Focus impacts our daily lives, especially on our daily productivity. How is it possible to avoid daily distractions from achieving the work we need to do? Sarah Refai, the host of the Secrets of Marketing Podcast, shares her steps and advice to maintain a productive schedule.
Prepare the day’s to-do list and tasks
preparing your tasks a night before, or the day of will help you keep track and visualize what you need to achieve during the day. It is important to prioritize your tasks and set them according to the time and energy they would require you to achieve them. This will allow you to cross the item from your list in the due time.
Schedule Time to Rest
For each hour of work, make sure to take a 15-minute break. Consider this break to be a reward for the work you have done. You can go out for a walk, chat with some friends, scroll through your social media, nap, or even read a book! The most important thing is to make sure that you schedule a break along with your daily to-do list. The way you spend your break is personal. It can vary according to your capacities, likes, and needs.
Distance Yourself From Your Distractions
After your break, and as you’re stepping back into your work, make sure to put aside anything that might distract you. You can put your phone on silent, and keep it away from your desk or your workspace. Moreover, make sure that your phone is put on “Do Not Disturb” mode. This way, even if you do receive notifications or alerts, you will not be aware of any of them, and therefore avoiding picking it up and disrupting your workflow.
If you use social media daily, this feature will be of tremendous help. Most Social Media apps have an option to set a time limit for daily usage and consumption. By activating this feature, you can control much time you are spending.
Avoid Using Your Phone Upon Waking Up
Your brain after waking up is in a state of rest. Before you are completely awake, the information overload from your phone will make it difficult to prioritize activities. Imagine absorbing different content, from emails, news, to social media posts right off the bat, without allowing your brain the chance to process and slowly wake up. That’s why it’s important to avoid using your phone at least thirty minutes after waking up.
Avoid Your Phone Screen Before Going to Bed
Avoid staring at the screen of your smartphone, tablet, or computer before sleeping. This is because the light emitted by these devices slows down the production of sleep hormones. Five minutes before the phone, can quickly turn into 4 hours of scrolling through social media. The direct action of the light delivered by a screen stimulates the visual pathways and acts on the internal biological clock when we look at it.
Set Time for Physical Activity
If you have ever wanted to introduce physical activity into your daily routine, this is the perfect occasion to do so. Set a weekly time – or even daily, if your schedule allows, to practice some sports or exercise. You can go out for a walk or a run, whichever you feel your body needs most. However, make sure to start at a slow pace and not rush your body into huge physical activity changes, or else it would drain your energy instead of increasing it.
Watch Your Food and Diet
Some people might be surprised on this matter. You should watch out for the food you take in, and the amount of caffeine you are consuming. Some foods drain us and exhaust us, and therefore lead to a lack of concentration. Anything that your body takes in, will contribute one way or another to your productivity and daily activities. When you consume excessive amounts of sugar or caffeine, you will eventually become hyperactive, and thus concentrate less and be less productive.
Most individuals spend their days performing shallow activities, and it is typically these little things that prevent us from completing more essential and meaningful work. For example, have you ever attempted to concentrate on a large assignment only to be sidetracked by a trivial email that you felt you ought to react to right away?
Obviously, totally eliminating these sorts of distractions from your life is quite impossible, especially in a modern workplace setting. And there’s a good reason for this: they’re quick, easy, and provide us with a sense of success. In the long run, though, they impede us from achieving more ambitious professional and personal goals.
You must be cautious about how you spend your time and energy. Remove any superficial labor and concentrate on the most critical tasks. Going back to the initial step, making a to-do list, can greatly assist you in avoiding shallow work.
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