6 steps to clear your head of distractions and be more productive

If your life is anything like mine, there is an endless stream of distractions everywhere. You may want to sit down to work on an article/project/etc, but you are bombarded by Facebook notifications, Tweets, emails, your phone buzzing, etc. Sometimes it feels next to impossible to just get that one thing done in a timely and effective manner.

Here are 6 steps that worked for me and can work for you too. How to clear your head of the noise of the buzzing outside world:

  1. Switch off your Facebook. Studies show that the average person spends almost 4 hours a day on  social networking sites. That is one sixth of your day gone, scrolling through your newsfeeds, clicking ‘Like’, and sharing useless videos about cats and dancing babies. No wonder you can’t get anything done. Switch off Facebook. And while you’re at it, switch off your Twitter and Instagram too.
  2. Put your phone on silent. When you are sitting down to write, do yourself a favour and put your phone on silent. Think about it, when you are at a seminar or a classroom, you put your phone on silent as an act of respect for the speaker. So why can you not give yourself the same respect and allow your brain some quality uninterrupted time?
  3. Drop the unnecessary commitments. If you are the type of person who has a tendency to commit to several things at once, you are only stressing your brain out. You are not being able to focus on the things that are actually important or interesting to you, because your brain is too busy being occupied by the not-that-important-or-interesting-but-I’ll-do-it-anyway things. Quit it.
  4. Get moving. A few times a week, hit up a treadmill/stationary bike/running path. It’s not about going hard and sweating up a storm – it is about getting the blood flowing to your brain and allowing yourself the space to generate ideas. There is just something incredibly zen about being on that bike and brainstorming a world of ideas..
  5. Jot it down. If you have too many to-do items swimming around in your head, jot them down. Whether it is post-its stuck around your computer monitor, or Google calendar entries, just put the thoughts down on paper (or digital). Just seeing them in front of you makes everything seem less daunting, and lets your brain relax for a bit.
  6. Celebrate the small successes. Done steps 1-5 and already accomplished a thing or two? Hooray! However small the victory, always remember to take a moment to be proud and even share it with a friend/partner or do a little happy dance. Pat yourself on the back and keep going!

 

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