5 Simple Ways to Fight Distraction (AKA How to Get Sh** Done)
Big thanks to JORD Watches for gifting the watch featured in this post. All words and opinions are my own. Giveaway details at the end of the post!
I don't know about you... But I seriously have the hardest time getting anything done at home. I can be totally committed and excited to work on a new blog post, a client's program, etc., but it seems like the second I sit down to get down to business, I get a new email I should answer, or I remember I never took my clothes out of the dryer. Or the snack pantry is just calling my name... The list of diversions goes on and on, and next thing I know, the day is over and I got maybe one thing checked off my to-do list (total face palm moment).
If you're anything like me and struggle to finish your never-ending to-do list but just don't know how in this age of constant communication and interruption, here's 5 tactics to help do away with those unwanted distractions:
1. Get out of your own space - i.e. your room, house, condo/apartment, car. Wherever you normally like to work obviously isn't working for you if you are reading this post out of desperation. Try somewhere different where you won't know too many people and can hunker down on your studies, writing, or whatever it is you have to do. My favorite place to do work where I know I'll be productive is a coffee shop. I have a few local favorites, but even a "basic" trip to Starbucks works just as well for me.
2. Put those $300 Beats By Dre headphones to good use. This suggestion might not be for those who get so easily distracted that they can't even handle working while listening to a Chill playlist on Spotify, but at least putting headphones on blocks some of the outside noise. If you followed Tip #1, you're probably already in a semi-public place, meaning you're going to need something to block out the sound of everyone's voices. There's nothing - and I mean nothing - worse than trying to stay focused while subconsciously listening to some juicy gossip session going on at the table beside you. And if you can't even handle classical music without reading the same sentence over and over again while trying to study, don't worry, I've found all of my favorite Spotify playlists that include nature sounds and white noise. Check them out below!
3. Turn your computer/iPad/phone on Do Not Disturb. No seriously, do it. Guess how much time we waste a day on our phones? A heck of a lot more than we should, so when you're honestly trying to get sh** done, it makes complete sense, and is totally worth it, to get rid of the possibility of any notifications popping up anywhere. I use an iPhone and I have a Macbook Pro, so even if I left my phone on the charger somewhere or in my bag, my computer will still show me all of my new texts and emails and Facebook notifications. Even if you're someone who's strong enough to pretend those notifications didn't just pop up on your screen while you were in the middle of writing a dissertation, your brain surely isn't strong enough. I can almost guarantee you that quick "ping" of your phone (or even just your screen lighting up beside you) signifying you received a text message just took your brain completely away from its current train of thought and got you out of your zone. This is especially crucial if you're doing something creative. You'll be completely in the zone, creating cool new things and BAM! Your genius, life changing idea just vanishes at the "ping" of a notification. Something that could've completely been avoided had you only turned on your Do Not Disturb feature. Bummer. Thank God Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and the likes of those other genius inventors never had to deal with the distraction of technology, otherwise we'd all still be cave dwellers trying to figure out the best way to keep a fire going.
4. Create a to-do list in chronological order - with those that are most time-sensitive at the top with deadlines, and those that aren't nearly as time sensitive on a separate page, so as not to distract yourself and become tempted to work on something that's not nearly as important. I've noticed that when I make a list of items I need to accomplish in, say, a week's time, barely anything gets done because I flip-flop from an important task to a not-so-important task, and then I become overwhelmed that all of my impending due-dates for things are coming up quickly and I can't possibly get it all done. The overwhelm tactic isn't a good one, it's only going to cause more of a headache. Start with the #1 thing you need to accomplish, fully complete that, and then move on to your second most important task.
5. Put the Apple Watch, the Fitbit, or whatever smart tracker you wear away on the charger for a couple hours and wear a good, old-fashioned watch. If whatever work you need to get done doesn't involve using a computer that always shows you the current time, this is especially for you. When I wear a normal wrist watch (lately it's been my gorgeous JORD wooden watch) while getting down to business with a current project, it keeps me accountable to my time management goals I set for myself before sitting down, i.e. 45 minutes blog post writing, 5 minute bathroom/snack break, 60 minutes study for certification, 10 minute stretch and text break. **BONUS** I obviously love a classic wrist watch because of the style factor, as well, and this wooden watch is extremely chic and matches almost anything I want to wear it with. ;)
With some of these tips, my hope is that not only will you accomplish all of your never-ending to-do lists, but that you'll feel less overwhelmed and more productive. Maybe you won't even miss all of the constant noise from the outside world and life will start to become a little quieter for you on a regular basis. :)
What other ways have you guys come up with to help you get sh** done without getting distracted? Let me know in the comments below!
WATCH GIVEAWAY - The watch in my post is JORD's Frankie Series watch in Ebony and Gold. I love the look of the black wood with the gold accents on my tan/olive skin tone! You can find the exact watch on their website. I've also teamed up with JORD watches to bring you an amazing chance to win $100 off any of their beautiful wooden watches! Just click here and enter to win. Even if you don't win, you'll get a consolation code at the end of the giveaway for 10% off your next purchase. You have until 3/11 at 11:59pm to enter to win, and make sure to use your consolation code (or your $100 if you win!) by 3/25!
Lots of love,