How to reclaim your life from distraction? However, there is a second definition out there that seems to be very apropos for this stress study and how it connects to our daily life. That definition of distraction is: “an extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.”
How to Reclaim your life from distraction?
The word distraction is defined as “a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.”
Where do these distractions originate from?
Distractions can hinder productivity – in that way they are not unlike procrastination. Tangibly, they are usually things in our environment that capture our attention whether or not it has any connection to what we’re working on.
Some distractions can be avoided – such as when we choose to frequently check email or hang out on Facebook or Twitter when you’re bored at work.
There are also times when a person is a distraction. That person is not always aware that you are concentrating and need to complete the project at hand without interruption.
You are always going to run into situations where people are going to waste your time on trivial things because they saw that you were available. These sorts of interactions can develop into a distraction that will pull you away from your task. This can lead to decreased productivity and increased stress.
Feeding the technology monster – how to wisely manage email, instant message, and other electronic distractions?
There’s no denying that we live in a digital age. We rely on email, Skype, instant messages, text messages, etc., to keep us connected to one another in our daily lives. It is indeed wonderful to be so connected throughout the day. However, the problem comes in when these electronic devices, applications, etc. become a distraction.
When you’re trying to work and your text message notification goes off every five minutes, it doesn’t make for a very accomplished day. Suddenly, being quite so accessible doesn’t seem like a good idea anymore. To follow are some ways to feed the technology monster and still manage the distraction of electronic devices and apps:
Check & Answer in Batches – Stop looking at your emails and text messages as soon as they come in. When you’re working on something important or something on a deadline, even the briefest of pauses to check email or a text message can cost you a lot of valuable time – plus the interruption alone will pull you out of your working thought process.
If you need to, give some acknowledgment that you’ve received the message and will get to them later.
Turn Off Instant Notifications – Another way that you can reduce technological distractions is to turn off the notifications on your phone. Smartphones notify you with every email, instant message, or text message. But how can you effectively concentrate when your phone is constantly beeping?
Make it a habit at the start of your workday to put your phone on silent mode and silence all notifications. When you are finished with your workday, or you are taking a break at some point, you can check messages and emails then.
Respond with Short Messages – Unless you absolutely have to, don’t get on the phone with anyone. If a phone call is urgent, that’s different. But if it is for general chit chat, save your phone calls until later.
How to prevent visitors from distracting you?
When you’re working on a deadline or there is an urgent project you need to complete, nothing can derail your progress faster than someone who stops by to chat. Constant visitor interruptions can cause you to lose your train of thought and focus. Just like you manage the time that you spend on the tasks that you have to do, you need to learn to manage your time with other people.
Below are some expert tips on dealing with in-person distractions and how to keep them from taking you away from your work:
Tell Them – The straightforward way is usually the best way. Be honest with your visitor and let them know you’re not available because you’re working on something very urgent. You can assure them that you’ll meet with them at a later date and/or time when your work is completed.
However, try to avoid doing this with every in-person visitor or you may end up with a lengthy list of follow-ups at the end of the day.
Change Your Location – If you work from home or you work in a particularly loud area, consider moving to another space. This could be another room or if you’re in an office building, it could be to another floor, empty desk, or library. If people can’t find you, they can’t distract you. Changing your location can give you the distraction-free environment you’re looking for in order to complete your project.
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Don’t Be Available – People distract you oftentimes because you’re available. Try to dissuade the distraction by making yourself unavailable. Put on headphones so you can’t get sucked into a social conversation and click on the “do not disturb” button on your phone or instant message programs so people will not be tempted to contact you that way.