Productivity is important in order to produce your best work. However, distractions are the antonym of productivity. We stumbled across this article on goop.com that has some phenomenal tips on strategies to both prevent and ignore distractions and thought we’d share. It’s definitely worth the read because if there’s one thing we’ve learned from our corporate wellness clients, it’s that today’s employers highly value productivity. As the saying goes, time is money.
Schedule time for your distractions: This statement might seem a bit counterintuitive, but hear us out. Let’s use the example of social media. If you are scrolling while you’re supposed to be finishing that important project, it’s a distraction. But if you’re scrolling through social media while you’re enjoying your lunch, it’s no longer a distraction, it’s a way to pass the time. By scheduling time to do the things that usually distract you, you can avoid the “distraction” part of the equation and just make it part of your schedule. This is a principal that our corporate wellness clients love to apply with their employees: by scheduling time for them to get a quick workout in with one of our wellness classes, the employees are much more likely to stay productive outside of that time.
Identify your internal triggers: There are external triggers, and then there are internal triggers. An external trigger is the ping on your phone that causes you to check it. The internal trigger is the feeling you’re trying to avoid. Chances are that there is an uncomfortable feeling you’re trying to avoid by giving in to the external trigger. Therefore, the focus should not be on the external trigger, but on what makes you give in to it. Feeling inadequate at work? Bored? Scrolling starts to sound a lot more attractive.
Reinforce the behaviors you value: James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, is an expert on behavior change. He insists that without identity change there can be no true habit change. Therefore, you must reinforce the behaviors that you value. Set small, achievable goals before attempting lofty ones so that you build confidence in your ability to follow through. Starting can be as simple as working 15-20 minutes uninterrupted, before working your way up to longer intervals.