My friend Liz said that she realized after a while that no matter how hard she tries to resist having the variety of chocolate treats that are nicely distributed throughout her home, she kept falling for the temptation and having them! What eventually worked for her is to not have chocolate around--in other words, a chocolate-free home! Without getting too deep into the psychological aspects of addictions, let us just keep things simple for now, and extrapolate this techniques to see how it might help with resisting daily interruptions and distractions that keep us getting off track and away from our important initiatives and projects.
Interruptions are the primary enemy
How much do you think interruptions reduce your productivity? 10%? 20%? 50%? I am sure you are curious about the answer. The answer (both quantitative and qualitative) lies in the Results Curve (free download) and it is estimated to be a shocking 80% or more.
So anything we can do to avoid them is a good thing. Here are 5 things to avoid having around so we are not constantly interrupted. While it is not possible to not have these around for too long, see if you can avoid them for 40 minutes at a time as the Results Curve suggests.
5 Things to avoid having around
- Having your e-mail open while you are trying to focus on something else.
- Having Social Media open or easily accessible!
- Having extra documents open that can easily distract you and draw you into a different topic or task.
- Having extra papers laying around that can sidetrack you.
- Having food (such as chocolate) that is easily accessible. Instead make it your reward after you finish your focused task (and maybe keep in a remote place that would require some physical movement to get to).
Now if you really want to move into more advanced techniques that can help you stay focused, check out the the countdown timer suggested in the Results Curve! Stay tuned for the next technique on how to stay focused that is coming soon!