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Last week I did not have a single minute of home Internet access. It was painful; yet, refreshing at the same time. I found myself concentrating more on my writing, reading, working out and hang time with family. It’s not that I completely neglect them when the wifi is running strong, it just tends to be a distraction.
When you eliminate distractions you become more productive in your day. In fact you have to wonder whether those 50 plus hours you work is because of the amount on your to do list or because you are constantly distracted. Is it even possible to be 100% focused, 100% of the time? No, because there are some distractions you can’t control, some interruptions that need to happen in your life. But, some are controllable, even in these areas:
- Habitual – Maybe you have a habit of checking your email, Twitter, voicemail or Facebook every 2 minutes. Maybe you constantly reach for that donut, or cup of coffee to mix things up. Your habits whether intentionally good or bad could be unnecessary if they are pulling you away from your work, family or God. By recognizing these habits you can create a schedule to your day where you can focus on what’s important, build margin for unexpected and expected interruptions.
- Environmental – If your door is open, it means come on in. Headphones on might mean don’t disturb me. A dirty desk is filled with eye candy and having two screens in front of you means sharing your time. What surrounds you and is happening around you will affect your productivity. Organizing your desk and office in certain ways will help you create a more focused environment.
- Relational – This is the hardest area to eliminate distractions because you do not want to appear rude. To avoid unnecessary distractions you need to set clear boundaries. If someone is meeting with you, let others know if they can walk in. If your writing a message and can’t be disturbed, don’t be afraid to give the heads up. The best way to deal with relational distractions is by communicating with the people who work around you.
Distractions will happen. In fact I’m willing to bet you had a few while reading this post. Some of them are out of your control; but, not all of them. You can no longer afford to make them an excuse to your productivity; therefore, be proactive with your habits, environments and relationships.
How do you eliminate distractions?