Kick Your Distractions to the Curb — for Good

Dealing with endless distractions at work can be exhausting and make you feel like you never get anything done. To avoid burnout — and to accomplish thoughtful, important work — you need to combat interruptions, especially ones you’re creating yourself, such as checking your email every five minutes. Pay attention to how often and why you’re allowing your attention to be stolen. Make a note every time you find yourself switching away from a task before your intended stopping point. Then think about what caused you to be distracted and jot that down, too. Once you become aware of these cues, find ways to overcome them. For example, ask yourself what you could do to stop constantly checking Twitter on your phone, or how you could keep others from interrupting you when you’re trying to focus. Record these ideas, then look for opportunities to try them out. Keep a record of which ones were successful and which weren’t. Over time, you’ll end up with a list of tactics that will help keep you focused and give you a greater sense of accomplishment.

This tip is adapted from How to Overcome Your (Checks Email) Distraction Habit,” by Maura Thomas

Categories: Management and Career Tips

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