The modern world is fraught with distractions. The introduction of the mobile phone made the world much smaller so that now your colleagues and peers can find you at any time of the day or night. The internet made the world smaller still until we found all the distractions needed to fill a workday at the touch of a button. But what happens when you need to finish that big project, but you keep getting lost along the way?
I have all the answers you need to stop yourself from getting distracted from your work in 2020!
What’s Distracting You?
To find out what we need to fix, we ought to first identify the key distractions facing workers in 2020. Let’s look at these and think about how much time we spend on each one.
The key distractions from work in 2020 are:
- Social Media — social media swallows all of our time – more so when we use it in a work environment. Answering messages, chasing up conversations in group chats, and even responding to network requests on business app LinkedIn are all distractions of the digital age. Statista says we spend around 136 minutes per day on social media sites.
- Smartphone — in recent years, this has become the worst tool for distracting employees. How often have you been busy when a phone call slashes your productivity? Mobile phones are the worst for losing focus. The Guardian reports that phone time amounts to a full 36 days per year.
- Answering Client Requests — whether you are a freelancer or an employee, clients tend to pop up and ask questions at the most inopportune moments.
- Research — researching products and topics for clients can seriously eat into the production side of your workday.
So, now that we have identified the factors that keep us from work, how can we go about finding ways to ignore them? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Avoiding Distractions and Working Smarter
There are a few things you can do to start avoiding the distractions in your life. We go into detail on each of our tips and tricks for preventing distractions in 2020, below.
There is a lot to be said for keeping a journal. It shouldn’t be a diary, but more of an accurate log of the progress you have made towards your overall goals. If you use the SMART goal system, then keeping a journal will track the tiny steps you make towards your overall goals on a quantitative, measurable scale.
Your mental attitude towards yourself is an excellent starting point for getting more done. You feel better about yourself, ergo you are more productive. Try starting the day by writing down three things that you are thankful for, and three things that would make your day beautiful. Visualize these things, then release them into the universe. You will find you have a much better morning every time you use this trick.
Break Your Day into a Schedule
Allowing that research time for a certain number of hours per day means that you make progress on your new projects as well as your old ones. If you know you are going to have to spend time on research or knowledge building, then you need to start factoring this into your schedule. Likewise, if you struggle to stop working at the end of each day, then a plan will make sure you rest.
If you don’t break up your workday with healthy exercise, then you probably aren’t even working off the calories you ate at lunch. Not only is it good for your body, it’s good for your mind. A brisk walk is a perfect way to get away from a task and provide new perspective when you return.
Make Monthly Plans
At the start of each month, try setting a SMART goal for the end of the month. Setting a goal gives you the boost of knowing you are productive. You can measure the steps you make towards this monthly goal in your journal — where you should also keep any positive affirmations you have made along the way — this helps keep your goals and visions at the forefront of your mind.
Tracking Your Input and Output
Keeping track of how much you are getting done while you work is a great way to challenge yourself to do better next time. Monitor how long specific tasks take you and measure their worth by comparison to the time invested; this gives you knowledge and motivation to do better, but it can also be harmful on days where the world is against you.
Understand that Distraction is OK
Sometimes, distractions can be harnessed actually to help boost productivity. It is a well-known fact that human concentration operates in cycles. These cycles usually last for between 30 minutes and one hour. After this cycle, you will start to become bored or disinterested in your task. Science has proven that taking small breaks at the end of each concentration cycle can help you make positive changes in a faster time. So, stopping once an hour to do something different refreshes your ability to perform the task at hand.
Planning your time to be distracted is also a great way to manage how much time you spend on your dalliances.
Finally – All Work and No Play Is No Good!
We touched on this briefly earlier. There are some of us, particularly those that work from home, who find it difficult to turn off for the day. When writing any schedule for your time, be sure to factor time off into the equation. Making money is terrific, but everyone needs to stop once in a while. Take it easy on yourself, if you burn out that task might never get finished at all.
Each of these blogs is designed to help you achieve your goals and lead a more positive life. If you need further information and advice, then you should have a look at www.coaching-online.org to find the answers you need.