5 Ways to Eliminate Distractions From Your Life

productivity Jun 09, 2019

Got distractions?

Wait. That's probably the wrong question to ask. Let me try again.

What distractions are you dealing with?

Social media?

Email?

People?

Those are the top three distractions I've been helping people deal with a lot these days.

In this article, I'm going to give you some tips on how to beat back these distractions so you can get back to the business of doing what you need to.

Social Media

Tip #1: turn off notifications. You don't need to be alerted every time someone posts something or tags you or if someone posts something in a group you belong to.

I recommend you turn off ALL notifications in the settings of your smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop instead of doing so within the app.

If you want to keep some notifications on, be very diligent about what you do enable and, at the very least, consider turning off the sound - that way notifications won't divert your attention from what you really should be working on.

Tip #2: if you really want to get back control of your life, go scorched earth and delete the social media apps from your phone. Yes, I said it! I can guarantee that you won't be distracted by social media anymore.

Email

How many unread emails do you have? Be honest!

Look, you are never going to read all those emails. Ever. You know it. I know it. The world knows it.

What NOT to do

Do not select all and archive (or delete). This doesn't solve the problem (which is you - not email).

Tip #3: instead, begin to unsubscribe from those emails you don't read and/or apply what you read in them. Yes, this will take time (perhaps A LOT of time) but tackle this as you eat an elephant: one bite at a time. Start with the next email you receive that you no longer want.

If you have a lot of emails, use a service like Unroll.me. But then begin to be very diligent about what you sign up for going forward! If you're not, the problem will only rear its ugly head.

Tip #4: stop checking your email all day!

Instead, check it at pre-determined times.

And turn off email notifications unless you need to have them on. There is a difference between NEED and WANT.

Begin to transition (train?) people to send quick and easy questions and/or updates to you via text message or some other instant messenger app. This forces people (in most cases) to be concise and to the point.

People

Tip #5: begin re-training people you work with or are around, including family.

Create boundaries.

If you work in an office with a door, close your door when you want to be left alone. Consider turning your ringer off and getting out of email and any company messaging service.

If you're a cubicle worker, get yourself three sheets of construction paper: green (you're available), yellow (you are available but proceed with caution) and red (do not disturb me).

Work from home? Establish a clear area that when you are in it, that people know you are working. Make sure every human that lives with you learns to respect your space and to only bother you if the house is on fire or a satellite is going to fall on your house in the next hour or so!

This is NOT an exhaustive list. And that's by design.

I didn't intend to write a book or an essay. I wanted to give you proven strategies that you could begin to use TODAY. Right now.

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