If you feel scattered, sluggish, overwhelmed, and experience a lack of focus (or even a lack of interest) in your business… then this post is a MUST-READ for you!
You can’t expect to last much longer operating on all cylinders, yet making little progress. It’s time to cut distractions and get some work done to push your business forward.
Here are 7 ways to kick distractions to the curb when working on your business…
1) Exit Out of Facebook (or other beloved social networks) for a minimum of 1 hour
You might experience withdrawal symptoms but persevere and keep working. Let your “reward” be a 2-minute Facebook break at the end of your hour of work if need be. Once you make this a habit you’ll start to feel calmer and less obsessed with seeing if anyone liked your recent post.
2) Set Phone Boundaries
I talk to friends and family after 5pm and on the weekends. Before 5 on weekdays, it’s office hours and everyone knows (and respects) that. It’s not a time to chat about making plans or catching up. I talk to clients between 10-4pm on weekdays only. Before 10am, I’m working on email and preparing for the day. After 4pm, I am winding down for the last hour of the day. I *never* talk to leads or clients on nights and weekends unless it’s an absolute emergency. And guess what, everyone respects that schedule (and if anything, it inspires them to get more balance in their lives too!)
(More strategies on my Amber Vilhauer blog here: How to Achieve Work-Life Balance)
3) Download the “7M Workout” App (or one similar)
If you work online and watch tv at night, you’re probably averaging a whopping 3,000 steps a day (not nearly the recommended 10,000 we’re all supposed to get each day!). When we aren’t physically active, we get distracted much more easily. We also feel sluggish, can’t pay attention, and struggle to stay present. Who wants to live like that?! So try being active for 7 minutes once per hour. Hey, I was grouchy about it at first too, but then I got used to it and now I can’t work without it!
4) Write Out Your Goals for the Day + Set Incentives
There are lots of strategy options here, but either way, they’re critical to success. You could…
- Write down your “MUST-DO” tasks, and do those first before you’re allowed to check Facebook, turn on your phone, listen to music, etc. Then you know you got the important stuff done for the day.
- Write down to-do’s and set up some sort of reward (like watching your fav tv show that night) AND punishment (like NOT watching your fav tv show that night) based on if you accomplish your work or not. You may need an incentive to stay on track!
(More strategies on my Amber Vilhauer blog here: Top Keys to Manage Your Stress and Overwhelm)
5) Do or Don’t Do Music
I personally thrive on listening to music. It helps me focus and keeps me relaxed. If you’re the same, turn on Spotify and keep the tunes rolling. If music distracts you, get rid of it!
6) Exercise Your Awareness Muscle
If you’re distracted easily, you’re not aware or disciplined enough to control it. By exercising your awareness muscle you’ll start to instantly notice when you’ve veered off track and started doing mindless web surfing or unnecessary organizing. If you nip it in the bud from the get-go, you’ll save yourself hours. If we don’t pay attention, we could lose an hour surfing the web, or two hours organizing. It’s all about catching yourself early on.
(More strategies on my Amber Vilhauer blog here: Manage Your Mindset)
7) Get Control of Your Email Inbox
This is one of our biggest distractions! Some ideas for you:
- Get Active Inbox (for Gmail lovers) and you’ll thank me every day moving forward!
- STOP subscribing to email lists that you don’t really, really, really want to be on
- Unsubscribe to email lists that aren’t serving you any longer (if you haven’t paid attention to the last 3 emails sent, what makes you think you’ll magically look at them moving forward?)
- Consider separating work from personal emails
- Consider only checking email every 3 hours or at another set time throughout the day
- Make sure you’ve put everything you want into one email for the person you’re sending to (because if you forgot something, you’ll send 2 or 3 emails – then get 2 or 3 replies – yikes!)
Most times, if we really look at what’s distracting us there are EASY-to-implement solutions that will make us feel MUCH better. Now, stop being distracted and go get some work done! 🙂