We can easily get overwhelmed. This may happen for two reasons. Firstly, we are faced with so much information to process. Secondly, we are surrounded by new technologies that are designed to steal our attention away. These distractions make us far less effective, continually reducing our limited attention span for deeper thinking or focusing on work that requires our full attention.  

Here are some techniques to reduce distraction:

  1. Remove temptation – this may sound simple but it’s not easy to implement. The most effective way is to turn off all communication devices (and notifications) during any ‘thinking work’. This may require some bravery to implement, together with the temptation of checking who has messaged/emailed you, and the engagement on your social media posts. You also may need to manage your wandering mind.
  2. Distraction To-Do List – in a previous contribution to MaltaCEOs I shared an activity to manage your nomadic mind and maintain focus. Check out this previous post, it can help hack your distractions and regain focus.
  3. Train your brain to drive away from distractions. Our brain is made out of pathways when we use these pathways, they get stronger; the less we use them they get weaker. So, the more you practice a particular task or action – in this case, driving away from distractions the better you become. This includes stopping yourself from acting on impulse.
  4. Timing is everything – Once you start an activity a supply of energy starts building up. Make use of this energy to get your task complete. You may also try to use your body clock, knowing when you have high energy or slumps in energy can help you to identify the best time to start some focus work.

In addition to all this, I find it helpful when I clear any clutter in my workspace, and do my deeper thinking work in the morning while I still can control my attention, I find I have even more focus once I have completed a workout earlier before starting my work. This works best for me. How about you? What is your way of beating distractions?

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