October 3, 2017
When the world of distraction is basically at our fingertips (I’m looking at you, smart phones) how can we possibly stay on task? Between working, we are constantly taking breaks to check our Instagram, send a text, post something “real quick” and the next thing you know an hour has passed! In a recent study released by Deloitte, they found that Americans, on average, check their cell phones 74 times a day! No wonder it takes us forever to finish anything!
For today’s Tell-All Tuesday, I’m giving you my favorite tricks to help you limit those pesky distractions so you can stay focused, finish your tasks, and complete your deadlines sooner!
Remove your Number One Distraction…Your Cell Phone
Whether you put it on “Do Not Disturb,” you put it in another room, or you literally take the battery out, you need to remove your phone from your workspace. When I’m in serious writing or editing mode, I put my phone on silent and put it in a draw in my nightstand in my bedroom. That way it’s out of my office, out of sight, and out of mind. I will also turn off my wi-fi too so I’m not tempted to check Facebook.
Keep Your Workspace Clean and Organized
Nothing distracts me more than a messy workspace! I always make sure my desk is free from papers and my office is clear of clutter. I like to even take it a step further and make my office feel cozy and inviting. I have my favorite sweater that I can snuggle into when I work and I always light a yummy smelling candle before I start my day. It makes my workspace feel like a place I actually want to be at!
A clean and organized workspace helps the brain stay clutter-free and focused!
The Pomodoro Technique
This time management technique is named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer and it’s a miracle worker! Seriously, it always keeps me on task. Here’s how it works!
– Decide on the task to be done.
– Set the pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes.)
– Work on the task.
– End work when the timer rings and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
– If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then reset the timer.
– After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then start again.
If you don’t want to go to the level of paper and check marks, just set a timer for 50 minutes, work the entire time, take a 10 minute break when the timer goes off, then start all over again.
I’m obsessed with block scheduling! Each week I plan out my tasks. Certain mornings are dedicated to emails, while other times I’m meeting with clients, shooting, or working on other chores. When I set aside a specific amount of time for a specific task there is no guess work for what I have to get done in my day. Everything is already planned out!
Take Care of Yourself!
Sometimes we are distracted because we are tired, hungry, or thirsty. It’s important to make sure you are practicing self-care. Before a big day of work, do your best to get a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and drink plenty of water. What helps me stay focused is a great night of sleep, morning mediation followed by an invigorating work out to wake up my brain, a nutritious breakfast, then hydrating all day with a huge bottle of water at my desk. When my body is taken care of, my mind can go to work!