Everyone has them, distractions that keep us from being productive and reaching our big goals in business. And it’s frustrating, especially when you know what you want to be doing but seem to do everything else instead. Here are 3 of my favorite strategies for staying focused and ignoring distractions.
Strategy #1 Turn off all your notifications
This might mean silencing your phone, logging out of Facebook, turning off email… do whatever you need to do to stop the ping*ping*ping of notifications that steal your attention for “just a minute” 30 times an hour.
I know that sometimes we can’t turn things off, for example if you’re waiting for a phone call or need to be available on chat for a client. But any way you can close out those distractions, you’ll get more accomplished.
The problem with notifications is that we’re curious, and even if it’s not important, the act of checking to see if it’s important will derail your focus.
Strategy #2: Find some awesome music
I love lyric-free music because I don’t get as easily distracted by the words and message and can simply get caught up in the beat. Everyone has their own preference, so find a playlist or album that you enjoy and can use when you’re working. Keep in mind that the pace of the music is important, experiment with slower, more relaxing tracks and fast-paced ones to see what works best for you.
Some of my favorites:
If you prefer quiet, then try using white noise in the background. One of my favorites is the sound of rain, so I use the free app “Infinite Storm” on my iPhone to play when I’m writing or creating.
Strategy #3 Time Blocking
Everyone talks about time blocking, but it’s really the most valuable way to work on a project for an extended period of time. If you’re constantly anticipating a task, finally sit down to work, and then don’t stay with the task long enough, then you’re not going to see results.
I like to start with a 90 minute work block with 5 minute breaks as needed (i.e. I need more coffee, not I need to go shopping). Some work requires longer blocks of 3-4 hours, but it’s entirely up to you how you block your time to accomplish your goals.
Listen, it’s not all about mindset and just imagining yourself accomplishing a goal – you actually have to do the work. I know, it can be boring and unsexy to say you’ve been working on editing or coding but how else are you going to publish that book you want to write or finish your new website?
There are people who never get their goals off the ground, but they’re always talking about the next big thing that they’re doing. Don’t be those people. Be willing to put in the time to reach your goals and shut out distractions, so they get accomplished faster than ever.
Let me know in the comments, how are you going to shut out distractions this week so you can work on your big goals and dreams?