To have a successful career, it is important to learn to manage your precious time and cut down on distractions. As varied distractions are always surrounding you and wasting your productive time, it is you who needs to take action to control them. Whether you are at your workplace or working from home, distractions will not leave you anywhere. However, you can deal with them in some strategic ways.
Keep a watch on distractors
Before you tackle distractions, it is required to take stock of everything that distracts you at work. Find a day when you can keep a check on it and identify things that consume most of your time. See what the real distractors are and what is it that can be delegated to others. This lets you make better plan to deal with such distractors effectively.
Prioritize your work with scheduled breaks
To deal efficiently with distractions, start by making your To-Do list. Prioritize the daily tasks on your list and aim to complete the most important and urgent ones first, as well as time-taking chores like preparing a presentation for a client. Set completion time for each task and give yourself breaks so you may stay refreshed to deal with each task with complete energy, concentration, and alertness. Stay disciplined to follow your schedule.
Control email and personal technology use
Personal technology like smartwatches and smartphones have blurred the boundaries between personal and official communication. You keep receiving calls and emails, as well as social media comments, pictures, and other information at odd timings.
All this consumes your work time and later gives you stress when you are left with not much time to complete your jobs. Thus, it is highly required to schedule your correspondence time. You should also keep it short and only respond to emails that really need action. Similarly, you may switch off your phone or put it on voicemail while doing critical work.
Keep your Internet browser closed
Social media and unnecessary Internet browsing are great productivity killers. You should have the willpower and mental strength to close your browser so you cannot give yourself access to social media while doing important tasks. It will help you maintain focus and concentration on what is critical. In fact, you can use social media as a reward to yourself after you complete a task successfully and take a break.
Comply with the Law of the Vital Few
According to this law, just 20% of possible causes lead to 80% of a given effect. Follow this by identifying 20% of your activities that push you 80% closer to goals. The activities that can contribute the most always include the ones you are especially skilled to do. For instance, your 20% should include making a business strategy, writing a paper, designing software, or other such activities that you are good at. Such activities will not involve responding to emails or commenting on Facebook or Twitter, as even a student can do that.
Move to a quiet location
While you can request people not to disturb you for some time or keep your cabin door closed, it may not always be effective. In such a case, you can try moving to another peaceful location until you complete your task. You may go to a conference room or any empty room in your office or to a garden if you are troubled at home.
Delegate some work
Instead of being egoistic, ask for help from colleagues or your staff. Delegate some work to them and give yourself a break to become more efficient.
As everyday distractions can make your less productive and stressed out, plan and schedule yourself and your work to cut down on identified distractions strategically.