5 ways to reduce summertime distractions and take control of your day
In a world of increasing distractions, it can be challenging to find and maintain focus.
Recent research has shown that the average employee spends 50% of their time on distractions.
Social media, the internet, email, Slack notifications, people or pets at home or the office can easily distract us from our tasks and to-dos.
It can be particularly hard to stay motivated and productive during the warmer summer months, with our minds wandering to thoughts of sun, beaches and pina coladas.
How can we possibly stay productive with all the summertime distractions luring us away from our desk?
Below, I share five strategies that will help you to reduce distractions, find your focus and stay productive.
Solo tasking, also called monotasking involves tackling one thing at a time.
By focusing 100% of your attention on any one task, rather than trying to split your attention between tasks, you’re more likely to avoid distractions and produce high-quality work.
2. Break tasks down into small chunks
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by a heavy workload or a multitude of tasks.
Try breaking down bigger projects into smaller, bite-size tasks to help maintain focus and reward achievements.
The Pomodoro Technique helps you break tasks into 25-minute intervals separated by 5-minute breaks.
3. Create blocks of time for email
The interruption of emails cascading into our inbox is a big source of distraction.
Check/write/reply to email in blocks of time throughout the day, rather than keeping email open all the time e.g. at the start of the day, before/after lunch and at the end of the day.
Top tip: Turn off audible and visual notifications during your deep, focused work.
4.Take regular breaks
Breaks are essential for productivity and wellbeing. They help to:
- improve mental agility
- restore focus and motivation
- consolidate memory and learning
- boost creativity and productivity
Professor Nilli Lavie’s Load Theory suggests that we have limited mental resources to concentrate with and that distractions steal those resources, making it harder to focus.
Avoid this by taking frequent short breaks throughout the day. These can enhance your concentration when you return to a task.
5. Have Your Distraction Nearby — but Not in the Way
Despite their bad reputations, distractions can be healthy and beneficial.
Distractions can give us a break from routines, our work and help to relieve stress.
Choose a distraction that you can do for only a few minutes such as a snack, playing an instrument or with a pet.
Our distractions can be used as rewards to restore energy, focus and motivation.
You may find starting the day earlier (when it is cooler) and finishing earlier helpful, so you can get outside to enjoy the summer evenings and those pina coladas!
Rather than battle between work and distractions, with a bit of forward planning – we can work, rest and play.
The summer months are an ideal time to invest in your professional development.
I can help you stay productive this summer with:
1:1 coaching in time management & productivity
Learn tools, tips and techniques to manage your time and workload more effectively and boost your productivity.
Coaching to help you stay on track, meet deadlines and be accountable to achieve your business goals.
Group coaching course: Planning, prioritising & productivity
A 3-week group coaching course to help you plan and prioritise your time and tasks effectively and boost your productivity.
The perfect desk accessory helping you to focus, create a productive mindset and good working habits.