Distractions are everywhere, but you don’t have to get sidetracked. Here’s how to conquer distractions and rock the workday!
Focused work is incredibly important, but who hasn’t found herself ready to settle into a heads-down work session only to be waylaid by distractions? These days, staying on track is often easier said than done, and wasting precious time just isn’t productive.
Entrepreneurship already requires a delicate balance between deep work and staying connected, so it’s easy to feel discouraged when our productivity goes off the rails. But by making a few simple changes to your day, you can easily take back control of your time.
Check out our four favorite ways to stay focused and conquer distractions…
Switch to Airplane Mode and Turn Off WiFi
We love our smartphones, but they are some of the top offenders when it comes to workplace distractions. Unfortunately, our lives are so entwined with our devices that it’s often hard to set them aside. Many of us rely on our cell phones as our primary mode of communication.
Luckily, it’s pretty simple to get a (temporary) break from your phone. Just switch to Airplane Mode during your work session. You won’t receive text messages or phone calls that will surely interrupt your workflow. You should also turn off your WiFi so you won’t be tempted to check email, use messaging apps, or browse the Internet.
Make the Time — And Block It Out
Gaining control of your day can be as easy as rethinking your schedule. You already block out time each day for client appointments, why not do this for your own work sessions?
Think of this time as an important meeting with your business. And just like any important meeting, it’s important to set an agenda so your time is used as productively as possible. Whether it’s for catching up on email or making some phone calls, dedicate a portion of each day solely to the tasks that your business cannot do without.
Not only will this keep you focused, you’ll find that your overall productivity will increase since you won’t be wondering, “Am I going to have time to return that phone call today?”
Manage Your Environmental Distractions
As entrepreneurs, we are incredibly lucky when it comes to determining our daily working lives. From co-working spaces to home offices, we have incredible freedom to designate where, when, and how long we will work on any given day. Unfortunately, this flexibility can also provide plenty of opportunities for distractions.
To get back on track, go somewhere quiet where you’re unlikely to be interrupted (such as a library or a cozy café). As an added bonus, these types of locales will usually have free WiFi, caffeine, and a much-needed change of scenery.
Forget About Email (For Now)
It’s important to stay connected, but checking and responding to e-mail can easily eat up a huge chunk of your day. More than just a time zapper, it’s often a major distraction. Because we feel we have to respond immediately, our attention will often wander into our inbox. Rather than focusing on the task at hand, we feel compelled to check and respond to every incoming message.
When you need to maintain focus in your day, log out of your email completely and set aside specific times to check for and respond to new messages. Also, don’t have your email open in another browser tab – it’s just too tempting and soon you’ll find your dedicated work session has disappeared.
Most entrepreneurs find themselves getting pulled in a million directions and wishing for a few more hours in the day. The solution to this scattered feeling is taking the time to focus. Unfortunately, focus can be hard to come by with so many alerts, pings, and notifications vying for our attention.
But our success depends on our ability to stay focused and keep on track, and that’s something you just can’t do when you’re distracted.
While our lives today may not make this easy, it’s vital to make a commitment to focused work. Carve out some time and ditch the distractions — not only will you gain those elusive extra hours, you may also find you’ve done some of your best work.
About Emily D. Tisdale, Founder & CEO
Meet the brains — and heart — behind LEAP for Women. Emily is LEAP’s guiding force, committed to supporting women entrepreneurs at every stage in their journey.
She loves LEAP because:
A resident of Indiana, Emily prides herself on being a transplanted Hoosier and enjoys watching Colts football and spending time with her husband and their two children.