Advertising
Advertising

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.
    Advertising

    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.

      Advertising

      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.
          Advertising

          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.

            Advertising

            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?

              More by this author

              10 Ways To Remove The Distractions That Keep You From Doing the Best At Work 7 Hidden Causes of Fatigue And Steps to Prevent Serious Health Damage 7 Hidden Causes of Fatigue And Steps to Prevent Serious Health Damage

              Trending in Productivity

              1 What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It 2 How to Set Long Term Goals and Reach Success 3 Easily Distracted? Here’s How to Regain Your Focus 4 Why You Need to Set Future Goals (And How to Reach Them) 5 15 Productive Things to Do When Bored (So Time Is Not Wasted)

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on January 21, 2020

              What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

              What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

              Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

              Can I Be Creative?

              The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

              Advertising

              How Creativity Works

              Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

              What Really Is Creativity?

              Creativity Needs an Intention

              Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

              Advertising

              Creativity Is a Skill

              At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

              Start Connecting the Dots

              Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

              Advertising

              Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

              Advertising

              Read Next