In the last article we talked about motivation and I gave you some introspective tips to check your level of motivation and understand how you can make sure to stay motivated and achieve your goals. I hope you asked yourself those questions at the end of the article and that you gave yourself some sincere answers. If you didn’t check the article yet, make sure to go check it here.
Now I want to focus more on the practical side of working towards reaching your goal. This may be slightly different from what we have been talking about so far. And while we absolutely recommend listening to your daily affirmations, we would like to give you also a couple of practical tips that you can implement alongside your mindset and internal motivation.
A world filled with distractions
In a world so filled with distractions, it’s getting more and more challenging to focus on the task at hand. Email notifications, messages, social media, Netflix, YouTube, and whatnot. We have so many distractions it’s a miracle if we even manage to achieve anything, am I right? Even when our motivation is high, it’s just so easy to get distracted. Maybe you just wanted to watch that Youtube video on staying focused that might even be useful and educational but it sucks you in a never-ending loop where you find yourself two hours later watching some unrelated video about the Marie Kondo method, at best.
And we are so used to get distracted. Sometimes we just catch ourselves mindlessly scrolling some social media without even remembering picking up the phone. I know it happened to you too.
So how can we avoid all these distractions and get stuff done? Here are four simple tips that you can start implementing right away in your daily life to make sure that when it’s time to work, there will be no way you will get distracted.
Redesign your environment
This is one of the first things you should do if you are someone who is susceptible to distractions. Make sure there are no distractions in your working space. If your phone is a distraction, put it in another room. If you tend to turn on the TV, unplug it. By simply removing distractions you are going to make it harder for yourself to fall into temptation. If you have your phone on your desk while working, it’s easy to mindlessly grab it and start scrolling. But if it’s in another room, you will need to get up, go all the way to that room and pick up the phone. So, make it harder for yourself to get distracted. Simply remove all sources of distraction from your work environment.
Take note of distractions
Even without any devices that may distract you, it’s very likely that you will have thoughts that have nothing to do with the work you are doing. Those can also be distracting but rather than acting on those thoughts at the moment, just take note of them and you can get back to them later. Keep a note pad or something where you can jot down any distracting thoughts or things you need to do later. This way your brain will be reassured that you will not forget about it and you can get back to your work and stay focused.
Plan your relaxation time
Breaks are necessary to stay focused. Working long hours in a row can be tiring and at some point, our brains require some rest. So, plan some time for breaks and distract yourself guilt-free during that time. You can plan your Netflix break or get up to date with social media or news. It serves a double purpose. On one hand, you will not deprive yourself of the pleasure you get from these distractions. And let’s face it, we need them from time to time. On the other hand, you avoid spending too much time on them if you schedule exactly the time and length of your breaks.
Use the Pomodoro technique
A practical tool to stay focused on your tasks is the Pomodoro technique. Invented by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, it gets its name from the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used to track time. The idea is that you set your timer to 25 minutes during which you will work without interruptions. After each pomodoro or 25 minutes, you take a 5-minute break, In this short break, you can go for a short walk, drink some water or other simple activities. Then you go back to your next 25 minutes. After four pomodoros you may take a longer break, of 15 to 30 minutes.
The technique has proven effective during the years since it focuses on dividing your working time into short intervals. It looks less scary to commit to staying focused for 25 minutes rather than 4 hours, right? Give it a try next time you need to focus on a task. There are plenty of pomodoro pages that will track time and breaks so you don’t need to get an actual kitchen timer. Check this Pomodoro Tracker or just google it and find the one you like better.
We hope these practical tips will help you stay focused and avoid unnecessary distractions. Remember that your mindset and beliefs are also important so make sure to keep those on track, stay positive, and work towards your most ambitious goals!