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Distractions Can Derail You

We live in an age of endless distractions. Our phones are constantly alerting us with email and social media notifications, and our desktops make it all too easy to click on a video or news article. It seems we just can’t get away from these distractions no matter how hard we try to escape them. Many of us have days where we feel it takes a tremendous sum of energy just to stay on-task.

How can we avoid these distractions, especially when they are unwelcome, unanticipated and quite frankly, a nuisance? What measures can you take to fight back?

How to Stand Strong Against Distraction

Here are some suggested methods to keep your mind focused on the tasks at hand.

Prioritize your day. For most of us, distractions become more seductive as the day wears on.  Prioritizing your day to manage your pressing matters and important tasks should be handled first thing in the morning—knocking them out while you’re as focused as can be.

Stick to your plan. It is a smart practice to create a checklist of things to be accomplished for the day. Set realistic goals that align with the number of tasks and time required to complete each task and stay on point. If you overwhelm yourself, you may fall susceptible to seek out distractions to manage the undue stress – essentially doing the opposite of your intended plan.

Turn off your phone. No, really. And while you’re at it, turn off any notifications on your computer. These distractions can seem insurmountable sometimes, but the good news is you have the ability to control it – turn them off.

Sleep well. You need your eight hours each night. Again, lack of sleep can decrease your energy and stamina, meaning when distraction comes, you are less likely to resist it.

Acknowledge your progress. After completing a task, get into the routine of taking a quick breather, and make sure you cross the item off your to-do list. This is a great way to get closure, and to have a little momentum for the next task.

Get physical. Science confirms again and again that physical activity—even a quick burst of it—can focus your mind and clear away some of those cumbersome distractions. You don’t have to spend an hour at the gym to get these effects. Walk up and down a flight of stairs once or twice, or close your office door and do a minute of jumping jacks.

Eat a meal. Skipping meals makes you more prone to distraction. Why? For one thing, your blood sugar drops, and as such your stamina and your energy decline. Also, the actual act of sitting and chewing can have a “reset” effect on your mind. Take at least half an hour for lunch and start the afternoon with a fresh canvas.

With these tips, you can be more resilient in the face of distraction—and hopefully get more work done each day. To learn more about enhancing your workplace vim and vigor, reach out to Loeb Leadership Development Group today.