How to Eliminate Distractions When You Work on Important Things

When you’re working on an important project at your day job, you need to find a way to eliminate out distractions that could take you away from your task.

Distractions are one of the biggest enemies of your productivity. In many cases, you can’t completely eliminate distractions, but it doesn’t allow you not to take some measures to improve your productivity. You need to work on and try to eliminate distractions when you work on important things.

Do you find yourself in a position when you start working on something important for you or your business, and you stop with the work because your colleague comes who asks you something in your office? You probably get the sound for the newly received message on email or messenger. Or you find something interesting on the internet and start reading instead of working.

Someone else priority is not your priority. You have your priorities.

When we live in a distraction-based environment with so many gadgets, the most critical question is how we can transform our environment to eliminate distractions.

It’s easy to get distracted when working on important tasks at home or the office. To make sure you stay focused, follow these 14 action steps to keep yourself productive and focused.

#1 First, understand what distractions are and what effects they have on your work

You need to start with understanding distractions that you have already experienced and know exactly how those distractions impact your daily work routine. The goal here is to create a list of all possible distractions that bother you while working on your most important tasks.

Don’t escape this tactic because you will not know what to do next. Instead of essential things, you will do something that will not help you in your efforts to grow your small business.

#2 Always use to-do list if you want to eliminate distractions

You need to know what you need to work on, because how you can start working if you don’t see what you need to do and when. To-do lists are essential productivity tools. Use them to begin organizing your workday correctly.

If you succeed in building an effective organizational system, you will become more productive and less distracted.

#3 Analyze possible interruptions and build a strategy for eliminating them.

One of the biggest challenges for any business owner, big or small, is dealing with interruptions. While these interruptions can be highly disruptive to a business, they can also be helpful—if we know how to deal with them effectively.

What interrupt you when you work on your tasks? This is an essential question in your efforts to eliminate distractions. You can start building strategies to cut these interruptions when you know what interrupts you.

#4 Analyze your working habits and try to implement different time-saving techniques.

Again, here you need to start with your analysis of your working habits. How do you do your work? Is it on one PC or two? How much time do you spend with some of the tools needed to carry out the work? Can you improve the process of using those tools?

I know that productivity can often depend on the tools you use in your everyday work. Why not try to combine them most productively for you? If you can save more time in doing your current job, you can escape some of the possible distractions at the time. This is simply the probability theory. More time for finishing work will have more probability of bringing different distractions.

#5 Start reading when you are on your mobile devices.

Use your mobile phones and tablets to go through your daily reading routine. I know that you read magazines, blog RSS feeds, research readings… But you can read everything everywhere with the help of your mobile devices. Why not use them to help you increase productivity instead of being your biggest distraction.

eliminate distractions priority

#6 Start using the Pomodoro technique.

Most of us are familiar with the Pomodoro Technique, a popular time management method that has helped millions of people get more done in less time. The Pomodoro Technique helps you stop wasting time on distracting tasks and instead focus on what really matters. The basic idea is simple: for every 25-minute work period, you take a 5-minute break (called a “Pomodoro”). During your break, you can look at email, use social media, and other distractions. Still, you’re not allowed to get anything done.

This might seem like a pain to some, but if you use the Pomodoro Technique to your advantage, it can save you hours each day because it will help you organize your units of work and analyze how you progress through finishing things on your to-do list.

#7 Try with Marc Andreessen’s anti-to-do list.

Anti-to-do lists you can use every time you do something useful during the day. Something you are proud of. You just write it down in your Anti-To-do List all your accomplishments. Take a look at your lists and everything you get done that day.

In Marc Andreessen’s mind, the only way to get your priorities straight is first to eliminate distractions. That means eliminating all the distractions that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

#8 Check your email at a particular allocated time for that job.

Many people spend a lot of time in their inboxes. They get distracted when they read an email from friends and family, and the lure of social media easily tempts them. But email isn’t all about distractions! That’s why it’s essential to set aside a time and place to deal with emails, whether during your lunch break or before you go to bed. Make it a ritual to check your email every day for a certain amount of time. And remember, the best way to get things done is by getting things out of the way first.

I have personal time at my workplace to check my email each day. If I don’t do this at a specific time I set, my day gets very disorganized. The way that I work well is to create a specific time when I have to check emails. So, I don’t have to remember to check my emails because my task manager sends out a reminder to check my email. It’s much easier to get stuff done when you know that you have to check your email.

