Bling! Here comes the notification on your phone and now everything comes to a standstill until the notification is dealt with. This is called distraction. Distraction can come in many forms. This was just an example. No human on earth is immune to this so hence it’s not something to worry about. However, it can be improved upon.
According to many studies it has been discovered that every 8 minutes a manager is interrupted and about 28% of the time is spent on dealing with unnecessary distractions by an employee. So what are the ways to focus on the task at hand alongside such obstruction? Well, we are all here and this is what this article will talk about.
1. Night-Before Planning
To have a productive day it is best to plan out the day the night before. Not much needs to be done. All you have to do is select any task for yourselves. Either task can be short or long or could be reconditioned. Hence the focus can then be projected to the other task. This task should be prioritized before going through your phone and any other social media platforms.
2. Establish a distraction-free mode for yourself
Adapting habits that will aid in creating a distraction-free environment can be a good start. An easy example can be by using website blocker apps for those who are easily distracted by what is on the internet. This is especially helpful if the main task also requires the use of an electronic device or the internet.
Furthermore, working in a quiet place, switching off the phone, and putting it out of sight are some of the ways to eliminate distractions. According to studies, working in an open environment like the office has more distractions than in a quiet place (64 %). Also, avoid multitasking and remove all excuses to get the task done.
You may also like to read: How To Use Your Phone To Stay Focused Instead Of Getting Distracted?
3. Set three key objectives for a day
A lengthy to-do list can be overwhelming and scrolling through social media could seem to be a better getaway. Hence it is better to do just 3 tasks a day. This will divert all your attention to accomplishing goals as there is less stress of an overloaded to-do list. Chances of distraction can decrease greatly.
4. Set up deadlines for yourself
More hours spent working doesn’t define the accomplishments of the task. According to Parkinson’s law “work tends to expand to fill the time we have available for its completion.” We tend to fill our time with a distraction like watching YouTube, playing games, etc. this is the result of our minds constantly being wired with conserved energy.
By setting up deadlines we are more likely to finish the tasks in a shorter period. In addition to this, it is also best to have someone hold you accountable for finishing your task. This could be your boss at work, your significant other at home, or friends. In this way productivity increases.
5. Watch your mind wandering
A Harvard study shows that we spend 50% of our waking time on things other than our tasks at hand. To increase our productivity, observe when your mind is distracted and bring the focus back to the task. Recognize the things and the thoughts that distract you from your work. Try snapping out of it and redirect your focus to your work.
Be aware of the thoughts that are harder to avoid. If you give in to these distractions then try coming out of it by doing a task related to one that demands your focus.
Here is how you can become mindful with simple everyday activities.
6. Go for a walk
Scheduling regular breaks are necessary for your mind to function properly. Taking a short walk can help refresh your mind and allow better focus when you get back to your work.
7. Play a mind game and exercise your mind’s muscles
Too much focus on one thing can tire your brain, and a tired brain can lead to mood swings and depression. This can further damage your efficiency and decrease productivity. To avoid such things from happening it is best to take a 30-minute break and play games. Games help exercise your brain and stimulate focus. Games like chess, puzzles, and other sports can be a good choice and also can be a good addition to your list of hobbies.
8. Turning work into the game with Pomodoro Technique?
Your mind is like a muscle that needs building up to work effectively. This can be done through the ‘Pomodoro method‘. This method teaches us to set a time to finish a particular task, let’s say 45 minutes. Once the task is done in this time frame take a break for like 15 minutes.
In this way, the task becomes a challenge or a game and helps focus. This is effective in the long run as it strengthens the focus and polishes the ability of the brain. After the break get back to work and with time you will be impressed by how much work gets done with this method.
9. Challenge your brain more
If constant distraction prevails then this may be because your brain has lost its interest and it is trying to fill in with things that excite it. hence the distraction. To overcome this, take on more challenging and complex tasks as it requires more attention and working memory.
When the mind is challenged it is more likely to immerse itself in the task. Taking on additional challenging tasks pushes our skills and intellectual limits. An exciting task and a challenge to tackle gives us a sense of achievement.
10. Put an end to the cycle of stress and distraction
When you feel overwhelmed about a task, it can cause stress to your brain. Then mood swings, exhaustion, and expression all follow after. Psychologists have a name for it which is “easily distracted anxiety”. Symptoms include distraction, difficulty forming thoughts, and impairment of mind and short-term memory. The best way to break free from this is to try to be calm and stay relaxed. Sleeping well, and doing breathing exercises can help you deal with this kind of anxiety.
You may also like to read: 6 Creative Ways to Manage Stress & Anxiety
Wrapping Up on Overcoming Distractions
These were some of the ways that help cope with the stress the distraction can cause to your mind. As humans, we can overcome many hardships and distraction is just an obstacle. All we have to do is move it out of the way.
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