5 Tips to Win Over Distractions
Easier said then done, right? There are so many distractions in our every day life, which makes it very difficult to get things done. I thought I would share with you some tools that help me to stay focused and be productive throughout the day. Hopefully I’m not the only one, but Netflix is EVIL when it comes to trying to be productive. Binge watching is the real deal! Especially if you work from home, there is no one to stop you and say, ‘Tiane, is that your THIRD episode of Downton Abbey!?’
Ignore the Squirrel
Does anyone remember that scene from the movie UP? Where the dog is always chasing the squirrel. And no matter what is he is doing, as soon as the squirrel appeared, then his focus was back on the squirrel. Yeah, it’s like that for me. There have been many days when I first started my business that by the end of the day, I would ask myself…what the heck did I accomplish today?!? The thing about distractions though, is that the more we let ourselves become victim to it, the farther away we get from accomplishing our goals. Without taking action, there can be no resulting effect. It’s really about self-mastery. It’s not easy, but anything is possible if you just keep on trying. So, let’s get to it.
“Without taking action, there can be no resulting effect.”
Here are a few tips & tools that have helped me stay focused.
1. USE A TIMER
– Specify a certain amount of time to work on a task that you have been meaning to do. One of my current favorite reads is the book by Gretchen Rubin ‘Better than Before’. She talks about the concept that we can do anything for at least 15 minutes. And who knows, you may do it longer. Sometimes, the hardest thing is to just begin.
– I like to use my apple watch: The timer function is a shortcut that is right on the watch face. This can also be very useful when I want to manage the time I spend on idle amusements, like social media. The ‘ding’ on the alarm is helpful to snap me out of my social media trance. Plus, there isn’t a snooze button. (You can also use a kitchen timer.)
2. EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST
– Sometimes when I can’t focus it’s simply because I didn’t eat a hearty breakfast. Not giving your body the fuel it needs is definitely the main cause of losing focus. If you are short on time…eggs, turkey bacon and kale is a favorite of mine.
3. TRACK YOUR TIME
– Tracking your time to see where you need to make adjustments is helpful to see where you are spending your time. You may ‘think’ that you don’t spend too much time during your breaks but you would be surprised after actually putting it on paper.
– If you like tracking your time on your smart phone, there are 2 apps that I can recommend which is 30/30 and Timley.
30/30: Some of the great features. You can add more time or less time to a current task and you can reorganize the order of the tasks. Also, you can color code your tasks and create different groupings of tasks.
Timely: is a great app because it’s a great tool to track where your time is being spent. You can make up to 5 categories without having to pay for the upgrade. The categories that I made was Business, Distractions (Social Media/TV past 1 hr) Fun/Creative, Housework and Health/Spirit.
4. CHART YOUR PROGRESS
– I’m a list maker, and making a check mark on my to do list, is oh-so-satisfying. Have you heard of the ‘Don’t break the Chain’ method? he concept was coined by a comedian named Jerry Seinfeld, who uses this method to work on his craft.
– You can buy a desktop calendar or just make your own to try this out. I use the method to track my daily habits. Just starting out, I noticed that I was hardly taking the time needed to work on building my business opposed to ‘working in my business’ (working on client projects) So, I added, “Work on business’ in my chart to make concrete progress.
🍍 Sweet treat for you! Click below to snag your handy template to track your own daily progress.
5. CHUCK YOUR CELL PHONE
– Okay, I don’t mean to throw it away, but just move it to another room. I have a love/hate relationship with my phone. It’s my mini computer where I can access all kinds of information, but the real time suck for me is social media. Just make sure to keep the ringer on so that you don’t miss any important calls.
I use all these methods, but to be honest, the phone part is a challenge. But sometimes not all things in life are pleasant..like making smarter eating decisions. Yet, the positive effect of our self-mastery will have the best possible outcome on the things that we are trying to accomplish.
Why don’t you try out one or two of these ideas and see how it works for you.