Distractions-- they're everywhere you turn today. When was the last time you talked to someone without pausing briefly to check your smart phone? You likely can't recall a time you completed a project without being interrupted by the buzz of your phone or the ding of your email. How many times a day do you pause to surf the internet or make small talk with a co-worker? Regardless of where you work and what you do, you're likely dealing with multiple distractions on a daily basis. They cost you time and productivity-- and they cost your company money.
Here are some tips for being less distracted in your everyday life:
- Schedule email time. Instead of being a slave to your email all day long, set aside specific times of the day that are for reading-- and responding to-- emails. Consider a morning check-in, a lunch time check-in, and one last inbox check before you head out for the day. According to psychologist Ned Hallowell, we need to stop letting technology control our lives: "We haven't learned how to recreate boundaries...no one forces you to check your email at 3am."
- Don't neglect yourself. With a world full of distractions, it's easy to put your own needs on the back-burner. That's not good for your mental or physical health-- and it's not good for your workplace success. Make sure to take care of yourself. Eat well, get plenty of sleep, and make exercising a priority. To help your body and mind relax, consider meditating a couple of times a day.
- Limit your internet time. The internet-- it's quite possibly the greatest invention of our time, and it's likely also the most distracting. We're all guilty of losing valuable work time to web surfing. Consider closing your browser during the workday so you're not tempted to check Facebook or peruse Twitter. Of course, short internet breaks are often good for your mental health, so consider rewarding yourself with a quick internet break after a few hours of focused work.
- Close your office door. Maybe your biggest work distraction doesn't come in the form of an electronic device. Perhaps it's your chatty co-worker, who regularly barges into your office to tell you every detail of his weekend plans. Closing your office door sends the message that visitors aren't welcome. Don't have an office door? Consider using headphones-- talkative co-workers are less likely to engage you with buds in your ears.
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