Posted by Baylee
Trying to avoid distractions is one of the biggest struggles for most people. It almost feels impossible to stay focused on your work with social media, ringing phones, and that chatty person that sits next to you. Little distractions don’t seem like such a big deal. But with every distraction, it takes time to get back into the rhythm again. You aren’t the only one. In just this one paragraph I have already been distracted about five times!
Whether it be at work or at school, there are ways to try and minimize distractions and stay focused on your task.
Work alongside productive people
An easy way to make sure you are staying on top of your work and focused is by working alongside productive people. Being focused can be contagious. If someone is buckling down on a project it makes it easier for you to do the same. Neither of you will be trying to distract the other.
Block online distractions
Want to check in on your social media or your favorite blog? Don’t. You’ll lose yourself in the internet abyss. Nowadays there are free apps like, Anti-Social or Concentrate, that you can download and it will lock your social media accounts for a period of time so you can stay focused and not be tempted. I know it sounds weird to use technology to avoid social media, so if you aren’t interested in that then simply turning your phone to ‘do not disturb’ or off is a solution as well.
Plan your day
Some people can focus better if they have a set schedule in place. Prioritize everything before and schedule the most important tasks. I know for me I enjoy scratching things off my to-do list at the end of the day. Figure out if you find yourself more focused in the morning or the afternoon and utilize that time to get your work done.
Tackle one thing at a time
You may think you are a multi-tasker, I hate to break it to you, but you aren’t. Jumping from one task to another is constantly interrupting your mental flow. The best method is by choosing one task and dedicating your time entirely on that one thing, before switching to another.
Take breaks as needed
While taking breaks does cause the mental flow to be interrupted and allows distractions, your mind does need to rest. There are only so many things your brain can take before it starts to fail on you, making it even harder to focus. This gives your brain a chance to re-energize and motivate yourself for the next task on your list. When you notice things getting blurry and you’re finding it harder to concentrate, this is your clue to take a break. Get up from your desk, take a walk or grab a coffee and when you come back to your desk you are ready to go.
Distractions may seem inevitable, but there are ways to minimize them. Next time you notice yourself slipping into the distraction trap take a second to get focused. Turn off your cell phone and make a to-do list. You will notice you are much more focused and are able to get more done during the work or school day.