The other day, Alexis wrote about Ways You Can Manage Your Time Better and she briefly touched on eliminating distractions can help.
I think most of us know that we should eliminate distractions from our everyday lives in order to help us make the most of our time, but it’s definitely easier said than done.
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you eliminate common distractions so you can focus on the task at hand, no matter what it may be.
Your Cell Phone
Whenever I’m working at my full-time job, I turn my phone on silent and I try to keep it out of sight by leaving it in my purse or in my desk drawer. The only time I don’t is if I’m expecting a service call. My friends and family know that if they really need to reach me while I’m at work they should send me an email or call my office instead of calling my cell phone.
I do take a couple of short breaks, one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon, where I will quickly check my cell phone for any missed calls or text messages that need immediate attention.
The rest of the time I am able to focus on my work since I’m not constantly distracted by my cell phone going off.
As a freelancer, I know the importance of social media and how much of a positive impact it can have on your business. But social media is also a huge time and productivity suck.
Taking 5 minutes to check Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest can easily turn into an hour or more as you continually surf your social media channels on auto-pilot. Completely eliminating social media is just not feasible as I use it every day for my freelancing business and my own personal use too.
But now whenever I get ready to go on social media, I set a timer to go off at 5, 10, or 15 minutes so I can make sure I’m on-task when working on social media or to limit my “Facebook breaks” while I’m working on my laptop. When the timer goes off, it’s time to get back to work.
I used to do my freelance work on my living room couch, often times with the TV on for background noise. But more than once, I would get distracted by the commercials or enthralled in the TV show without meaning to.
When that would happen, I’d usually stop working or I’d be working distractedly as I tried to pay attention to multiple things at once. Being distracted by the TV lead to a decrease in the quality of my work and in my productivity level.
Since I realized this, I’ve switched to working at my desk in my home office most of the time. I still do some work in the living room with the TV on, but only if it’s something that doesn’t require my full attention and focus.
What other distractions are you tempted by? How do you fight off your distractions?