How to Increase Productivity and Overcome Distract… ooh, smoothies!
Maybe it isn’t that bad for you. Maybe you can sit down to do your work and, like a frikkin shark with laser beams on its head, you can hit your target and take down a task without once getting sidetracked by a shiny object, an email notification, a popup chat, Facebook, an intriguing fake news headline, or a trip to the kitchen for a strawberry kale smoothie.
I take it, then, that you are not human.
For the rest of us, distraction can be a HUGE problem. An article in the New York Times says that the average worker is interrupted every 11 minutes. And to try to get back on task takes 25 minutes! Since there isn’t much research on the impact of the quality of work being done during these times, we’ll assume it’s not up to par. (NY Times conducted their own study, and I’m not going to lie to you—distractions make you dumber.)
So, let’s think positive, shall we? What can be done—what MUST be done–to fight these distractions and interruptions that lead to low productivity, stupidity and the shame that goes along with it? Here’s an approach to combat it and a few ideas that have helped me:
First, make a list of your common distractions and interruptions—everything that you expect to disrupt you in a day.
Next, you’re going to devise a solution for each.
I’ll share a few of mine to get the ball rolling.
A quick look at my internet history embarrassed me enough to conquer this one. A pages-long Facebook rabbit hole and 20 minutes later I am just a little bit dumber than when I first got distracted from my task.
Solution: Temporarily block yourself from any website during work hours, using a downloadable free app designed for this, such as KeepMeOut.
Distraction: Phone message notifications. Always looking at your phone, just waiting for the high of someone contacting you? It’s a real chemical addiction in the brain.
Solution: Sequester your phone in another room during work hours. At first, you’ll feel a separation anxiety, but soon the sweet freedom will take root and you’ll feel empowered, focused and in control.
What are some of the distractions and interruptions you typically encounter? What will you do to proactively solve them? Let me know in the comments below…. I’ll be right back.