Eliminate Distractions to Increase Your Productivity
Continuing in this series of BrojidStepUp, Managing Plenty Tasks within Limited Time, I want to share with you on distraction and your productivity. Meanwhile, let me remind you that in the first part of this series, I explained that when you find that you have plenty things to do with limited time, the first thing you have to do is to resist the temptation to panic; calm down so that you can get to work in your best state of mind. In the second part, I explained that you should outline all the things you have to do so that you can eliminate the irrelevant ones and prioritise your tasks so that you can tackle the most important and urgent. Last time, I explained that you should identity the task you can give another person to do for you and delegate the task to them or outsource to competent people that can help you achieve your goals.
My focus in this fourth part is to show you the damaging power of distractions and how to eliminate them to increase your productivity and by that handle all the tasks in your hands within the time available to you.
Distractions are those good things that seem urgent and need to be attended but are not the most important and urgent things to attend to at the time. They are not necessarily bad things; but they demand to be given attention when there are more important and pressing matters to attend to. What constitutes a distraction now may not be later, when the time for it has come. In the same vein, what is found to be a distraction to you may not be the same for another per time.
If you fall for them, you will be busy all day long without being able to achieve your real goal.
Now, many people fall for distractions because they don’t really understand what constitute distractions to them. I believe that the key to identifying distractions easily is determining what is important to you per time. If you have your priority clearly spelt out, it becomes easy to know what is trying to take your eyes away from them and handle them as distractions that they are.
Let me explain with an example.
Now, it’s a good thing to chat with your man or woman; I mean anybody that is in love craves for it and that’s fine. However, if you are at work and have tasks at hand that need to be handled, then you can’t chat with him or her at this same time. It’s not because chatting is bad in itself, but because it’s taking you away from the most important thing to give attention at that time. In the same vein, if your boss suddenly wants you to do something for him at night when you are spending time with your spouse, that demand is a distraction because at home, priority is not work but family.
Dare To Say No To Distractions
If you really desire to make the most of your limited time to finish the tasks before you, you must develop capacity to handle distractions properly. You must learn how to manage and possibly eliminate them. I mean, you can’t be in dire need of time to finish your task and allow distractions eat into it.
It’s not enough to tell you to say no to distraction. The truth is that the capacity to say no emanates from your heart when you have convinced yourself that at every point in time in your life, certain things are most important and others are less. You need to make it sink in your subconscious that to achieve your goal, certain things have to wait. When you have come to understand these truths and imbibe them as a way of life, you will almost naturally reject the intrusion of certain activities or people into your schedule. You will be able to look into the eyes of seemly good things, people and opportunities and tell it to wait. (In fact, I recommend that you listen to my 10-minutes podcasts, Dare to Say No and Handling the Reality of Saying Noto learn more about saying noand when to say no)
While saying no to people, please don’t slip into insulting or embarrassing them. That will be counterproductive. I mean, it’s not as if the people are bad or that they want you to do a bad thing; it’s just that what they want you to do is not a priority to you at that point in time. I have erred in this regard a lot and have learnt my lessons the hard way. That is why I want you to say no in your best tone of voice, with utmost respect for the person and/or the matter that demands your attention while communicating your reasons for saying no.
Take Control of Your Social Media Accounts
In this day and age, social media is one of the most powerful tools that God provided mankind with to make connection and learning easier and faster. However, it has constituted a huge distraction to many people. Considering the amount of distractions it constitutes, some people have suggested that Social Media may even be Satan’s tool of operation.
I don’t really share their view. Instead, I believe it is unbridled use of the tool that is a problem. You don’t have to belong to all social networks or even use them actively. Just find out the one that will be most beneficial and useful to you and stick to it. Set the apps not to send you notifications unless you start running it and if you seem to be addicted to it, take a break for at least three weeks by deleting the app or deactivating your account so that you can regain your control of it.
At every point in time, certain things are paramount and you should identify them and stick with them. Anything that seeks your attention, time and energy at that point is a bundle of distraction and should be treated as one. The strongest tool for dealing with distraction is the power to say no to things, people and opportunities whose time has not come and you acquire this attitude by realizing that there is time for everything and a misplacement of your priority will scuttle the realization of your target.
PS: We are not done with this subject matter; so, join me tomorrow as I share with you another insight on managing plenty tasks within limited time. Meanwhile you can listen to our 10-minutes podcast on this subject HERE.