Many studies found that when an employee checks email at a specific time each day, it improves their performance, both in and outside the office. So, you can easily classify the email as one of the biggest distractions for you. Because of that, allocate part of your time each day to process your email. In such a way, you will not need to keep open your email client that is the source of possible distractions.

#9 Turn your mobile phone in airplane mode.

This is one of the simplest yet most effective ways of turning off all notifications. Doing this will save time and eliminate the distractions of constant alerts, affecting your productivity.

In such a way, keeping your phone on airplane mode will eliminate the possibility of accidentally checking emails or Facebook, leading to distractions that cost you valuable time.

The airplane mode means to turn off all wireless connections and services on your mobile phone while you work on your most important priorities. So, you can escape possible distractions that you receive when all those connections and services are active.

#10 Put your desk phone on “do not disturb” mode and eliminate distractions.

If you can’t concentrate on one thing at a time, what happens to your productivity? That’s what this tip will help you avoid. This is easy to do if you’re not a big phone person, but if you want to stay connected, it’s good to know a few tricks.

First, turn your desk phone into a “do not disturb” mode. That means you won’t be able to get a call or a text message. Second, try not to answer your cell or other phones. You’ll be able to manage your time and attention more effectively. Block out time during the day to focus on your work, and don’t take any calls or emails from outside sources. This will allow you to keep all of your concentration on the task at hand.

When you work on your priority tasks, turn off your desk phone, or if you have the possibility put it in the “do not disturb mode.”

#11 Start Using the Rescue Time App to collect information about your productive work.

You need to track time to figure out what types of tasks you can cut out of your day. You can track time in different ways: manually, with a tool like RescueTime, or with software. Also, you can quickly get helpful information about how you spend your time and see how you could improve your workflow.

RescueTime will help you make smarter business decisions by giving you all the data you need to understand what is working in your workflow. By tracking your work across multiple devices, apps, and programs, RescueTime gives you a snapshot of exactly where you spend your time. As you work on improving your productivity and increasing your business’s revenue, you’ll find that the app offers invaluable insights into how you use your time and how you can maximize your efficiency.

Rescue Time is the tool that measures everything that you do on your computer and categorizes your work as productive and unproductive work. You can easily see where you spend unproductive time and think about the strategy to decrease it or avoid it.

Rescue Time to eliminate distractions

#12 Before starting the work, finish all your physiological needs to eliminate distractions.

Don’t start with work until you satisfy all your physiological needs. In such a way, when you work, you will not think about food or other requirements.

#13 Listen to inspirational music to eliminate distractions in form sounds.

Music can influence our mood, behavior, and creativity. Listening to uplifting, inspiring music is a great way to motivate yourself and focus on your goals.

When you’re trying to complete a task and you’re easily distracted, it’s easy to see why listening to inspirational music will help you focus and get through your to-do list. Music can effectively block extraneous sounds like ringing phones, coworkers talking, and people walking by.

Also, when you read, your brain is active, simultaneously processing information and paying attention to what you are reading. This mental juggling causes distractions. To avoid this distraction, listen to inspiring music in the background.

If your workplace is where you have a large amount of distraction sound, you can just turn on some inspirational music.

#14 If necessary, isolate yourself completely to eliminate distractions.

Isolation is a psychological term that refers to putting aside extraneous thoughts and focusing on one particular task at hand. This is what allows us to become more efficient and produce higher-quality results. When working on a project, you need to eliminate distractions. In your office, you should have no conversations, no incoming calls, and no interruptions whatsoever. If you’re not allowed to have this, you should go into isolation as much as possible.

The second psychology principle on this list is isolation. We like to be around people we care about. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always translate well to business. In a world where we’re constantly connected, we often find ourselves surrounded by the people we don’t want to be around. The best way to fight this is to set up a schedule for yourself. Give yourself time to think, focus, and plan.

So, get up from your desk, remove the physical objects you might be tempted to look at, and go into another room. Go to the bathroom, make a cup of tea, and take a walk outside. If you’re in a larger company, take a walk around the building. The key is to get away from the distractions and work in a quiet and uninterrupted space.

If something is so much important, you can isolate yourself. When I have worked on my Ph.D. thesis, I decided to spend one week working only on the thesis, and because of that, I moved to a village where I didn’t have an internet connection. I have been completely isolated there, and my only concern was working on my Ph.D. thesis.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan