We live in distracting times – there’s a whole range of things that can buzz, ring and capture our attention when we should be concentrating on something else.
It feels like the world is always ‘switched on’ and that means that there’s always a chance you can be emailed at all hours and contacted 24/7. And everyone expects you to reply in an instant too!
Being productive and staying focused is easier said than done, so let’s take a look at some tips for limiting distractions!
It’s a difficult task these days, but switching off email updates and notifications can be good for your overall productivity. Obviously it’s not always possible to not check emails etc but instead of doing it as and when, it’s worth checking at specific times and replying in bursts of activity rather than doing it continuously throughout the day and never being able to concentrate on the task at hand.
You can tell people in your auto-reply when they can expect a reply from you so they know they won’t get an immediate reply.
Changing the work environment you’re operating out of can be a really good way to shake things up, especially when you’re a start-up or freelancer. Going to a coffee shop is always welcome, but it can be a little too noisy.
Renting a serviced office space, like the facilities we have at Hyde Park House, means that you can dip in and out, freshen up ideas and it gives you a great place to escape to. If you work alone then you can meet like-minded entrepreneurs and bounce ideas off each other. You can also make use of the meeting rooms we have on site for team meetings or client meetings, instead of your own property. You never know where you’re going to get inspiration from and an office space gives a good break in your usual routine.
Ever heard the one about the carrot and the donkey? Treat yourself like the donkey and try to incentivise yourself to do continued bouts of work and reward yourself with your carrot equivalent! Breaking down your time and trying to achieve in certain time frames can really help you to focus better. You could reward yourself with something as simple as looking at your phone or something much bigger of course, but the practice trains your brain to concentrate and knuckle down so you can get towards a certain goal.
Sometimes whatever you do feels fruitless and you just have to listen to what your mind and body is telling you. Going for a quick walk can help you to think of ideas or take your mind off work for a bit. Some people work better in the morning, some in the evening and getting to know your style helps you to organise your intense work periods better and helps you to get more prioritised things done when you’ve got more energy and drive.