The year 2020 has brought changes and growth. For me, this meant transitioning to working from home. Although I’ve always considered myself an organized person, I found that working full-time from home did bring a new set of challenges. One challenge was that I found myself becoming distracted by lots of little things – dishes in the sink, laundry, etc.
It is easy to feel as though you are being pulled in a million directions. Being distracted means that we lose the ability to focus on one particular thing. Here are a few tips on how to overcome being distracted that I’ve learned and put into practice in 2020.
1. Create Your Workspace Mindfully
No matter which task you are trying to complete, I highly recommend infusing joy and functionality into your workspace. If you are trying to accomplish something on a crowded table or an uncomfortable chair, it can hinder your progress. Instead, try creating a workspace that is functional. One that is uncluttered, organized, and has adequate room to work. Infuse whatever brings joy to you! This could be lighting a candle or simply adding a lamp instead of a direct overhead light to make all of the difference! You can also think out of the box and take your work to a completely new room or even outside if that is accessible to you!
2. Utilize Timers
Utilizing a timer can be incredibly helpful. And we all have access to a timer on our phones! Timers are insightful and provide motivation to just start and get things moving. For example, if you have a task that needs to be completed that day, start with a simple 15-minute timer. During this designated time, stay laser-focused by setting your phone in another room (close enough to hear the alarm), signing out of social media platforms on your website tabs, avoid checking emails, and if other people are around you state that you will be dedicating the next 15 minutes to work time. This not only keeps you accountable for your time but establishes clarity for your productivity.
3. Create Boundaries
Boundaries can help you overcome distraction by committing to something and holding yourself accountable. However, boundaries can be difficult to set and maintain. I believe that boundaries are an extremely important step in overcoming distraction. Boundaries can look like letting others know you won’t be available at a certain time, setting working hours for yourself, or perhaps closing a door to create a physical boundary. Creating healthy boundaries allows you to focus instead of multitasking.
4. Take Mini Breaks
Allow yourself mini-breaks to reset and recharge throughout the day. One of my favorite ways to do this is to take a five-minute walk outside. By giving yourself permission to “unfocus” ultimately will make you less distracted during the times, you need to be productive. Using a timer here can also help you manage your time and make sure it truly is a 5-10 minute break with the intention to refocus.
Distraction and multitasking happen to the best of us. You are not alone. Know that sometimes the smallest shifts, such as a timer, boundaries, or adding a candle, can make all the difference in overcoming distraction!