How to manage distractions to manage productivity

Ping, ring, tweet, beep are now the soundtracks to our lives.

With the introduction of smart phones and tablets we are now accessible at any time or from any place.

Plus when people need something they invariably need it and need it now. This urgency increases the pressure- yet we may find ourselves looking at all 238 wedding pictures of someone who was in our science lesson at school, then wondering where the morning has gone? Sound familiar? Yes, me too.

So with all of these distractions, how do we get anything done?

Here are 5 ways to help you take action.

1)   Write a list of all the tasks you need to get done and add a completion date to each. Notice the most important ones and put a star next to each.

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2)   Pull out your diary and see what time you have available. Start to schedule the tasks into your diary giving them and allotted time.

3)   Be clear about what you need to achieve before the task session starts. Take some time to write down the exact actions you need to take. Eg Make three phones, reply to x, write 1000 words etc. This will make the session more effective and you won’t spend the first ten minutes wondering what it is you need to do and what you need to do first.

4)   Notice your surroundings. Eliminate any clutter or background distractions. If it helps to move to another location, do so. Switch your mindset so you can do what you need to do, most other stuff can wait. Eliminate the distractions before they pop up. Turn off facebook, put your phone on silent and say you are ‘unavailable’. This will help you set boundaries, not only to those around you but also to you as you enter into ‘work mode’.

5)   Be kind to yourself. Notice what you are saying in your head and don’t let negative thoughts creep in- keep your focus on the task. Sorting out your accounts could be an important to do. You may have chatter around this ‘I’m not good with money’ ‘I can’t do Maths’  ‘I don’t really understand this’ so switch the thought to something more positive. ‘In these two hours I will spend time making my accounting system more effective and if I don’t understand something, I will get the help I need’. This way you keep moving forward and don’t get stuck. Either way the task has to get done so make a decision to carry it out yourself or get the expert help you need.