.

Start exercising your impulse-control, and focus on the here and now. Writing that report will go much easier if you enter the state of flow.

3. Clarify Your Day Before You Start

In the morning, before your workday begins, dedicate a few minutes to managing your schedule. A great way to do it is by applying the Covey time management matrix. Have a moment to set your priorities and determine which tasks are truly vital and urgent that day, which are not so urgent but still very important, and which you should avoid, either by delegating or eliminating them altogether.

This last type of task may be tricky because they will often be urgent, though uninspiring, issues, like questions from colleagues concerning their problems, phone calls, and emails that you answer by default, only because you’ve always done it and that’s the way it’s always been.

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Instead, take control and make a conscious decision of what you’re going to when they come knocking. Once you’ve made it, hold on to it, and ruthlessly follow through.

4. Prepare Your Workplace

When you’re facing a lengthy or complex task involving concentration, prepare your place of work so that you can avoid and eliminate distractions and won’t need to take unnecessary breaks[1]. Empty the wall in front of you to keep your mind on track. Photos, prints and various knick-knacks you like to display may be cute, but they will make your mind wander.

Declutter your office and desk to enable the free flow of energy. Also, cater to your physical needs; make sure you have some water and a light snack around in case you feel thirsty or hungry. It’s good for your body and spares you the trip to the nearest vending machine with high-calorie snacks that are heavy on your waist.

5. Zen Your Computer

The first and most obvious distraction is the incessant stream of incoming email. You can see it on your desktop and hear a signal every time there’s a new message. Curiosity always wins, so eliminate distractions like these by turning off notifications and getting rid of unnecessary apps.

For other distractions, you can block certain sites using online software if the sites are just too tempting. Staying focused during your work day will get much easier when it’s distraction free.

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This is one of the best ways to manage distractions, but for more insight, you can check out this Fast Track Class: Overcoming Distractions.

6. Set Your Time

Don’t forget about the second most important element of our puzzle here: time. Setting time slots for individual tasks makes them more substantial and less elusive. After you sit down at your desk, write a list of tasks with time allotment.

Don’t sweat if you run a little late with your schedule; it’s solely for a bit of orientation and to help you with future planning. This habit makes your day finite and grounds your workload in it, so you’re able to keep track of every moment and avoid procrastination.

7. Solidify Your Attitude

To avoid and eliminate distractions, manage your approach to the task. The “act as if…” approach works nicely. It is simple: pretend you’re being watched and your task is approaching the deadline.

It has been proven that our performance improves significantly if we know we’re being observed and assessed, so act as if you’re being watched and evaluated, as you likely will be at some point.

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8. Close the Door

Stephen King, the master of American horror and a very diligent, prolific writer, gives this advice in his book On Writing. If you can’t close the door literally, do it figuratively. Tell everyone that you’re busy for a certain period of time and ask them not to disturb you.

If you work all the time you’re at work instead of chatting with coworkers, you’ll gain a lot of time, which will let you move much faster and achieve even more. This also involves turning off your phone or muting it when you want to focus.

9. Manage Your Tasks

You need to deal with big tasks first. They may be overwhelming and discouraging, so what you need to do is break them up to smaller chunks. It also helps to assign an amount of time to each bit of work so you know how long it will take and can plan your time accordingly.

Take it one step at a time and don’t let fears and worries distract you from your work. To get that problem out of your way, do the opposite: compile and put together a bunch of minor assignments and complete them all in a row. It’s especially effective if the tasks are of similar nature, like money transfers, phone calls, or a pile of invoices to input.

Final Thoughts

Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you just go on with your usual routine and forget what you’ve learned today, you may fail to eliminate distractions at work.

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What can you do right now to apply at least one piece of advice from this article and eliminate the biggest distractions? Do your best to develop your ability to focus on what’s in front of you and improve more each day.

More on Eliminating Distractions

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

Reference

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Last Updated on July 27, 2021

Can’t Focus? The Mistake You’re Making and How to Focus Better

Can’t Focus? The Mistake You’re Making and How to Focus Better
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What comes to mind when you think of learning how to focus better? Do you think of the attention or concentration it takes to complete a task? Do you consider the amount of willpower needed to finish writing a report without touching your phone? Do you think it requires sitting in complete silence and away from distractions so that you can study for an important exam or prepare for an interview?

I’m sure many of you can relate to the above statements and agree that the ability to focus is about staying on task for a given period of time. Breaking that concentration would mean that you’ve lost your focus, and you’re either doing something else or trying to gain back that focus to finish up the intended task.

With an ever-increasing amount of information—that is easily accessible online and offline—we’re faced with a lot more opportunities and avenues to create possibilities to experience things on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, that can make it a lot harder for us to make progress or get things done because we’re either easily distracted or overwhelmed by the constant influx of information.

That’s why many of us end up having problems concentrating or focusing in life—whether it be on a smaller scale like completing a task on time, or something much bigger like staying on track in your career and climbing the ladder of success. We’ve all found ourselves in situations where we blame our failures due to a lack of focus.

Learning how to focus better doesn’t have to be too complex. Here is some information to help you get started.

