Our Top 5 Distractions (And How To Deal With Them!)
by Admin Staff
on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 at 6:14am.
This week, we want to take you in a different direction than our norm. This week, we're going to confess what distracts us the most. Hopefully, by showing you some of our vulnerabilities, you can identify with one or a few of them - and work on dealing with it, as we deal with ours. Without further delay, let's countdown these distractions!
5) Media Playing In The Background
Working in silence seems too eerie, doesn't it? That's why we usually have music playing in the background at work, or have the TV on in the background if we've got a couple of things to do at home. It could be a show, music channel, sports station, or Youtube video....but it's gotta be on! Well, now this habit has turned against us - sometimes we just stop what we're doing and focus on these background noises. We watch the show and forget what it was we were doing prior, or we get lost in listening to the music that we lose track of where we were. Have you ever done this? Perhaps it's gotten to a point where you'll be sitting on your couch, doing something on your phone, but you have the TV on. Your older form of entertainment is now your background noise while you engage in your new form of entertainment. How do we deal? If it's music, we turn it down to a level where we can hold conversation without issue. If it's TV or similar media, we turn it off. The silence allows us proper focus at work, and prompts us to be on our phone less at home. it was uncomfortable and creepy at first, but that quickly went away.
This one is straightforward: how can you expect to finish your work if you can't find the document you need? Day to day in both work and our personal lives can be hectic. Files need to be drafted, copies need to be signed, papers get shuffled around. Luckily, this fix is pretty simple. Depending on the workload, we take the time to straighten our files and desks at the beginning or end of the day, with a stronger organizing process taking place at the end of the work week. This way, our brain doesn't become fixated on a mess, distracting us from what really needs to be done. Breaking up the cleaning in smaller, more manageable tasks during the week will become habit for you. Over time, clutter will become less and less of a problem.
3) Food Cravings
10 o'clock rolls around, and you get the hunger pangs. You're craving something devilishly delicious. Didn't you just eat two hours ago? Who cares, you've put in some serious work this morning, and now you've got a hankering for something quick and greasy. We've been there. We've also had the sugar/salt/fat crash that happens after indulging, where you just want to curl up at your desk and have a snooze. What's our fix? Bring water and/or juice with you to work. When you feel the craving hit, ask yourself if a full glass of water would fill you up. If the answer is yes, you know it's just a craving, and you have the means to solve it. If the answer is no, drink half a glass of water and see how you feel. If you're just as hungry, you may need to eat something. This leads into our next fix: decide what you'll be eating before you get hungry. This may involve you deciding on a place to eat early in the morning, or bringing something to eat at work. More self control, and control over what you put into your body to properly fuel it.
Our minds were not meant to perform multiple tasks at once. It's just not physically possible. Work culture in general seems to glorify this aspect though, repeatedly showing us that multitasking is a part of the "hustle", and that it's a great thing. It's easy to get caught up in that hype. We do from time to time! Okay, often. Here's what we have to remind ourselves - Multitasking is not sustainable. Multitasking doesn't work.
Structure your time so that you're focused on one task at a time, especially if that task centers around another person in your presence. If you get a phone call while with someone else, you'll call them back in a bit and deal with that task then (depending on emergent need of course). Knowing that life throws us things at the same time, decide which task has the higher priority, and complete it first before moving on. You may feel like you aren't living up to that "hustle culture", but that's perfectly fine. What you'll notice after some time is how productive, not busy, you are. You'll notice tasks are reliably completed by you, and that your memory has improved. Isn't that better than some image?
1) Our Phones
This one shouldn't be a surprise. It's definitely our number one distraction for a reason! Phone connectivity and access is integral in our work. We use them all of the time as a tool to keep in touch with our clients, set appointments, coordinate marketing strategies, sign documents, make payments, etc. Unfortunately, phones can also be our detriment when it comes to focus. Constant notifications can distract us from the task at hand because those notifications could tell us that a problem has popped up, somebody needs our attention right away, or a new lead is inquiring about information on a listing. In our personal lives, we all know how time-draining certain social apps are. One minute you're watching a funny video, the next minute you realize that half an hour has actually gone by!
For work, we've integrated our tip from #2. Simply focusing on the task at hand eliminates the action of checking our phones. Setting aside time between tasks to check your phone for relevant notifications is another option. Obviously, since we use our phones for work we can't just ignore them. Setting up a notification filter is helpful in this regard. You can set times up on your phone where you accept notifications from certain sources, as well as silent notifications. As for apps that we use in our personal life, we utilize the digital well-being app that comes standard on phones now. These types of apps show you how much time you spend on certain apps, playing games or online shopping. Sometimes the visual breakdown is enough to make one put the phone down for the night.
Were your top distractions in this list? If you have one that wasn't mentioned, pop it in the comments below. We can work on a solution, and help each other be less distracted in our daily lives!