Let’s face it, some days it is easier to focus than others. Maybe you didn’t get a lot of sleep. Perhaps you’re you’re burnt out. Or maybe there’s just too much on your plate and you don’t know what to work on next.
The first step to eliminating business distractions is to identify what situations makes it hard for you to focus on your most important tasks. If at all possible, switch up what you are working on to something easier (for now!) In the long run, look at what makes for a challenging week and block off time when you can give your task the attention it needs.
Okay, so you’ve realized that today is a difficult day, or you’re having a tough week or month. The next step is to take a deep breath. Refocus your mind and your energy. Just stop, step back, and breathe deeply. Get up and move around, if only for a few minutes. This not only calms your mind, it allow you to think more clearly which is important for the next steps.
Try moving to a new location, if only in your office. Get up from your desk and sit in a comfortable chair with your laptop or pad of paper. Add some sound to your environment, such as white noise with www.moodturn.com or the sounds of a cafe with www.coffitivity.com. Try aromatherapy scents for concentration. These simple shifts can help you calm your mind so you can refocus.
Go outside with your smart phone, iPad, laptop or paper…use technology to be mobile. Fresh air can do wonders to remove blocks. I travel a lot, and I need to work on the road. I actually look forward to moments of being able to have space to think AND enjoy life. This is particularly helpful for doing my own business planning. Here I am yesterday, working in Lake Tahoe…after I was done, I enjoyed my time off! This may not work for everyone, but it’s worth exploring options outside your traditional office.
Once you’re in the right mindset, assess the current situation. Despite what some will say, you cannot focus on more than one thing at a time. Multitasking may seem like you are being more productive, but it only leads to distraction. Ask yourself:
If you are getting distracted by too many ideas and are worried you will forget them, keep a list on your computer, smart phone or iPad. I jot down a note that I can read later. This quickly lets me stay focused on what is important NOW.
Next, evaluate what is preventing you from working on it. If you need to focus on planning a project launch, for example, but email and phone calls keep interrupting you and presenting you with new tasks, turn off your phone and log out of your email for an hour. If you have non-business distractions, either take a break and take care of it, or decide that for a short time you won’t let it block you. Determine what’s stopping you and remove it from your list of challenges.
You’re refocused and you’ve eliminated distractions temporarily. Now set a goal for what you want to accomplish in just a small bit of time. Breaking it down will make sure it’s a reasonable goal that you can confidently accomplish. If the goal feels overwhelming it will be too easy to let those distractions back in and cause procrastination.
TAKE ACTION: Eliminating business distractions will become easier with more practice. Learn to step back, take a deep breath and assess the present needs. Establish an intention and then remove barriers to get the job done.