Focus Is Not About Paying Attention

What if I tell you that you’ve been doing it all wrong this whole time?

Focus isn’t just the attention span of giving 20 minutes to a task. It actually goes far beyond that.

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The real reason why we focus is because we need to do something that exceeds our existing capability. We need to devote large amounts of time and energy to move the needle in life, to make that progress and positive change.

And why do we want to do that? Because we want to spend time becoming a better version of ourselves!

At the end of the day, the reason why we stay focused on any task, project, or goal is because we want to succeed. With that success comes progress in our lives, which means we eventually become better than what we were a month ago, or even a year ago.

Let me give you an example:

Say you’ve been tasked to manage a project by your boss. You have targets to meet and favorable outcomes to achieve. Your focus and attention has to be on this project.

Once the project has been completed, your boss is happy with the results and your hard work. She rewards you with praise, a promotion, or maybe even a year-end bonus.

That’s your success right there, and you feel good about your achievements. Looking back at who you were before and after the completion of this project, wouldn’t you say you’ve become a better version of your previous self?

Focus Is a Flow

This is what focus is and how where learning how to focus better starts. It’s not a one-off, task-by-task mode that you jump into whenever needed. Rather, focus is a flow[1].

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Focus is the way in which you deliberately target your energy to push progress in something you care about. Because focus takes energy, time, and effort, whatever it is that you need to focus on should be something meaningful to you, something that’s worth shutting down phone calls, text messages, and social media for.

So, why is it that we sometimes find it so hard to focus?

Usually, it’s because we’re missing two major elements. Either we don’t know where we want to go—in that we don’t have a clear goal—or we do have a goal, but we don’t have a clear roadmap.

Trying to improve your focus without these two things is like driving to get somewhere in a foreign country with no road map. You end up using a lot of gas and driving for hours without knowing if you’re getting anywhere.

Let’s go back to the example of your boss assigning you a project to manage. The company is opening a new office, and your boss wants you to oversee the renovations and moving-in process of this new location.

Now, if you didn’t have a clear goal or end result of how the new office should look, you could be busy arranging for contractors, interior designers, or movers to come, but have no clue what to assign or brief them on.

The second scenario is that you know exactly how the new office should look and when it should be up and running. However, because you don’t have a clear roadmap to get to that end result, you end up working all over the place; one moment you’re arranging for the contractors to start renovations, the next moment you’ve got furniture coming in when the space isn’t ready. What do you focus on first?

The Focus Flow

Without a clear goal and road map, things can turn out frantic and frustrating, with many wrong turns. You also end up expending a lot more mental energy than needed. But, having a Focus Flow when learning how to focus better can help.

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Let me show you how theFocus Flow works.

  1. It starts from a clear objective.
  2. This becomes a clear roadmap.
  3. Then it manifests into a state oftargeted attentionand effort.
  4. This results in pushing your progress towards your ultimate destination.

Setting a Clear Objective

To start off, you need to set a clear focus objective. If you don’t have an objective, how can you decide on which things are worth focusing on? You can’t focus on everything at the same time, so you have to make a choice.

Like driving a car, you need a destination.

In this case, you don’t want to drive around aimlessly. You want to arrive at your destination before you run out of gas.

A good focus objective, therefore, needs to be concrete. This means that it should be something you can visualize, such as determining how the new office is going to look after you’ve completed the renovation and moving in. If you can visualize it, that means you have a clear enough picture to know what’s needed to achieve it.

Drawing a Focus Roadmap

The second step is to lay out a practical focus roadmap. Once you have your ideas, setting an objective is easy. The most difficult part is determining how you’re going to achieve your objective.

There are lots of things you can do to work towards your goal, but what comes first? What’s more valuable, and how long will it take?

That’s where having a roadmap helps you answer these questions. Like driving, you need to have at least a rough idea of which major roads to drive on, and the order in which you need to drive them.

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Yet, creating a roadmap can get tricky because you have absolute freedom on how you’re going to achieve your objective.

To create a good road map, you should include major milestones. These are targets you need to hit in order to achieve success. Your roadmap should also include feasible and realistic actions that you can achieve as you learn how to focus better.

Need a little help in drawing this Focus Roadmap? The Full Life Planner can help you. It’s a practical planner to help you stay focused and on track with your most important goals and tasks in an organized way. Get yours today!

Power Up Your Productivity

I hope you now have a better understanding of how focus truly works. By harnessing your focus using the Focus Flow, you’ll be able to work on a task more productively, not because you’re able to concentrate, but rather because you know exactly what your end goal is, and you have a game plan in place to make that happen.

Once there is clarity, I can assure you that you’ll be less likely to get distracted or lose focus on your tasks at hand.

You may think it’s going to take you extra time writing out an objective and setting out a roadmap. You may believe that you are better off getting right down to the actual work.

However, as I’ve mentioned, there’s no point in rushing your efforts that lead you to nowhere or cause you additional detours. You’ll end up expending more mental energy and time than needed.

Once you’ve made your roadmap and found your focus, follow it up with unbreakable determination with Lifehack’s Actionable Motivation On Demand Handbook.

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Featured photo credit: Paul Skorupskas via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Very Well Mind: The Psychology of Flow

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