In order to be productive and successful, you have to learn to avoid the constant stream of temptations and distractions that fill your day. Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused when so many things can easily turn into a distraction. We often unknowingly set ourselves up for failure just by placing temptations in our own path. Some we never see coming and others we know are headed our way but we have no idea how to circumvent them. Fortunately, avoiding temptations and distractions is possible to stay focused.
1) When to Say No
It may not be feasible or in our nature to say no, but there are often many opportunities when we should have said no or wished that we would have said no and didn’t. Don’t always be a “yes man”. Take a step back and think about if it makes sense. Is it ultimately something that you can afford to do? Will it put you behind? Will it take away from your own responsibilities or personal obligations? Don’t take on new responsibilities or issues lightly. There may be times we need to say no and it’s important that we know that that’s okay. Give yourself permission to say no and think about the consequences before you say yes. Sometimes a little extra consideration is all it takes.
2) Quiet the World Around You
We live in a noisy world. Our phones notify us that we have a message, our computer pops up messenger alerts, emails come through, and co-workers, family, and friends stop by. The only way to avoid these types of distractions is to eliminate them. Use DND on your phone, close out personal email through the work day, sign out of social media accounts, and set boundaries for others that may cause a distraction without the intention to do so. Your social world will wait for you, but your work day will not pause for your social life.
3) Set Goals and Rewards
Instead of giving in to distractions real-time setup time for them intentionally. If checking your social media or catching up on your favorite blog often tends to get you sidetracked then set a goal for when you can check those outlets. You may choose to do so only during your lunch break or after you’ve completed x amount of tasks you allow yourself a set amount of minutes to indulge. If you know that you’ll be able to take advantage of those things then you’ll be less likely to give in before you’ve been productive. It may also be motivation to get things done in a more timely manner.
4) Prepare For Distractions
There are ways to prepare so that you don’t have to be tempted to give into distractions at all. Set boundaries with your friends and family so that they know you are working. Get a good night’s sleep and eat a healthy breakfast so that you aren’t distracted by your body telling you it needs to take care of its self. Set up your workstation and/or office by eliminating the distractions. You shouldn’t have a television in your office and you shouldn’t work in a place that isn’t comfortable. Having a place to work that is free of temptations is the best place to start.
5) Think Long Term
Remind yourself of the consequences of giving in to temptations as well as the rewards for not giving in. Keep those things in mind so that you are less likely to give in when you know how it may affect you both negatively and positively. Once you know what you are working for and working against then you’ll be more likely to stay focused. There are many things that can motivate you – the positive and the negative should be considered.
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