If you find yourself spending all day to compose an email, write an article, or create a memorable video, chances are that you’re getting very distracted. Do you find yourself lulling away the time and always rushing work the night before because time just evaporated for a few weeks?
If you start lots of projects that take too long or don’t get finished at all, apply these distraction-busting tips:
1. Kill your internet
Your mind will be blown at how much more productive you are at a computer with no internet connection. No “research” that transforms itself into a search for a new outfit. No twitter, Skype, phone, or any other element that crushes your time. Gather your research materials, and when it’s time to put your head down, cut your internet off – it’s too tempting to write when the temptation of a distraction is just a mouse click away.
2. Addition by subtraction
If your desk looks like you’re doing battle everyday, then you’re probably getting distracted all the time. So clear the mess off your desk, and get rid of excess files from your computer desktop.
It’s easy to let paperwork stack up on your computer desktop because you’re trying to get to it quickly. But it’s harder to put those items away once you’re done, so get into a good habit now and it will soon become second nature.
3. Start with the small things
It’s easier to get distracted and quit altogether when you work a long block on a single task you don’t enjoy. Just imagine the first time you go to the gym – you wouldn’t just walk in and lift the heaviest weights, would you (unless you want to cause injury to yourself!). You would start with the smallest weights and work your way up.
If you’re having problems staying focused because the work is monotonous, put on some music (not talking) and work in 20-minute slots.
4. Don’t multitask!
Yes, it’s true that us women can really multitask – and if youre a mum youve more than likely honed those skills.
However, if you’re chasing three or four projects at once, you’re you’re probably not achieving much on each of them because you’re constantly stopping to do something on the other project.
Learn to devote yourself to one task, and if you can use one task and then move onto the next one. This is basically best effective when you prioritise – be ruthless and honest about the importance of the tasks so you can complete the most important tasks first.
5. Learn to stop
The ideal way to work is to create a smooth, uninterrupted ocean of productivity, and then take frequent breaks. Don’t let yourself burn out on a single task! Plan to stop after each piece of work, if only to stretch, rest your eyes from your computer screen and make yourself a beverage. That way, when you settle down to do the next piece of work, you’ll be more alert and energised.
6. Work fast
Get things done as fast as you can. Once you’ve really started to get things moving off your to-do list, you’ll get a nice little boost, which will energise you, put you into a positive mood and spur you do more.