6 DISTRACTIONS TO AVOID IN ORDER TO INCREASE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY
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Procrastination and distractions are the enemy of productivity. And it is so incredibly easy for both of those to take over our days. There are some days when lunchtime rolls around, and our to-do list has not budged since earlier that morning because we let procrastination and distractions creep in. Here are 6 things to be aware of that can destroy and put a kink in your productivity:
1) Social Media and Phone Usage
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter – social media has changed our world in so many fundamental ways. Although we may not want to believe it, it IS addicting. With just a swipe, we can get information about our world, our networks, and our family and friends instantaneously in ways we could never have imagined.
Yes, social media provides an easy and effective way of communicating with others, but a text here, responding to an email there, and mindlessly scrolling through news feeds really adds up! By being mindful of the amount of time we are on our smartphones and limiting our usage, we can gain precious hours in our day that can be used in a much more productive and fruitful manner.
Unscheduled impromptu meetings and phone calls can interrupt your day and take time away from your core goals. Often, we find these are not urgent in nature and can be scheduled at a time that works better for our calendar. We suggest finding out what the purpose of the impromptu meetings are when they arise and if your participation is required, in order to set a limit on the amount of time you spend on them. Try not to let others’ agendas and priorities become your own.
3) Lack of Direction and Routine
Not having a schedule or work routine and working when you just feel like it is a recipe for disaster. Having a work routine is essential to putting our minds in the productivity zone. Like brushing our teeth in the morning and taking a shower signals the start of the day, having a routine and schedule for work related items puts us in the right framework to focus on our goals.
To get into the productivity flow and train your mind, we suggest you work at the same location. Corporate employees generally have a cube assigned to them by their employers, but those who work from home should carve out space just for work.
4) Putting Everything on Your To-Do List
It’s natural to want to put everything on our to-do lists. Multiple apps now exist which allow us to do just that. But is that really the most effective use of our time? To be realistic, most of those tasks will likely not be completed by the end of the day, just causing us to feel overwhelmed and stressed.
Instead, focus on your top 3-4 goals and make those a priority BEFORE you tackle your other tasks and activities. You’ll find that by focusing on your top goals and actually making real progress on them during the day that you will feel more satisfied, productive, and fulfilled.
5) Switching Between Tasks
Switching between tasks and multitasking really does split our focus and attention amongst multiple areas, which actually causes tasks to take more time than if we had solely focused on one at a time. When toggling between tasks, having to switch, backtrack, and then refocus uses valuable energy, not to mention additional time to gather our thoughts again and remember where we left off. So don’t juggle multiple things at once, rather focus on one important priority at a time.
6) Watching TV
It’s tempting to turn on the TV as soon as the work day is over to unwind. But the amount of time Americans watch TV is staggering. According to A.C. Nielson, the average American watches nearly 4 hours of TV each day (that's more than 52 days of watching TV per year). By the age of 65 the average American will have spent nearly nine years of his or her life just watching TV. Talk about an eye-opening statistic!
We’re all about relaxation, but just be mindful and purposeful of what you are watching. If there is no specific thing you want to watch on TV, just turn it off and focus your time on activities that will get you closer to your life goals!
Just being mindful of these 6 common distractions can significantly help to increase your productivity during the day!
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