Lately, I feel like I’ve been inundated with many distractions that are trying their best to make me unproductive and lure me off track from working towards my goals. I have to constantly battle this since I’m involved in so many activities. So I think I’m writing this post for me as much as you.
So, how do we avoid all those distractions that can cause us to lose time and possibly money when related to our small business? I was thinking of some tactics I try use to stay focused. This is a short list of ideas, so I’m interested in getting your thoughts around what helps you avoid distractions too!
Know Your Priorities
I think it’s important to pause and ask ourselves: is this distraction, whatever it is, more important than my top priorities? It sounds obvious, but the most important thing for me is to have my priorities in order. I can’t start work without them and I definitely can’t write this blog without knowing exactly what I need to work on. Time is limited! Knowing and focusing on priorities keeps the distractions away and me on track.
However, knowing them isn’t always enough. I have to see them too. While I use a list to keep track of all my tasks, I’ve started to write my top 3 priorities on a sticky note and keep them visible in my work space. When I’m distracted I can look up and see those priorities in front of me and add the distraction to a list of other things that need to get done in the future.
I know there are a lot of tools out there for organizing work and priorities, but I like simple to do lists. I have a list for personal tasks, work tasks and of course, a list of tasks for this blog. A list is a great place to bury a distraction too. Distractions always seem important at the moment. Perhaps it’s an email you feel needs a response. Or, maybe it’s a new idea that pops into your head. If you can maintain a list, you have some place to park the distraction until you can prioritize it later. Don’t let it pull you off track from your top priorities!
If you’re looking for a good tracking tool for to do lists, I’ve found that to do’s can be tracked easily with pencil and paper, Evernote, or a spreadsheet.
Find the Right Work Environment
The last idea I’ll mention has to do with simply rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. It means finding a quiet place by yourself if needed to get your most important work completed. This is especially the case when blogging. It could also mean retreating to a conference room at the office to get a special work project or assignment done for your day job. I’ve found conference rooms to be safe havens when you need to pump out an important deliverable. This works especially well if you can schedule the conference room for a block of time.
As I said when I started this post, writing it was for me as much as you. Hopefully, you find this to be a simple list of ideas to keep in mind when you’re getting hit with distractions from all directions. Know your priorities, keep everything in a list, don’t be afraid to park new things that come up, and finally, find the right environment to get your most important priorities accomplished.
How do you avoid distractions and make sure you deliver on your most important work?