I am sure that whatever you are working on right now, you are probably struggling to fight off some kind of distraction.
Being able to focus is an important habit to cultivate and it’s key in determining whether you succeed or fail. If you talk to anyone who has made it, they have had to filter out the noise and focus on their goals.
Today, we highlight 5 common distractions you need to be aware of and tips on how to avoid them.
1. Not Having A Plan for the Day
If you want to get distracted and not be productive, then don’t make a plan for the day. It doesn’t matter whether you generally have a busy schedule or have only a few tasks, planning is key. A daily plan is a step by step guide of how you are going to tackle tasks through the day.
You can dedicate a note book/diary for the activity to be more organized and arrange them in order of priority from the most important to the least important. If there are tasks that you were not able to complete, you can easily note them and plan for them in the next day so nothing ends up neglected.
Cultivate a habit of creating a plan for the next day in the evening so that you are mentally prepared to handle your tasks the next day and you don’t waste time in the morning figuring things out.
Personal Challenge: Buy a notebook/diary that you can use to write down your daily plans so as to focus and avoid distractions.
2. Listening to too many opinions
Many ambitious and self-driven people start off with brilliant ideas, a great vision and a clear plan of how they intend to achieve their goals. However, many of these ideas never see the light of day because of over consulting and listening to too many opinions.
It’s cool to talk to people about your plans and seek advice but it’s important to note that some people will be genuine while others will just be detractors. In this case, it is important to be discerning enough to filter out the important advice from the noise.
Everyone has an opinion, good/bad and when starting something new, getting negative opinions can lead into self-doubt and distract you from your vision.
Personal Challenge: Figure out two or three people who you can ask for advice from about your critical decisions.
If there is one distraction that we can all relate to, it’s multitasking. We always feel like we can handle everything at once and still achieve results. However, if you find yourself constantly switching between tasks, then you won’t be able to be productive and focus on one thing.
The way our brain works, every time you switch between tasks, your brain takes a few seconds to refocus. If you are constantly doing this, imagine how much time in a day you are wasting.
Personal Challenge: List down your tasks and try focusing on one task at a time.
4. External Distractions
Our environment can also be our biggest distraction if we don’t find ways to manage it. Most times, we go out of our way to avoid distractions but sometimes, the distractions find us. To improve your focus and be more productive, you need to train yourself to stay away from the things around you that distract you.
- Is it your best friend at work/school?
- Do you check your social media every 20 minutes?
- Are you addicted to playing games on your phone?
- Do you spend most of your day answering phone calls?
Whatever it is, the funny thing is when we face things that take away our focus at work or at school, we know exactly what to do but still don’t do it.
Personal Challenge: Identify what external factors distract you and come up with a plan on how to avoid them.
5. Internal Distractions
Internal distractions come from our own internal drives; our thoughts, worries, anxiety, hunger, day dreams etc. If not dealt with, these distractions can lead to bad habits such as procrastination, bad attitude, lack of motivation and eventually not hitting your targets/goals.
Some tips you can adopt to deal with internal distractions are;
- – Always get enough rest.
- – Drink enough water.
- – Eat a balanced diet.
- – Believe in yourself.
- – Replace any negative thoughts with positive ones.
- – Whenever you get anxious, take deep breaths.
Personal Challenge: If you feel like your internal distractions are getting the best of you and negatively impacting your work, don’t be afraid to reach out to a therapist or if you are a student, reach out to your school counsellor. From personal experience, therapy sessions are quite practical and help you get to the root of the problem and fix any issues.
Is there a distraction that you struggle with? Let us know in the comment section below.