3 Ways to Combat Distractions in Your Life
Photo: Felicia T. Simpson
One of the things that I have had to deal with lately is keeping my focus. I didn't used to have that problem. But, since Covid struck I have had to make a lot of changes in my life. I have been working remotely and that has caused a whole new way of me going about my day. I'm spending more time in the house and have to find ways to amuse myself. My times have changed. I no longer have a daily commute. I turned my kitchen table into my home office. At first I was working in my bedroom, but kept getting caught up in the happenings on The Peoples Court and Judge Mathis. You try to get some work done with all that going on in the background..
And then there are the million notifications going off daily letting me know that there is a Facebook Live being done or that I have received a text. There are countless Zoom meetings and phone calls. Some people think that working from home is a piece of cake, and I admit that I do love working from home, but it takes some organization to make sure that you are able to get some work done.
I found myself becoming distracted because I didn't have a plan. And this was carrying over into other areas of my life. Because I was spending more time at home my whole schedule was off. I would find myself staying up late into the night and sometimes forgetting to consult my calendar. During the day I would start a task and then start another task and sometimes even start another task. I often had a bunch of unfinished tasks going on.
I knew it was time to make some changes and get some order going on up in here when I looked around my house and there was an unfinished task in every room. A pile of laundry that needed to be folded. A stack of mail that needed to be taken care of. A bag of things that needed to go to the Goodwill, stacks of paper that needed to be filed. When there are too many things vying for my attention I began to feel overwhelmed. And when I begin to feel overwhelmed I become impatient and snappy. I knew it was time for some changes.
The first thing I did was to remove the distractions. That meant the television went off. I sleep with my television on, so when I wake up in the morning I have to turn it off. If not I get caught up in what is going on with Perry Mason, Matlock and In the Heat of the Night. The next thing I did was to set up my office at my dining room table. I have an office, but I like how the sun comes through the windows in the front of the house, so that works out better for me. Then I had to deal with the notifications that ding constantly on my phone...I turned them off and I set up specific times that I check social media. I created a work schedule with a lunch time. This is usually when I return texts and check social media.
Next I became better connected with my "to- do" list. I wrote down the things that I wanted to get accomplished that day. It always makes me feel good when I cross off an item. I have a Master to-do list and I just take things off the master and put them on my daily list. I started doing priority time management. This was key to making sure that I got the things that were important done. I put the items in order of importance. Then if something lower on the list didn't get done, I moved it to the next day. Thanks for the tip Ruby.
I stopped trying to listen to and follow everybody. Social media can become so time consuming. There are so many Facebook Lives, Podcasts, Webinars, Seminars etc. going on all day. You can't follow everyone. That was one of the most distracting things for me. There are a lot of people with really great offerings. But it can be very overwhelming when you try to catch everything being offered out there. So I had to make a choice as to what information I needed in my life at a given time and who did I want to receive that info from. Then I make sure that I schedule that on my calendar so that I am available when they are sharing info.Once I did that it made it easy not to sign up for yet another free challenge.
Just by doing these few things I have noticed that I am not so scattered and my focus is back in place. It is so easy to become distracted. If you don't set some boundaries you won't get much accomplished at all. So let me recap them below for you.