Merriam-Webster refers to a distraction as, “an object that directs one’s attention away from something else; the act of distracting or the state of being distracted.” Sales and leadership guru Brian Tracy says the good news is, you can fight back. And for obvious reasons, don’t put it off. Start today!
“One thing is for certain, we live in a world with no shortage of distractions. And it’s almost impossible to avoid distractions.
From technology that connects us to everything and everyone to the endless sources of entertainment all around us, modern life is a landmine full of distractions capable of derailing your progress each day.
I know it’s a major issue because I get so many questions on the subject.
A few common questions include:
- How can I avoid distractions at work?
- How do I stop being distracted by thoughts?
- What can I do about being distracted by my phone?
So, if you want to ensure both your professional and your personal success, it’s important to avoid these distractions as best as possible. If you are looking for a way to avoid distractions and be more productive each day, here are four great tips to consider.
1. Plan Your Day The Night Before
There’s something to be said for the value of having a schedule in place.
When you plan out each day the night before, you’ll begin to see distractions more for what they are—something that is going to halt your progress and keep you from sticking to the schedule that you planned out.
Here’s what I do:
Each afternoon before you call it a day, take the time to plan out the things you want to accomplish the next day and the schedule you want to stick to, perhaps writing them down in a planner or in an excel document on your computer.
These can be work-related tasks you want to get done as well as breaks and time for relaxation that you want to schedule in.
If you are able to plan out your day beforehand, though, you’ll be much more likely to stick to that plan and avoid distractions that could derail it.
2. Go Offline
The internet and all that it provides access to is by far the number one distraction of modern times.
While many people work online and are therefore unable to avoid the internet while they work, going offline while you go about completing your daily tasks is a great way to avoid any distractions if you are able to do so.
Too scared of FOMO?
At the very least, set your smartphone aside while you work and only check it occasionally during your breaks.
A phone buzzing with notifications is going to be a much bigger distraction than a computer that is connected to the internet.
Also, in the same way that going offline can make you more productive while you work, going offline during your time off can be incredibly beneficial as well.
Take some time to disconnect from the internet and truly enjoy the world and people around you. Make a habit of doing this.
If you do, you’ll likely find your time off to be far more refreshing and enjoyable.
3. Wake Up Early
Start your day earlier in the morning. The early morning hours are some of the most valuable hours of the entire day.
Not only are you going to be much more motivated and determined when you first start the day, but distractions tend to typically pile up more and more as the day goes on.
So what can you do?
Try tackling the projects that require the most focus out of you in the early hours of the morning.
If you are able to wake up and get started in the calm, peaceful hours of early dawn before most people start their day and before most distracting things have begun, even better.
The more you make use of the distraction-free hours of the early morning, the more productive you will be. Setting up a morning routine will help you to do this.
4. Declutter Your Workspace
Clutter and distractions go hand in hand.
Every piece of a clutter in your space is an individual source of distraction, and taken as a whole, clutter can be even more distracting than just its individual parts. It’s no doubt hard to stay focused and concentrate when you are surrounded by mess and disorganization.
Clutter also forces you to take time to search for the things that you need, which in turn creates a window for you to be sidetracked from what you need to be focusing on.
Want to crush this chaos?
Simply take the time to declutter your space and create both a work and living space that is organized and clutter-free. When you’re done, you’ll likely have an environment that lends itself far better to focus and concentration than it did before.
By the way:
The most common causes of distraction take little effort to correct, but pay off big time in productivity. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of focus and take immediate action when you find a way to optimize your routine.”
—Brian Tracy is the chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and motivation of individuals and businesses.