7 Proven Strategies for Overcoming Distractions

With the new year fastly approaching, it’s time to look at some ways you can get on top of your business in 2019.

This article comes from Entrepreneur.

7 Proven Strategies for Overcoming Distractions

Distractions can seem impossible to avoid. Statistics show that distractions cause a massive loss in productivity. The typical manager is interrupted every eight minutes, and employees generally spend 28 percent of their time dealing with unnecessary interruptions and trying to get back on track.

So, how can you take back control of your time and attention? Here are seven proven strategies for overcoming distractions and reclaiming your focus.

1. Put yourself in distraction-free mode.

Begin building habits that help you eliminate distractions and stay focused. Start by creating an environment in which you’re less tempted to get preoccupied with something other than what you’re working on.

This isn’t always easy to do. For one, many of us rely on a computer to do our work, but we also find our biggest distractions enabled by the use of a computer on the internet.

If you constantly find yourself wandering over to video or shopping websites, try using a website blocker app.

Work to create habits that signal to yourself and those around you that you’re in distraction-free mode. Close the door to your office. Put on noise-canceling headphones. Turn off your phone or put it on silent and move it away from you.

2. Set three main objectives every day.

A long list of things to do can feel insurmountable and leave us feeling overwhelmed. We’re ready to give up before we start, and that’s when it becomes easy to give in to distractions.

You can offset this by giving yourself 3 objectives to accomplish every day. Write them on a sticky note and post it where you can see it every time you look up from your work.

By limiting the number of daily goals, you’ll have clearly defined what you need to work on. You’ll work with a greater intention on those tasks and your mind will be less apt to stray.

Ask yourself every morning: What are the three most important things to accomplish today? Any other tasks should be put on a separate to-do list. You can begin to tackle those less-important tasks once you’ve accomplished the first 3 goals.

3. Give yourself a shorter time frame.

To eliminate distractions, give yourself a shorter time frame to finish your work. This is like giving yourself an artificial deadline but backed up with something that holds you accountable.

Tell your boss or client that you’ll give them a draft of a project by the end of the day. Find an accountability partner who will hold you to your target time frame. However you do it, setting a hard deadline will help you avoid distractions and amp up your productivity.

4. Monitor your mind wandering.

Pay attention to what distractions are particularly hard to avoid, so you can catch them sooner. When you feel a desire to give in to a distraction, take a breath and purposely choose not to react to it.

Once you’ve given in and allowed yourself to focus on something else, like reading emails, it’s harder to regroup and bring your attention back to the task at hand.

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