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10 Ways To Remove The Distractions That Keep You From Doing the Best At Work

10 Ways To Remove The Distractions That Keep You From Doing the Best At Work

Tired of distractions clouding your focus? Here’s how to remove them.

Your lifetime is made up of days, days of hours and hours of minutes. Although, a minute or ten doesn’t seem like much, the idea that you can waste a few minutes is the biggest, fattest lie you’ll ever tell yourself. Life is fast, time flies and nobody’s going to wait or take pity on you because you stayed behind, absorbed with distractions and useless clutter. If you’re not careful, they will ruin your life before you know it. There are hundreds of decoys jumping in the front seat of your life and, collectively, 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 remove them if you have dreams and aspirations to attain.

There are several areas of life where these distractions can be managed and eliminated:

1. Remove crappy habits undercutting your wellness.

remove distractions
    Manage your life hygiene‒rest, diet and exercise to boost your energy. Turn off the TV (worst known garbage) or better yet, move it to a less frequented room. This usually  does the trick. Set up a bedtime routine, which will help you sleep well, and the third must-do is hiring a good private trainer, who will not only motivate you to work out regularly, but also set you up on a good diet. These 3 simple actions will give you a clearer mind and energy to do your work. They will make you appreciate relaxation and physical wellness. The negativity voices from the media vultures won’t reach you that easily anymore 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. Being an achiever in the long term perspective is what you want, but burning out quickly is what you get without sleep, healthy diet and exercise.
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    2. Declutter your mind.

    remove distractions

      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, it’s deeply rooted, but it’s a matter of practice and mindfulness. Start exercising your impulse-control. Focus on here and now. Writing that report will go much easier if you enter the state of flow. Think about the direct impact you’ll make, if you carry out the task efficiently and on time. Think about the satisfaction you’ll feel afterwards. This is the best reward and it will keep you on track for the future tasks as you gain the momentum. Focus is your natural gift. Use it well.

      3. Clear your day up front before you start it.

      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 altogether. This last type of tasks 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. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. Not really. 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.

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      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 distractions and won’t need to make unnecessary breaks. Breaks aren’t bad in themselves‒it’s the involuntary deconcentration that may cause a setback to your progress. 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‒brainwork and reflection like emptiness, harmony, air and balance. 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.

      remove distractions
        Curiosity always wins, so go cold turkey and turn it off. Make a  clean cut. There are many cool ways to deal with other kinds of distractions, such as social networking sites. There’s a great app called Anti-Social that blocks social media and lets you become more productive. It will block the sites that you waste your time on and can’t be turned off, which makes it an excellent help. There’s a great choice of apps that will register your computer use and time you spend on individual sites. Here are some of them: RescueTime, Klok, Slife and ManicTime. RescueTime, for instance, will give you a readout at the end of the day (and year if you opt for the $6 a month Pro version) of your web activities. There are all kinds of apps to help you concentrate and remove unwanted temptations, and their use depends on the type of work you’re doing. If you do a lot of writing, there are the Mac-based WriteRoom and its Windows counterpart, Dark Room, which promise “distraction-free writing” by trimming your screen down to one function: Writing. There’s also the popular OmmWriter, which possesses a few cool features like meditative music and chromotherapy which create a unique environment to enable you to focus on your writing.

        6. Set your time.

        remove distractions
          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 you 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 your 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.
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          7. Solidify your attitude.

          To avoid possible 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. In truth, we are evaluated all the time, either by people or by life itself. Whether you’re doing well on the job market or not, depends on your performance over a period of time, usually a year, and a year is  broken down to a month, a week, and a  day.

          8. Close the door.

          remove distractions
            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 do that 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. Either do it completely or at least mute it so that nobody gets between you and your task.

            9. Manage the tasks.

            Managing tasks is a basic skill they teach at leadership courses. If you can apply the simple rules, your progress will become tangible and you’ll accelerate your work tremendously. Firstly, you need to deal with big tasks. They may be overwhelming and discouraging, so what you need to do is break them up to smaller chunks. You’ve probably heard the saying that “you eat an elephant one bite at a time.” It does work.Take it one step at a time and don’t let fears and worries distract you from your work.They don’t exist‒they’re only figments of your imagination. You may also get a bit overwhelmed with small details. 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 to our system.

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            10. Go an extra mile.

            remove distractions
              As you’ve probably heard, there are no traffic jams on the extra mile. And literally, traffic is the number one time thief nowadays. If you arrive one hour early at the office and leave one hour later than everyone else, you’ll get much more done. Not only because you’ll avoid congested streets and lots of stress, but also the empty office won’t distract you from your productive efforts. In the end, you will be the one gaining more time thanks to this idea. photo: Fleecirus

              Before you go on to whatever you’re going to do next, think about why you read this article in the first place. You did it because you want to do and be something more to be better than before. Remember the universally true Einstein’s words: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you just go on with your usual routine, default course of action and forget what you’ve read here, the distractions win and you lose. What is it that you can do right now to apply at least one piece of advice from this article? Is there anything more you could do to build upon and become the person you wish?

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              Last Updated on December 10, 2019

              How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

              How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

              It is hardly a secret that the key to successfully accomplishing one goal after another is staying motivated. There are, of course, tasks which successful people may not like at all, yet they find motivation to complete them because they recognize how each particular task serves a greater goal.

              So how to stay motivated most of the time? Here are 5 simple yet effective ways on how to stay motivated and get what you want:

              1. Find Your Good Reasons

              Anything you do, no matter how simple, has a number of good reasons behind it.

