In our fast-paced world, it’s not easy to stay focused. In fact, distractions are everywhere — from websites and smartphones to the siren call of your social media feed. And before you know it, 30 minutes have passed without a single ounce of work getting done!
Here are five distractions that can destroy productivity and some strategies for dealing with them.
- Noise: Whether it’s the sound of people talking or the rumble of traffic, noise can be a major distraction. One way to deal with it is to wear noise-canceling headphones. Another approach is to find a quiet place to work, such as a library or empty conference room.
- Lack of Structure: When you don’t have a plan, it’s easy to get sidetracked. One way to combat this is to plan each day, set specific deadlines for yourself, and use a timer to stay on track.
- Interruptions: Whether it’s your boss stopping by your desk, or a family member if you’re working remotely, or your phone ringing, interruptions can be incredibly disruptive. One way to keep them from derailing your day is to schedule specific times for these conversations. Make sure to let others know when you’re available.
- Social Media: Social media may be a great tool for networking, but it also can serve as an enormous distraction. The key here is setting boundaries around social media use so you don’t get sucked in when it’s not appropriate. For example, you might decide to only check social media once a day or only after you’ve completed a certain task.
- Email: Email can be a huge time suck, especially if you’re not careful. To deal with this distraction, try setting specific times to check your email and unsubscribe from mailing lists that are no longer relevant. You also might want to disable notifications so you’re not constantly interrupted by incoming emails.
Distractions are everywhere, but we don’t have to let them derail our productivity. By taking proactive steps to minimize distractions, we can stay focused and get more done!