If there is one thing we have learnt this past year then it is the fact that working from home is not as easy as we thought it would be. Distractions are everywhere within the four walls of our work and even personal safe spaces. The television, our smartphones- social media; all of these are easy distractions that can pull our attention with just a bing of a notification.
Even in the workplace, distractions abound. The spontaneous conversation with a colleague or even mental fatigue from the same old routine can compel us to search for an out.
Sometimes, it is unavoidable. After all, most of our work is done online nowadays. Nevertheless, these distractions hamper productivity and sub-par work ends up in a query or worse yet, affects our bank credit. They don’t say ‘monkey no work, monkey no chop’ for no reason.
Since it isn’t so easy to break out of being absent-minded we decided to share some tips.
Here are 5 steps to dealing with work distractions.
1. Decide NOT to be distracted.
I know, it sounds like a given but this is the most important step. You need to make an outright decision to work and not give power to distractions. A good way is to use post-it with inspirational and encouraging quotes that will spur you on. ‘I AM GOING TO BE A BETTER ME THAN I WAS YESTERDAY AND THE BEST ME THAT I CAN BE TODAY‘. That among others are some examples of such quotes. A simple word one like ‘NO DISTRACTIONS‘ works just as well. Subconsciously, your mind will fixate on these words and conform accordingly.
2. Zero out all Distractions.
Put yourself in a position where known distractions cannot easily be within eye or earshot. If you are easily preoccupied with the things around you then shut yourself in a space that compels you to not take notice of these things. Close yourself in a study-room, or set yourself up behind a proper work desk and invest in noise-cancelling headphones. You could even put your smartphone on airplane mode until your quota for the day is done. Just keep those distractions at bay.
3. Set out your daily objectives.
Be your own performance monitor. Draft a list of your tasks for the day and work according to your deadlines. Tick each achieved objective and if you fail to finish one, do not worry (at least not too much). Just take stock of what or why you were not able to and work towards breaking that hurdle.
4. Take on challenging goals.
Everyone wants it easy but if it was easy it would not be worth it. Take on challenging tasks. Perhaps, even learn a new skill online. Taking on such loads will not only improve your skill and intellectual capacity but also your working threshold. This would demand more attention from your body and brain and in time tackling these objectives will help you chart towards being better and focused you.
5. Take short breaks.
Yes, take breaks. You deserve it. Humans were not made to sit behind desks for hours on end. It isn’t good for your eyes, your back or your mind. A little bit or ergonomic exercises and a recess will help you feel at ease. Be smart about it and time your breaks. You do not want to get carried away with them.