Is it possible to take your life back and get rid of all the time consuming distractions in your daily schedule?
But what exactly is a distraction? You may ask. A distraction, according to formal definitions, is something that does not allow you to focus properly on a task at hand.
In other words, distraction can be defined as an agitation of your thoughts or feelings.
How do distractions occur?
Distractions are all around us and we are often the culprits for letting them infiltrate in our schedule and, of course, distracting us from what we are doing.
For instance, if you end up checking your e-mail every half an hour, or your Twitter account for funny tweets, you are letting yourself distracted, without any intervention from outside.
Of course, this does not mean that other people cannot be a source of distraction. Everyone has at least one friend who does not seem to clearly understand the importance of finishing various tasks.
What you can do, if that is the case, is to not let yourself appear available, as people will just tend to think that you have nothing better to do.
Dealing with electronic sources of distraction
It is clear for everyone that we are all living in an age where e-mails, Skype conversations, text messaging and so on are part of everyday life.
What happens though, as the immediate consequence of this plethora of communication options is that you basically allow all these communication channels to remain open.
This way, you allow to be interrupted by all kinds of distraction, whether you are the active or inactive part in all this.
There is a simple way of telling if these digital sources of distraction become stressful. Imagine a day at work where you need to tackle really serious tasks, and your phone letting you know of incoming message every 5 minutes.
3 Practical ways to deal with electronic distractions
Tip # 1: Work with batches
Whether you need to check your e-mail or your phone, do it only according with a schedule. Deal with any replies you might have to give back in batches.
Check your e-mail, send a reply to everyone concerned, do the same with your phone and conclude all your essential Skype conversations before moving on to doing actual work.
Tip#2: Put every device on silent while working
Instant notifications are a sure way to mess with your schedule and your concentration.
While such efficiency makes all the digital devices around us also contributes to their popularity, they are a productivity killer.
Turn off any instant notifications that may interrupt you. In addition, put every device around you on silent, so you do not get disturbed.
When you take breaks, you can check them again.
Tip #3: Be short in your replies
When there are messages coming in and you have no other option than to reply, be short and concise.
Do not let room for lengthy conversations that simply steal your time. The admitted exceptions are talking to your family members when something urgent comes up.
Dealing with people who just come around to distract you
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there is another great source of distraction we do not have direct control over. This is represented by those who just come around and keep you from your work because they are free to do so.
Here are a few recommendations on what you can do to avoid these uninvited guests from consuming your precious time.
Tip #1: Be direct and honest
In most cases, these visitors are not ill intended and they do not really know you are busy.
What you have to do is to be direct and honest. Tell them that you are working on an important task, so you really do not have time to talk to them.
If they are close friends and colleagues you need to keep in touch with, just tell them that you will get back to them when your schedule become clear.
Tip#2: Find a place where you cannot be disturbed
This may be called hiding, because, to some degree, it really is.
However, it is quite an efficient way of dealing with unwanted visitors, because you will not be in their path.
They will surely find someone else to bother, if they do not see you.
Tip #3: Don’t let yourself open for distractions
Sometimes, without realizing, we tend to let other people think that we are available and that is the biggest issue.
You do not necessarily have to place a large ‘unavailable’ sign on your desk. However, you should act as busy as you really are.