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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 August 7, 2018

              14 Powerful Leadership Traits That All Great Leaders Have

              14 Powerful Leadership Traits That All Great Leaders Have

              Being a leader of a company or organization is certainly a difficult and often frustrating position – but it can also be tremendously rewarding.

              Whether you’re just starting out as a leader, or have been leading for a while, you’ll be sure to benefit from knowing the essential traits that all great leaders possess.

              Effective and successful leaders transcend the title of ‘manager’ or ‘boss’. They’ve found a way to achieve the perfect combination of charisma, enthusiasm and self-assurance (with a healthy dose of luck and timing probably added to the mix).

              It may seem like some people are gifted with leadership skills, but the truth is most leadership traits can be learned, adopted, and strengthened with time and practice.

              As we delve into the list of effective leadership traits, you will learn the behaviors and attitudes of a good leader.

              The 14 most important leadership traits

              Please read through the list of leadership qualities carefully. Take note of which of the traits you excel at – and which ones you need to work at.

              Traits for better self-development

              1. Vision and mission

              Having a clear picture of what needs to be achieved is a crucial quality of good leadership.

              This vision is often communicated in a mission statement, such as this one from Starbucks:

                How to develop vision? Spend time pinpointing what you need to achieve, and then plan the steps to get there. Here’s a complete guide on creating your own vision.

                2. Self-motivated

                It’s no coincidence that successful leaders have an abundance of self-motivation.

                Without a decent level of self-motivation, you’ll struggle to become a strong and respected leader. However, if you don’t have a lot of self-motivation right now, don’t despair.

                One of the secrets is to have definite goals to keep you motivated at all times. Some people also choose to reward themselves every time they achieve a goal, and this is certainly a good way to keep yourself enthused and motivated. Learn how to set an ambitious yet achievable goal here.

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                3. Optimism and positivity

                Positive energy is contagious. Great leaders are overflowing with this type of energy.

                Not only does a positive mindset make leaders easy to work with, but it also gives them a constant source of inspiration and ideas.

                Tap into this energy by aligning yourself with positive people and positive goals. Find out more about the habits of positive people here.

                4. Emotional stability

                In leadership positions, frustration and stress are daily occurrences. This is why leaders need to have strong and stable emotions. They can’t allow themselves to be easily knocked off track.

                If you’re prone to losing your emotional stability when stressed or frustrated, try some of these techniques: breath deeply and slowly for 30 seconds, go for a walk, drink some water (instead of tea or coffee), turn your focus onto something you can resolve. Here’re some effective ways to control your emotions.

                5. Self-confidence

                Watch a presentation by any CEO and you’ll see that even if they’re not natural presenters – they make up for this by having powerful self-confidence.

                It’s not just CEOs who have self-confidence, any successful leader will have this trait in abundance. One reason for this, is that only a confident person can persuade others and gain their respect.

                Worried that you have low self-confidence? Try faking it. Psychologists often recommend that if you ‘act’ at being confident, you’ll start to look, sound and feel like you ARE confident. And in time… you will be.

                If you look for more ways to boost your self-confidence, this confidence coach has got you some nice advice:

                How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence

                6. Decisiveness

                Leaders are frequently called upon to make decisions (some leaders may have to make dozens of decisions every day). In fact, you could say that making decisions is one of the key things a leader must do.

                Spend some time observing highly-successful leaders and you’ll see that they are quick to make decisions. They also enjoy making decisions, rather than stressing out like many non-leaders do when they’re asked to decide on something.

                Put yourself in the leadership bracket by developing your decision-making skills. Start with small decisions – and then work your way up to bigger and more difficult decisions. Once other people notice your decision-making prowess, they’ll automatically see you as leadership material.

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                I know it’s really quite difficult to make the right decisions sometimes, but don’t worry, here’s a guide for you:

                How To Make Good Decisions All The Time

                7. Passion and enthusiasm

                Expressive. Active. Energetic. These are words best describe a passionate leader.

                Great leaders are lively, driven and are possessed with zeal and purpose. It’s this passion that helps them achieve big results. If you want to emulate their success, then you need to develop passion and enthusiasm for the work at hand, and the end goals.

                Take a look at this Passion Pyramid to find out how importance a leader’s passion is to the team:

                  One way to do this is to find what motivates you, and keep your focus firmly on that. For example, i f you’re motivated by helping others, then make sure your role and company are both suited to realizing this. If you’re motivated by money, then put your focus on achieving bonuses and pay rises.

                  Take a look at Leo Babauta’s guide on how to find your passion.

                  8. Accountability and responsibility

                  Exceptional leaders know that at all times they’ll need to take responsibility for tasks and their results. This includes things likes individual and team performance, as well as being accountable for when things go wrong.

