Distractions are Everywhere; Productivity Suffers
In screaming color, moving fast, making noise, distractions fly across your computer screen, your phone, your office such that it’s tough to concentrate and maximize your productivity. In fact, new research from the book, Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey, says most people focus on one thing for 40 seconds and get distracted. Then it takes you 50% longer to get back to work and between 25-27 minutes to return to thoughtful concentration.
So how do you turn off the distractions and amp up productivity?
- Psychologist Larry Rosen says most of us check our phones every 15 minutes. Change your settings on your phone so that everything is grayscale. The phone is much less distracting without color and movement happening. Also- when you really need to focus, turn off your phone completely and turn off any alerts on your computer. 60-90 minutes of uninterrupted work means you are getting things done. Productivity goes up!
2. Disconnect at night- say between 8 pm and whenever you wake up. Turn your phone off or put in airplane mode. You will focus more on your family and loved ones, and you will sleep better without the blue light wreaking havoc with your brain.
3. Track your time for a whole week. Record somehow- whether using an app or a timesheet for every 10 minutes of every day. You’ll probably discover you’re spending way too much time on social media and not nearly enough time with your loved ones. One woman discovered she spent much too much time cleaning her house and got an automated vacuum. Really study your sheet at the end of the week. Are you doing what you want to do in your day? What could you eliminate to boost your productivity and also have more time for fun?
Focus means letting go of distractions. It requires awareness, discipline and choice. Years ago, Barbara Sher had a phrase that I love: “I’m choosing between the best and the best in my life.” So not choosing between the bad and the good, or the good and the better, but the best and the best. You can make the same choice.