Despite the abundance of productivity tips and techniques available to us all, distractions continue to be a challenge, only getting worse with advances in technology.
In fact, human attention spans have been decreasing. This decline is attributed to the constant influx of information and stimuli that we face in our daily lives, particularly with social media and the internet.
So, how can you combat distractions and improve concentration throughout the day? It comes down to discipline.
By adopting a disciplined mindset and implementing proven methods to minimize distractions, you can improve your ability to focus and accomplish more of your top priorities.
How to Reduce Distractions by Being Disciplined
Distractions are easy to succumb to because we usually do so subconsciously. Conversely, cultivating discipline requires a deliberate and conscious effort.
Being disciplined in various areas of your life can lead to success, happiness, and a greater sense of fulfillment.
Discipline is what allows you to channel your focus energy into items of impact. When you reduce distractions, you’re able to access more focus energy.
This simple equation sums it up:
Focused Energy – Distraction Energy = Remaining Focused Energy
Picture your focus as the air contained in a large balloon. Each distraction acts like a small hole in the balloon, causing your focus to deflate. The more distractions there are, the less focused you will be.
Additionally, every time you come across a distraction, you have to decide where to direct your attention, which depletes your focus and energy levels over time.
5 Methods to Reduce Distractions
Although you can adopt focus techniques to avoid distractions, it’s up to you to channel the discipline it takes to see them through.
Your phone will always be around to tempt you. Your inbox will always be calling your name. By recognizing that discipline is the cornerstone of making these methods work, you’ll be positioning yourself for success.
1. Say “No” to Less Important Things
You’re probably familiar with the concept of opportunity cost in business, but have you considered how it relates to your focused energy? Opportunity cost involves recognizing that when you say “yes” to something, you’re saying “no” to other options.
Saying yes to everything that comes your way drastically cuts your ability to focus. Prioritization is key. Determine which items are the best use of your time and delegate or skip the rest to preserve your focus.
Your attention is limited, and your focus is an extremely valuable resource. Don’t give it away for free.
2. Declutter Your Mind
Staying focused can be a challenge when your mind is cluttered with racing thoughts.
Journaling is an effective way to clear your mind and boost productivity. By getting everything down on paper before it’s time to focus, your attention is likely to improve. If thoughts continue to race through your mind, keep an idea list to jot them down and return to it later.
Meditation is another excellent technique for decluttering your mind. Through meditation, you can cultivate the discipline to control which thoughts you allow into your mind. If a thought isn’t helpful in accomplishing your current task, set it aside.
Get practical strategies you can apply for personal and professional growth. Sign up for The Weekly Return newsletter today.By providing your email address, you agree to receive email communication from Arootah
3. Quit Multitasking
Multitasking not only lowers productivity but also increases stress levels. Additionally, studies suggest that only 2.5% of people can effectively multitask. To avoid producing mediocre work, it’s better to assume that you’re not part of that 2.5% and focus on one thing at a time.
However, the exception to multitasking being ineffective is when one of the tasks you’re working on is a habit that doesn’t require your full attention. For instance, answering emails while cycling on an exercise bike could be an effective way to save time without hurting your focus.
4. Leave Distracting People
When it comes to maintaining focus, avoiding distracting people is crucial, especially in an office setting. However, it’s not just your coworkers who can disrupt your mental energy.
Friends or acquaintances who bring drama can also negatively impact your mindset and cloud your focus, even if they are not physically present. Put some distance between yourself and the people who drain your energy, and you’ll likely find yourself better able to focus on the task at hand.
5. Simplify Your Life
Simplifying our lives can be challenging, especially when we have to juggle multiple responsibilities such as work, business, friends, family, and other projects. However, simplicity is key to overcoming distractions. To achieve a more focused and calm life, consider focusing on the following areas:
- Eliminate as many accounts, credit cards, vendors, etc. as possible.
- Consolidate investments to one broker.
- Put all your bills on autopay.
- Invest in training to become skilled at delegation.
- Insist on procedures manuals and checklists to avoid reinventing the wheel.
- Hire an assistant to help manage your schedule.
- Automate grocery shopping and buy in bulk.
- Say “no” to social events you don’t want to go to.
- Hire a coach to help you create productive routines.
The Bottom Line
By adopting a disciplined mindset and implementing methods to minimize distractions, you can achieve more of your top priorities. Just like any skill, the ability to focus gets stronger with practice.
If you’re ready to enhance your leadership skills by improving your productivity and focus, take our Leadership Assessment to uncover your strengths and areas for growth.