Do you ever have that feeling after a day of work that you didn’t get ANYTHING done? You showed up, but you can’t remember if you accomplished anything during those hours. Sound familiar? This used to happen to me and I hated feeling like I accomplished nothing, especially when my to-do list was a mile long. I sat down and figured out how to combat the distractions that were constantly taking me away from the task at hand. It is HARD to form a habit to get rid of distractions, but I promise you that your to-do list will shrink and on your drive home from work you won’t have to ask yourself, “Did I get anything done today?”
- Social Media: Come on, guys. We all knew this would be #1 on the list! Keeping that pesky Facebook tab open all day long breeds interruptions. Every time your phone lights up with an Instagram notification, you are pulled from your task and even though it might only be for a minute or two, your brain has lost its train of thought. Believe me, this is one that I am still working on. To defeat this distraction, I close my Facebook tab and flip my phone over until I am done with my project. If I am working from home, I plug my phone up and put it in the other room so that I am not constantly tempted to check and see what app is causing the “DING!”
- Email: Maybe this one is a surprise to you, but I can get lost in my emails. I almost always get my inbox back to zero by batch working (See my Batch, Please! Post to find out more); however, if I stop what I am doing to answer every email as soon as it hits my inbox, I would do nothing except answer emails all day. I block out times to check my email and respond, and I even put it on my daily to-do list three or four times, so I remember to check it and respond in a timely manner.
- Requests: This can piggy back off #2. I work with a team and throughout the day, I get several requests to help build presentations, come up with suggestions for clients, aid in creative ideas etc. The key here is to field the requests and ask for a deadline. For example, if I have an Account Executive that needs me to help with a client’s proposal, I always ask what the deadline is for the project. Now I know when I need to have it finished by and can add it to my list for later in the day or on a completely different day and not stop in the middle of what I was working on to work on that request. This also keeps me from working on too many things at once which we will talk about later on this list. 😊
- Hunger: Maybe you are LOL’ing at this distraction, but for me, it is the real deal! If I am hungry or thirsty, I can’t think straight. I also can’t keep myself on track. “Is it time to eat lunch? What should I eat? Do I have time to eat?” All the little comments to myself pull me away from my work. The key is making sure I have a water bottle (or coffee) at my desk and a snack drawer of things that if I need a pick me up, they are convenient and won’t ruin my diet for the day. Hunger also gives me a major headache and who can work with a headache?!
- Multitasking: Last, but not least on the list is multitasking! It is a hindrance to your workflow in disguise. Working on several tasks at the same time pulls your focus in too many directions and can cause you to start a lot of different projects at the same time without actually completing any of them. Instead of trying to do four things at once, prioritize from what will take the shortest amount of time to the longest OR tightest deadline to the not as pressing. I have found that by cutting down on multitasking, my work is better quality as well. You will be surprised at how much quicker the tasks get done and with much more focus! Yes, honey! #winwin
So, there you have it, folks! There is nothing better than being able to take your pen and cross through your to-do list. And with these five hacks to cut out distractions, you are better equipped to leave work knowing that you crushed it! I hope these tips are helpful and I know they can be game changers when put into play!
I post more about how to stay on task, my work hacks, and business tips over on my LinkedIn and Instagram! Come hang out!