Setting a proper routine doesn't mean you won't get distracted from what you've intended to do.
So just how do you eliminate distractions?
With the latest smartphones and the advancement in technology it makes us much easily accessible. We can check in with a pin drop letting others know where we are. We can let Facebook tell us what friends are nearby and we can get an email, tweet or any other message because we are always connected.
Have you ever experienced forgetting your phone at home? I am sure you thought the world would end. That you'd miss an important message from your social media sites. Can you remember a time when email was the best way to reach you? Or your at home phone (if those still exist, or if anyone still answers). If there was an emergency that was the only time someone called you at your work extension. While I do enjoy goofing off we need to re-learn how to disconnect from these things:
- social media
With emails you should
- read it twice daily
- turn the immediate alerts off
- and remember that not everything is urgent.
Keeping notifications on puts you in reactive mode. The minuet my phone vibrates, pings, or flashes I am ready to respond to someone's message. At times it's other people's to do list for you. It also puts us in a space where we can't say no. Notifications and easily responding to other people's' task zaps your most important energy.
I am aware that we are so used to filling time.
When I was in college this is what my schedule looked like:
Work 5:45am -8:00 am
Class 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Lunch Until 1:00 pm
Class 2:00 - 5/6:00pm (if they were nice)
Work (AGAIN) 6:00 pm - 11:00pm Or Studio Time
And All Nighters for final projects.
- This was not the life
I hardly left time for fun - and this was my schedule with little variation from trimester to trimester, Monday to Sunday.
My time was constantly split and I could remember the constant lack of sleep. The many all-nighters with coffee, red bull and at times someone being on the phone to keep me up. I always felt I could do better. Even when I landed an "A" I didn't feel that I deserved the grade. I am sure that had I eliminated a job or two or what ever distractions I had at the time I would be better satisfied with my work. Another experience was after I no longer worked two jobs I started to watch more television. Entertainment is great and all but I realized I was wasting time. I've since replaced this time with reading, blogging, and educating myself with design and business matters.
We tend to look forward to the constant interruptions. When you are at work, you can anticipate the constant interruption from co-workers, asking questions, sending emails and the likes. You can tell your co-workers you need to focus. Throw on some head phones when you are in focus mode and it just may cause others to think twice before interrupting you. If those tips don't work, tell it straight. Let your co-workers know how our attention span works and the time it takes to get back on track.
Not too long ago I wrote about work space environments. Clutter serve as a distraction. I won't go too far into this as you can read more about it here.
I am actually no longer in this space an in the process of revamping a new work space.
One Key Point: Always have a way to be mobile with the ability to still work.
I'll share updated photos soon!
Lastly, multitasking is a lie. There is no way I can effectively write out a polished email while listening to music and singing along. There have been countless times of me typing those lyrics out - that is not effective.
I want to share with you:
5 Tips To Eliminate Distractions
- complete short projects first
having accomplished something - even if small - allows us to have the momentum to continue forth with larger projects.
- body language
At work? Use head phones. Block out the murmur of others talking (or gossiping).
Be sure you aren't slouching, and avoid working on a full stomach.
- action lists
write three things to accomplish each day.
It will help you know where to start your morning and give you a bit of clarity.
- remove digital/physical clutter
Close out all the multiple browser tabs. Close out your inbox. Clean off your desktop! These are all digital clutter and serve as a distraction.
Notifications - simple: airplane mode.
Have any tips I may missed?
Share your thoughts with me in a reply or in the comment below.