Distractions are an inevitable part of the day. No matter how hard we try to avoid them, one will most likely find it’s way to us. But how you work, the space you create and your mindfulness will all make a big difference in how distractions effect the time in your day. Here are a few ways to set yourself up for success.
Task switching vs. multi-tasking ::
Think of your focus time as task switching, rather than multi-tasking. Make a conscious decision to focus on one project at a time. Either focus on it for a set amount of time or until the task is completed. If you’re intentional about focusing on one task at a time, it’s easier to jump back in after the interruption and remember where you were at.
Number your to-do-list ::
Numbering my to-do list first, gives me a game plan for my day, not just a big ambiguous checklist for the day. Thinking through the order you want to do things, helps show if your goal for the day is realistic – or a little too ambitious. It gives each task a “spot” in your day. It also makes it easier to know what you were working on if you do get interrupted. Check off each task as it’s finished, so if you get pulled away, you can easily see what’s completed and jump right back in.
Set your phone aside ::
Put it in a drawer, drop it in your computer bag, leave it in another room – whatever it takes. Just so it’s away and not begging for your attention every time a little notification pops up and lights up the screen.
Create a space to focus ::
If you have a “hard project” or one that requires a lot of focus, be intentional about creating a space you can work well in. If you have a task that you really need to focus in on, find a quiet seat, grab a cup of coffee and create a space away from as much distraction as possible that allows you to “get in the zone”.
Distractions aren’t completely avoidable. So when they come, give yourself grace, be patient. Work through it as quickly as possible and then settle back into the task you were focusing on.
words by crystal – studio manager