Dealing with distractions; that’s probably one of the most common problems of our century. We’ve become so good at multi-tasking that it’s become very hard for most of us to actually get things done… Pretty ironic, don’t you think?
After reading one of my recent posts where I was talking about the art of getting things done, a lot of you asked me the same question; how can I stay focused and avoid distractions? And quite frankly, this got me thinking. As much as I wanted to answer that question; I simply couldn’t. Why? Because I still hadn’t figured out the answer for myself yet!
I mean, with my Instagram account that’s blowing up right now, my Facebook page, my Snapchat, all the emails I receive on a daily basis, and the two books I’m working on, it’s pretty hard not to be distracted… This very blog, on a certain level, is a distraction for me!
So, for the next few weeks, I did a bit of research. And after a short period of trial and error, I finally managed to find what seemed to work best for me. To remain focused and avoid distractions, I use two strategies.
Use a time log app
Probably not what you expected… But hey; it works!
I personally like to use Eternity Time Log, which I think is great for iPhone users. The app basically allows you to preset your most frequent tasks and to time everything you do. At the end of each day, you get to see how you’ve managed your time for the day. You’d be amazed to see how much time you spend on social media…
I don’t know how or even why this works, but since I started using the app, my productivity level has increased considerably. Maybe my subconscious knows that all my actions are monitored, or maybe I’m just too lazy to continually start and stop the timer every time I multi-task. Whatever the reason, it works for me!
Now, for this strategy to work, you’ll obviously need to be very clear on your goals and what you want to accomplish on a daily basis.
Structure your time and take breaks (50-20-50)
The second strategy I like to use is something one of my mentors taught me a little while back. According to certain studies, the human brain can’t effectively focus on one task for more than 90 minutes straight. Therefore, taking a break every 90 minutes would help you maintain a higher level of productivity.
What I like to do is 50 minutes of work for 20 minutes of break. This allows me to focus on one thing for nearly an hour, and then to take a few minutes off to make sure I stay on top of my game. During these breaks, I usually take a quick look at my notifications, return my calls and check my emails. You should try this out!
With the right amount of self-discipline, I’ve found that dealing with distractions can become fairly easy. These are the two strategies that I use to stay focused at work, and I’d like to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments below!
To make sure you don’t miss any of my next entries, you can subscribe to my RSS feed by clicking here, and sign up here to get my FREE 10-step guide to success.