              You may not be able to find good reasons to do some tasks at first but, if you take just a few moments to analyze them, you will easily spot something good. We also have many tasks which don’t need any reasoning at all – we’ve been doing them for so long that they feel natural.

              If you’re ever stuck with some tasks you hate and there seems to be no motivation to complete it whatsoever, here’s what you need to do: find your good reasons.

              Even when you set goals, there needs to be reasons behind these goals. They may not be obvious, but stay at it until you see some, as this will bring your motivation back and will help you finish the task.

              Some ideas for what a good reason can be:

              • A material reward – quite often, you will get paid for doing something you normally don’t like doing at all.
              • Personal gain – you will learn something new or will perhaps improve yourself in a certain way.
              • A feeling of accomplishment – at least you’ll be able to walk away feeling great about finding the motivation and courage to complete such a tedious task.
              • A step closer to your bigger goal – even the biggest accomplishments in history have started small and relied on simple and far less pleasant tasks than you might be working on. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal, and acknowledging this always feels good.

              2. Make It Fun

              When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything. Different people may have completely opposite feelings towards the same task: some will hate it, others will love it.

              Why do you think this happens? It’s simple: some of us find ways to make any task interesting and fun to do!

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              Take sports for example. Visiting your local gym daily for a half-an-hour workout session sounds rather boring to some. Yet many others love the idea!

              They like exercising not only because they recognize the good reasons behind it, but simply because it’s fun! At certain time of their daily schedule, they find going to gym to be the best thing to do, simply because nothing else will fit their time and lifestyle so perfectly.

              Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! Just look for ways of having fun, and you’ll find them!

              A simple approach is to start working on any task by asking yourself a few questions:

              • How can I enjoy this task?
              • What can I do to make this task fun for myself and possibly for others?
              • How can I make this work the best part of my day?

              As long as you learn to have the definite expectation of any task being potentially enjoyable, you will start to feel motivated.

              Some of you will probably think of a thing or two which are valid exceptions from this statement, like something you always hate doing no matter how hard you try making it fun. You’re probably right, and that’s why I don’t claim everything to be fun.

              However, most tasks have a great potential of being enjoyable, and so looking for ways to have fun while working is definitely a good habit to acquire.

              3. Change Your Approach And Don’t Give Up

              When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look for a different approach for the task.

              You may be doing everything correctly and most efficiently, but such approach isn’t necessarily the most motivating one. Quite often, you can find a number of obvious tweaks to your current approach which will both change your experience and open up new possibilities.

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              That’s why saying “one way or another” is so common — if you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a way; and most likely, there’s more than one way.

              If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.

              Some people think that trying a different approach means giving up. They take pride in being really stubborn and refusing to try any other options on their way towards the goal.

              My opinion on this is that the power of focus is great, but you should be focusing on your goal, and not limiting your options by focusing on just one way to accomplish it it.

              4. Recognize Your Progress

              Everything you may be working on can be easily split into smaller parts and stages. For most goals, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress.

              We track our progress automatically with most activities. But to stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it.

              Here’s how tracking and recognizing your progress is different:

              Tracking is merely taking a note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at a bigger picture and realize where exactly you are, and how much more you have left to do.

              For example, if you’re going to read a book, always start by going through the contents table. Getting familiar with chapter titles and memorizing their total number will make it easier for you to recognize your progress as you read. Confirming how many pages your book has before starting it is also a good idea.

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              You see, reading any book you will be automatically looking at page numbers and chapter titles, but without knowing the total number of pages, this information will have little meaning.

              Somehow, it is human nature to always want things to happen in short term or even at once. Even though we split complex tasks into simpler actions, we don’t quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete.

              For many scenarios though, the task is so vast that such approach will drain all the motivation out of you long before you have a chance to reach your goal. That’s why it is important to always take small steps and recognize the positive different and progress made. This is how your motivation can sustain in long term.

              5. Reward Yourself

              This is a trick everyone likes: rewarding yourself is always pleasant. This is also one of the easiest and at the same time most powerful ways to stay motivated!

              Feeling down about doing something? Dread the idea of working on some task? Hate the whole idea of working? You’re not alone.

              Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables which will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in some way.

              For some tasks, just taking a break and relaxing for a few minutes will do.

              For others, you may want to get a fresh cup of coffee and even treat yourself a dessert.

              For even bigger and more demanding tasks, reward yourself by doing something even more enjoyable, like going to a cinema or taking a trip to some place nice, or even buying yourself something.

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              Your progress may not seem to others like anything worth celebrating but, take time and do it anyway! It is your task and your reward, so any ways to stay motivated are good.

              The more you reward yourself for the honestly made progress, the more motivated you will feel about reaching new milestones, thus finally accomplishing your goal.

              Mix and Match

              Now that you have these five ways of staying motivated, it is a good moment to give you the key to them all: mix and match!

              Pick one of the techniques and apply it to your situation. If it doesn’t work, or if you simply want to get more motivated, try another technique right way. Mix different approaches and match them to your task for the best results.

              Just think about it: Finding good reasons to work on your task is bound to helping you feel better; and identifying ways to make it fun will help you enjoy the task even more.

              Or, if you plan a few points for easier tracking of your progress and on top of that, agree on rewarding yourself as you go; this will make you feel most motivated about anything you have to work through.

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              Featured photo credit: Lucas Lenzi via unsplash.com

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