Take Charge of Distractions – Learn to Focus

distractionsThe world seems to spin at a faster pace with more and more things demanding our attention. We are bombarded by so many distractions that stress is constant. Once we're distracted, we get behind, make mistakes, or we miss out on important moments and opportunities. Then negative feelings like pressure, anxiety, sadness, and stress set in. This upheaval becomes a cycle when we're led by outside influences. The key to taking charge and lessening those nagging emotions is to focus. Let's take a look at some ways to cut distractions to promote productivity and calmness.

Go Offline

Digital distractions, email, social media, and texting can be like a siren call constantly beckoning for your attention. You immediately answer when you hear an alert. You might also feel tethered to checking in on the outside world through Facebook or Instagram. The old fear of missing out (FOMO) syndrome. While technology can be wonderful, it can also diminish your productivity and take away meaningful moments of your personal and professional relationships. Here is a suggestion, go offline, set some limits on the time you spend online each day to avoid distractions. Check email and social media only two or three times during the workday. Remove your phone from the room if you must.

Self-Imposed Small Deadlines

You might be more productive if you set small deadlines for yourself with time limits. Doing so also enhances your focus by challenging you to beat the clock. Seeing an end to your task makes it seem easier to get started and to remain in the flow. You'll be more productive in this manner. Setting the clock for an hour should be a good guideline, but each task might require its own unique deadline.

Tackle Big Tasks in Manageable Chunks

Break big tasks into smaller chunks. Large projects or goals may seem overwhelming. However, with advance planning to approach your goal in segments or phases will make your job seem so much more manageable. You'll gain the inspiration and motivation necessary to keep going when you feel you are facing an achievable goal, rather than an impossible feat.

Give Up Multi-Tasking

Focusing on a single task eliminates the need for your brain to switch gears constantly, making performance more efficient. When your brain can work more optimally, you'll get more done. You're also less likely to make careless errors, improving your end performance or product. Once you become accustomed to single-tasking, you'll soon notice you feel freer and more in control of your time. You'll no longer feel beholden to the pressure to be on alert all the time or to get as much done in as little time as possible. You won't feel nearly as stressed once you learn to give up multi-tasking. Plus, you'll be able to concentrate better for more extended periods once you train your brain.

Remove Yourself

Sometimes rather than removing distractions such as your cellphone from your presence, you'll need to remove yourself from the source of what's distracting you. For example, if you work from home and find yourself frequently distracted by household chores, family activities, or your favorite television program, it would be a wise idea to find another location from which to work. Head to a coffee shop or library to get things done. Sometimes this also works when you simply need a change of scenery to escape the distractions of your own mind or your mental blocks.

These are some suggestions to get you started on the process of being more productive to function optimally. Once you eliminate some of these distractions, you'll feel lighter, calmer, more focused, and ready to face the world. “Yes, you can do better and be better.” Should you need help setting up your personal action plan, contact me.