Do you find yourself unable to focus more and more lately? Are you struggling to cross the tasks that you set out to accomplish off of your list each week?
There’s no other way around it: Distractions might be killing your productivity.
While we’re talking with productivity expert, Chris Bailey, about leading each day with intention as a means of cutting down on some of those everyday distractions that thwart our efforts to get anything done on Episode 096 of Productivity Paradox this week…
Today, I want to take some time to focus on 3 of the most common types of distractions—social media, busyness (or multitasking to some of you!), and smartphones—and discuss ways that you can eliminate them so that you can get back to focusing on tasks and other aspects of life that matter most.
Let’s get started!
Believe it or not, social media is one of the biggest—if not the biggest—forms of distractions out there. So much so, in fact, that recent studies have shown that the average person spends about 3.2 hours per day scrolling through their newsfeed and otherwise getting caught up in the time warp that social media seems to harbor.
Those 3 hours each day amount to roughly 21 hours each week lost on the Internet to social media. Crazy, right?!
The good news is that, when it comes to boosting productivity, there are a few tried and true methods to help eliminate the distractions that social media poses…
First Tip: Nip the habit of checking your social media by deleting all of your social media apps from your phone. Ever heard of the phrase out of sight, out of mind? You might be surprised by how much that rings true here.
Second Tip: If deleting your apps just isn’t an option (say, if you need to use them for work, for example), then creating periods of Do Not Disturb time on your phone where you can silence notifications from your apps is another good way to eliminate the temptation to check your social media page(s). Give it a try!
If you remember our discussion way back on Episode 010, then you might remember that multitasking hardly allows us the focus that we need to produce efficient work—regardless of the task we’re trying to tackle.
And you know… when it all comes down to it… multitasking is just another word for self-induced busyness, which also throws a wrench in how truly productive we are each day.
First Tip: Avoid your tendency to multitask by creating a priority list for yourself each week and arrange your tasks by both urgency and importance; the tasks that are the most pressing and important on your list are those that you should strive to focus your energy on first, one-by-one.
Second Tip: Schedule your days so that you are devoting the time necessary to each task! And if you find yourself struggling with this elimination tip, just head on over to Episode 018 and Episode 029 for a time management refresher.
I don’t know about you, but I have a love-hate relationship with smartphones. On the one hand, they allow us to keep in constant connection with friends, family, and even our co-workers… But on the other hand, all of that connection may not always be such a great thing when it comes time to do some deep focus work, right?
If you struggle with constant texts, snapchats, and email notifications from the outside world, then I urge you to read on!
First Tip: Just like you might create a Do Not Disturb period for some of your social media apps to lessen the likelihood that you’ll get distracted from your priorities… I want to encourage you to take that idea even further by creating daily Do Not Disturb boundaries for yourself as well. This means taking some time each day where you simply say “No” to reaching for your phone to answer that text from your best friend, or to answer that non-important email from your co-worker over the weekend.
Not sure where to start? Try putting your phone in Airplane mode whenever you sit down to devote a period of time to focused work and watch how much you’re able to get done!
Second Tip: If you’re still finding the temptation to grab your phone too much when it’s on and in Airplane mode… Try shutting your phone down completely when you get started on a task. The more you’re able to train your brain to break that chronic connection to your phone, the better! Use any break times you set for yourself to catch up on texts, snaps, emails, etc. instead.
What are some of the ways that you try to limit distractions in your life each day? Share your ideas in the comments below… And join me and my friend, Chris Bailey, in our conversation about the importance of mindfulness on Episode 096 this week!