Are you a slave to distractions?

by Sarah Small

One of the things I worried about before going freelance, was my ability to be disciplined.  I shouldn’t have really because my nature is to get done what needs to be done, at the right time, but I’d spoken to lots of people who work from home who said “it is really easy to get distracted, and not get the work done”.

As time has gone on, I’ve learnt a few tips and tricks to keeping on track, making sure work is completed as I’ve promised, and so I don’t get distracted with things not on my radar at that moment.  So I’d like to share those with you, and I hope you are able to use some of these tips too!

Scheduling.  Yes, daily schedules.  I know, I know, you aren’t at school anymore, and life/ business is fluid, but you will be amazed at what you can do if you portion out your day.  For example, lets say that each day you need to respond to your social media posts and customer emails for your business.  Rather than doing that each time your phone pings, can you put 10 mins aside both morning and afternoon to do only that?  Do you need to schedule time each week for your posts?  Great- so plan either 10 minutes a day, or an hour per week for just that.

My diary is packed with regular jobs I need to work on, both business and personal.  Of course, life doesn’t always allow us to work as planned, but you will be a step ahead if you know in advance that something needs doing that day.  And if you need to move something- so be it.  That’s ok, just don’t go back to being distracted each time you hear a noise.

UNSUBSCRIBE!!!!!!  Yes, I’m talking about all those emails that come through your inbox every hour of every day that you never even look at.  When you delete them, click on the unsubscribe button too.  It’s ok….you aren’t going to miss anything, because you weren’t reading them in the first place.  But each time your phone pings, or your computer beeps with that notification, its another 5 minutes to get back into your work. Alternatively you can use a service such as https://unroll.me/ to help getting control of your inbox.

With that in mind, I want you to consider turning off the notifications on your computer. Now this is something which is very personal, and may not be for everyone, however every time you are distracted, it is not just the time spent reading another email, or Facebook post, but it also takes you at least an additional 5-7 minutes to get back into your groove. It’s something I had to do myself this week when my phone just wouldn’t stop “pinging”!

Finally, a technique that I talked about on Facebook a few weeks ago.  Give yourself a go at the Time Boxing technique.  You set a timer for 25 minutes, and only work on one thing in that time.  Don’t get up, don’t switch off….concentrate your hardest at getting it done.  Sure, it may not be finished, but you will have achieved a lot more in that time than if you keep switching between tasks.  If you want to set another 25 minute timer after taking a little break then go ahead! Multi tasking isn’t rated quite how it used to be!

I’d love to hear how you concentrate on the work you do, and of course as always, aDigitalMe offers that extra pair of hands if you can’t get it all done in time.  We are always here to help! Give us a call to find out more.

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