How to prevent distractions while working on a task

Constantly pausing and restarting when working on a task or project is a notable productivity killer. Here’s a quick time leadership lesson…stop stopping so much, and you will get more work done in double-quick time.

Some people have turned so responsive-reactive that they think they can’t sit quietly and focus anymore. However, anyone who can sit through a movie can stick to the job at hand. Think about it, if you can stick with a film, you have proven you can sustain attention for a couple of hours. Of course, it helps movie theaters usually do a great job of reducing distractions when the central feature starts. Conditions are right for focusing on one thing: the movie. Try the same thing when you are at work. Reduce any disturbances and concentrate on the main event. When you sit down and start working on a plan, please don’t stop until you complete it. And remember, an overriding project is always made up of a lot of small projects. Pick one of the little tasks and finish it from start to end. Then, use the time you’ve saved by not surrendering and starting to enjoy a great movie.

How to minimize distractions?

Set meetings with yourself and adhere to it. Let’s say you need a couple of hours to focus on a special project tomorrow. You choose to work on the project from 10 a.m. until noon, but you do not put it on your schedule. Meanwhile, someone phones and asks if you can meet with them at 10:30 the next morning. You look at your calendar and see nothing cataloged and say, “Sure, why not.” They have, in effect, stealing your time. Of course, you don’t want to say, “I’ve got an arrangement with myself.” You tell them, “I’ve already got something cataloged for that time tomorrow. Can we do it another day?” The other person will support you and look for another time to meet with you most of the time. And you remain in control of one of your most valuable resources: your time.

Stop obstructing yourself. Stop letting friends, families, and even social media interrupt you so much. Learn to focus and stick with a task. Interruptions are going to occur. It’s a way of life these days. Just try to reduce them.

Here is how you can dodge interruptions:

  1. Put your smartphone on do not disturb. If you are working from home, invest in a ‘do not disturb’ sign for your door. You can also put this sign on instant messaging and Skype services.
  2. It will help if you are assertive. Please don’t be submissive if a friend calls you daily for some needless conversation. If you wish to complete your task on time, learn to say NO to that one friend.
  3. If you are working on your laptop, Close all the tabs you are not currently using: Facebook, Skype, Email, Netflix, and anything else that could disturb you from what you have intended to do.
  4. Stop the blame-game and challenge your mind to stay quiet if you notice you hinder your work by drawing random thoughts in your head.

Look for ways you interrupt yourself or ways you let others disturb you. You can’t prevent all of them, but you can prevent most of them.

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