How to beat the battle of distraction

How to beat the battle of distraction

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Isn’t it time to remove the distractions in your business so that you can focus on what counts most?

When you consider how your environment affects the way you work have you considered the distractions that come into play every day?

 If you take a moment and list the things that distract you on a daily basis what are they?

The 3 most common distractions from my clients are:

·        The state of their desk

·        Their office

·        The never ending emails

Overwhelmed –> Organised –> Outstanding

In this article we will explore these 3 top distractions and I will share a few tips, tools and techniques for each that you can apply to BEAT the battle of DISTRACTION which will lead to more focus resulting increased productivity! AND the good news they take very little time, effort and energy!

Your Desk

Look at your desk – what’s on it? Chances are there are papers, stationary, perhaps some old receipts, maybe your car keys, sunglasses, a coffee cups, breakfast dishes, phone, notebooks, USB sticks? The good news is, you are not alone!

Considering that your desk is where you spend most of your life it is not unusual for your desk to be cluttered with most of your life!

Now that you have established what’s on your desk – How much space is this taking up?

How much space do you actually have to work?

To do:

1) Take everything off your desk and give it a good wipe, dirty dishes to the kitchen!

2) Find a spot for the things you use throughout the day.

Ensure you have a pen holder for your pens and pencils.

Make sure all of your cords and cables are neatly tucked away.

Pop your filing / loose papers into their correct files / filing boxes. Remember its either something you need now, something you need later (in which case you want to be able to find it ) OR you don’t need it at all (bin it)

3) If you are unsure of which files you may need pop them on one side – if you haven’t touched it by the end of the day – file it into the cupboard!

4) If you need to have files on your desk ensure you have an in-tray and an out-tray so you are not wasting time scrambling through documents throughout the day.

5) At the end of each day leave your desk neat, tidy and ready so when you walk in “tomorrow” you start on a fresh, clean slate. Studies have proven that walking INTO an organised space at the start your day will result in you being more productive!

Your Office

Look around your office space for a moment – what do you see?

Some examples might be: Open cupboards/draws/files, Are you pictures hanging straight

Is your calendar on the right month? How is your plant looking – is it dead/neglected/ dusty? If you have staff and they aren’t there – are their chairs tucked in? Are their desks tidy

What’s on your shelves?

To do:

1)   Close cupboards (properly)

2)   Straighten your pictures, as well as items on shelves, ensure your calendar is on the right month, make a note to suggest that your team leaves their desks neat and tidy (lead by example on this one!!!)

3)   Plants add so much life and warmth to a room, even beautiful fake ones! Spend a few minutes cutting off the dead leaves, ensuring they have plenty of water, and if you are a fake plant fan, grab a dust cloth and give them the one over! If you have a bunch of flowers in the room, change the water, remove the dying buds and if need be add a little fresh greenery from your garden to make your vased bunches sing again!

Your emails

This is honestly the bane of most peoples lives! How often have you heard someone say “I literally receive 300 emails a day, my inbox ifs full it is completely overwhelming me”? Chances are you have heard it and you may even be saying these exact words each and every day

Run a quick audit:

  • How many inboxes have you got waiting for you?
  • How many emails do you have between your inboxes?

To do:

1)   Dedicate 10 minutes per day (and only 10!!!!!) to minimize your inbox overwhelm.

2)   Each email falls into 1 of 3 categories: Delete, Do, File.

Deletes could be Facebook notifications, emails you have subscribed to that you no longer read or need. Spam.

Do could be emails that actually need ACTION! Pop these into a separate file where you will once again dedicate 30 mins a day to work though this file

File: you will be surprised how many email in your inboxes relate back to correspondence that has been done, dusted or even possibly deleted! These email trails simply add 1 more (and 1 more and 1 more) email to your inbox. FYI / Memos from your team should have their own folder so you van easily access these at a later stage if needed.

3)   Unsubscribe from emails that you are no longer interested in. It may take time but if you get rid of a few a day it will pay off in the long run.

4)   Social media notification emails can really clog up your inbox. Change you profile settings in your social media accounts so you don’t get so many, OR Set up a new Gmail account and direct all of your notification on all of your social media accounts to this address, nothing else. Then you never have to log into this email unless you want to.  

There are so many other distractions which I will be covering in more depth in a future article (so stay tuned!) For now… organise your desk, tidy your office and start gaining some control of your email inbox!

If you are ready to BEAT the battle of DISTRACTION, be more focused and increase your productivity, I encourage you to reach out to Amber Business Support, I am your Business Accountability Mentor and would love to be part of your business journey!

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