                  When negative things occur (and you can guarantee they will from time-to-time), a great leader will immediately step in and take responsibility. Initially, they’ll try to resolve the problem in as quick and smooth a way as possible. But if this is not feasible, they’ll be sure to say that the buck stops with them – and they take full responsibility for what has happened.

                  To develop your leadership skills, you must never shy away from responsibility or accountability. If you prefer to sweep mistakes under the carpet, then you’re demonstrating non-leadership traits. Try owning up to issues and finding solutions to them. By doing this, you’ll immediately gain people’s respect.

                  Find out some tips on how to be a more responsible person here.

                  9. Focus

                  Distractions are everywhere. And it takes major focus to stay committed to tasks and goals. The best leaders understand this, and therefore, they’re always looking at ways to boost their team’s focus.

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                  One way leaders do this, is to keep their team intensely focused on the bigger picture. This might entail allocating specific time for tasks and eliminating any non-essential work.

                  If you’re easily knocked off track, you’ll need to spend some time boosting your focus. Try planning your day, week, month and year to help ensure that you don’t fall behind with achieving your goals. Check out the 7 strategies of staying super focus recommended by a productivity coach.

                  10. Ever-learning

                  Leaders know that to be successful they need to continually update their skills and knowledge. They deliberately learn all they can about their profession and industry, so they’ll able to make confident and assured decisions.

                  Why is ever learning so important? I’ll leave it to you to find out the reason here:

                  If I Am Living a Good Life, Why Should I Bother Learning New Stuff?

                  Imagine a CEO of a solar power company. His company may have amazing solar panels, but when it comes to discussing business with potential buyers, if the CEO or his sales team show a lack of understanding about the solar industry and future trends, etc., they’ll be unlikely to win any business.

                  It’s exactly the same for you. If you’re a team leader at an electronics store, you should make sure you fully understand all the products that you offer. But go beyond just that, and read about upcoming products and trends that might change what customers are interesting in buying in the future.

                  Traits for effective communication

                  11. Empathy

                  The best leaders understand the feeling of their team members, customers and associates. They know when to praise, and when to discuss problems (usually in private).

                  Without empathy, leaders will be seen as cold, harsh and lacking understanding. They’re also likely to be regarded as untrustworthy.

                  One way to ‘put yourself in someone else’s shoes’ is to have regular informal discussions with your colleagues. When you do this, you’ll quickly learn their fears and desires. And when you understand why they have these – you’ll be in a position to express empathy. You can also learn to be more sensitive to others’ needs by taking up these communication skills.

                  12. Persuasive and influential

                  Communications are at the heart of all transactions. Whether it’s pitching for a sale or resolving a customer complaint, how you communicate will determine the outcome.

                  Charismatic leaders such as Richard Branson (Virgin) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) are confident and persuasive communicators. They know how to win over audiences and leave a lasting impressing in people’s minds.

                  There’re some common barriers that you’ll have to overcome in order to communicate effectively:

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                  How to learn effective communication? You could join the world-renowned U.S. nonprofit Toastmasters International. They’ve been training people in the art of public speaking since 1924, and members have included Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, and Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy.

                  If you don’t have time to join a club, then practice your communications skills at home. You can do this in front of a mirror, or even better, video yourself presenting, and then ask some friends and family members for feedback. You’ll be amazed at what they pick up on.

                  Traits for ensuring an engaging team

                  13. Team building

                  If you put a bunch of random people together, you may have a loose definition of a team. In reality, a real team has purpose, drive – and a leader lighting the way.

                  If you’ve worked in different teams and with different managers, you’ll no doubt have come to this conclusion:

                  Managers who treat their team members like children are unpopular with the team. Conversely, managers who treat their team members like adults, are respected and well-liked by the team.

                  The days of disciplinarian managers are passed. Nowadays, successful team leaders know how to inspire and motivate their team, while keeping a harmonious atmosphere between all team members.

                  14. Fostering creativity

                  Solutions to problems are rarely black and white. Often it takes a leader who can ‘think outside the box’ to come up with answers. In other words, a leader must be creative, and also help to foster creativity and innovation throughout their team.

                  Creativity is not only associated with pursuits such as arts, literature and music, running a team can be just as creative. There will be times every day when you need to come up with ideas and give guidelines for your team to come up with theirs to solve problems.

                  Leadership is a journey of continuous learning

                  Leadership is an amazing experience that will take you on roads you’ve never traveled before.

                  Begin now to build your skills and experience, pick out the traits that you currently lack – and then work on developing those.

                  It will take tons of practice and time before becoming an effective leader but eventually you will join the ranks of great leaders.

                  Featured photo credit: unsplash via unsplash.com

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