What do you need if you want to start a fire by the sun rays? Just a distraction-free (focused) magnifying glass, isn’t it? Similarly, you need a distraction-free life if you want to achieve your goals.
I still remember the day when I spent the four hours but couldn’t write an article of 1200 words. I was already done with research a day before. I had all the detail that the article needed. However, I failed to write that article in four hours even though I usually write 1200 words in an hour.
Why? Because I was having cell phone beside me that was buzzing every now and then. I received four calls in that four hours. I checked social media in every 10 minutes. Since I was at home I had to pay attention to things that I was supposed to while being at home. I was jumbling to give a proper structure to the article. I was not only physically distracted but mentally too. That was the reason I could not write that article which was just a matter of an hour only.
I am sure you have also experienced distractions at one time or another. That is why I thought to come up with some ideas through which you and I can learn how to deal with distraction and get the desired tasks done in a specific time to achieve goals.
Figure out what’s distracting and solve it
Distraction is detrimental to your successful life. Figure out what’s distracting you. Is it your noisy surrounding? Is it some conflict going on in your mind. Figure out and solve them. The more you avoid this process the more you will be distracted. You have two options either solve the problem or stop bothering by the problems. Read problem-solving techniques here.
Block time for every task
Do you finish tasks in 3-4 hours which supposed to be done in just one and a half hours? If yes then this strategy is must for you. Block time for every task. Let’s say, you want to read about 30 pages of a book. Figure out how much time it takes to read and block the time for it every time you sit down to read the book. It will help you to get the tasks done and enjoy the rest of the time.
Those who brag about being multitaskers should understand that they are not efficient. Because they are distracted by many tasks at a time. Imagine you are writing an article and talking to your friend over the call and sipping freshly brewed coffee. If this seems little awkward then don’t try multitasking at all. Those who multitask always get burn out sooner than those who don’t.
Say yes or no as per your will
If you are available for everyone you are not available for yourself which is hazardous to your success. Successful people say yes or no with second thoughts. Which means, whenever something comes up they think whether it is contributing to their goals or not. If it is then they say yes if not then they say no. Adopt this habit. Your life will be away from many distractions.
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything,” says Warren Buffett.
Don’t act on your thoughts immediately
It happens all the time to almost everyone. You are reading a book and all of a sudden a thought of making an important call popped up in your mind. You picked up the phone and make that one call. Then you make an online order for an upcoming party at the office and then check social media notifications. That is how you end up spending 3-4 hours on a single task.
Instead of acting on the thoughts that are popping up in your mind while working on a task keep a paper and pen beside you and write them down. Once you are done with the current task. Revise the list of tasks and plan them accordingly.
Off-internet and cellphone notification
Do you know the biggest distraction in your life? It is none other than a cell phone that you hold all the time in your hands. No matter how important the tasks that you are working on if your phone buzzes you pick it up to check it. It eats up your precious time and then you regret afterwards. However, since you are addicted to the cell phone as all the social media platforms are available on it you repeat the same mistakes again.
Make sure you avoid this distraction by either switching off notifications or turn the internet off. Don’t use social media randomly. Use them twice or thrice when needed. I have written a full piece on how to avoid cell phone distraction. Read the full piece here.
Take breaks at every 60-90 minutes
If you believe in hard work which is working round the clock then you should change your mentality on work and productivity. The key isn’t working hard but to produce what is needed. For instance, you have planned to sell 100 books in a day that you have written and published then it does not matter whether you work 16 hours a day or just 4 hours to sell the 100 books.
Yes, it is possible to sell 100 books in just four hours. However, to do this your mind and body need some refreshments and sharpen the saw. Figure out how long you can work with full focus and then take a break wherein you can do what you like. For instance, go for a walk or listen to music etc. It strengthens your productivity and focus.
Find out your productive hours for important tasks
I talked to many people to know their best time for very important tasks. I came to know that there is no thumb rule or fixed time for everyone to complete very important tasks. It is all up to individuals. The time you feel is best for you cannot be best for me or your friends. Google CEO Sundar Pichai says he is not a morning person which means he can not do very important tasks in the morning.
On the other hand, there are many successful people who wake up early in the morning try to eat that frog (very important tasks). Figure out your best time and do your most important tasks in your most productive hours.
Gather all the resources
Imagine that you want to read a book but you can not find it. Imagine that you are planning your week and you can not find a pen and pencil. It will obviously take longer time than specified. This is also a huge distraction. It also makes you procrastinate which is one of the enemies to your success. To avoid this type of distraction make sure that you gather all the necessary things before starting any tasks.
Tell others if you are busy
Many complain that they are distracted by their family members and friends when they are up to some important tasks. There can be many reasons for the same. One of the main reasons is that you don’t tell your family members that you are working on an important task that is why they intervene. Tell your family that you are busy and ask them not to disturb you. You can use the signboard “Busy” and “Available” that doctors use in their clinics.