This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. How do you remove distractions when they typically just pop up out of nowhere? While that is true for some distractions, many distractions can be prevented from becoming greater distractions.
Put your cell phone in another room with Do Not Disturb on. Have your Do Not Disturb settings only allow phone calls from Repeat Callers (if it is an emergency, typically they will call you back within 15 minutes.) Removing your phone from your immediate working environment for even 2-hour intervals will improve your productivity and remove the temptation to ‘check’ whatever it is you tell yourself you need to check (Social Media, Emails, LinkedIn, Finances, etc.) It can typically wait for at least 2 hours.
Turn on some instrumental music in the background. Instrumental music keeps you from getting caught up in the words of the songs but stimulates the brain and it drowns out any additional background noise that may exist. Pick your genre – Christian, Worship, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Pop, Dance, Techno. I recommend something that matches what you are working on or the energy you need. Personally, I will typically put on more upbeat instrumental in the afternoon to prevent the afternoon slump from trying to sneak in.
Call To Action: These are just a couple of suggestions, what are some other ways you can proactively persist through distractions by removing them? Close your door? Put up a “will return at …” sign? Log out of your emails so the notifications do not come through? Share your methods with us.
Persist through distractions by preventing regular distractions from becoming bigger distractions.
After you remove the distractions you can to help prevent distractions, then you change your strategy when it comes to the inevitable distractions that will pop up during your day.
Unless it is an emergency and if you are in the middle of something, when that person stops in asks for your help, instead of stopping what you are doing, if you can, ask them if you can get back to them in XX minutes when you can get to a point in the middle of what you are doing where you can break without breaking your flow. Sometimes distractions become bigger because it breaks our rhythm and then it takes us longer to get back into the rhythm we broke to assist. If possible, see if you can complete that part of your rhythm first. Then your mind can be more present for assistance and make an easier transition to assist effectively.
When the phone rings, when the emails chime, when the person walks in your office as if you have nothing but time and it is not an emergency, politely assist them and then send them on their way so you can get done what needs to be done. Always be present when a distraction arises, but if you have deadlines, always be mindful of that as well.
Call To Action: What other ways can you think of to repudiate distractions because they are inevitable? In what ways to do you guard your list of things you must do?
Persist through the distractions by not losing sight of your own priorities.
You, Lord, are to be blessed! Teach me your statutes. I will declare out loud all the rules you have spoken. I rejoice in the content of your laws as if I were rejoicing over great wealth. I will think about your precepts and examine all your paths. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget what you have said. ~Psalm 119:12-18 (CEB)
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