It’s no secret that distractions get all of us in trouble from time to time. I’m so guilty of this, and my biggest temptation is responding to texts/answering calls as soon as they come in, checking my email constantly and responding right then and there, and getting hungry/thirsty. While I totally support (and encourage) taking breaks, having a game plan and keeping your focus when you’re in the nitty-gritty of your work day flow is super important as well. Below are 3 tips for eliminating those usual work day distractions.
PREPARE BEFORE YOU GET TO WORK
Working from home, for me this means I’ll want a large supply of hot coffee and some snacks on hand. Usually this consists of a protein bar or fresh fruit, so instead of prepping it all in the moment, I’ll make an extra large pot of coffee the night before in my insulated coffee maker, set out a protein bar and put it on my desk, and pre-wash the fruit and put it in a bowl so I can quickly grab it from the fridge when I’m ready for it.
TURN YOUR PHONE TO “DO NOT DISTURB”
One of the BEST tricks that I discovered recently is being able to set your phone to Do Not Disturb. You can even set it to repeat the same way every single day. As you can see below, I set mine for 10pm-7am so I’m sure to not have any calls late at night/early in the morning. But each day from 9am-12pm, I set another to ensure I’m not interrupted since this is my best writing time.
(Make sure you select Repeated Calls to ensure that if someone calls you two times within 3 minutes, it will ring. Emergencies happen and you want to make sure that you don’t miss an important phone call. You can also make it specific to where certain people can get through, in case you’re waiting on a phone call.).
To do this:
- Go to settings
- Scroll down to Do Not Disturb
- Click on “Scheduled”
- Enter in your desired time frames
- Click on Repeated Calls
If you’d rather just do it in the moment (say, while you’re working on a specific project) simply swipe up on your home screen and click the crescent moon icon)
SET EMAIL CHECK TIMES
Rather than breaking away from what you’re doing (say, writing a blog post for example) to check your email time and time again and getting lost in impulsive responses to your clients, set a timer on your phone for every 3 hours or so and dedicate a block of time to answering emails. It’s a total misconception that we’re to be available every single moment of every single day. Honestly, I only check my email 3 times a day. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the early evening (ending around 6pm) Those night time emails? I don’t respond to them, either. I wait until the morning to ensure I’m not giving any mixed signals that I’m available to chat business.
Life is all about perfecting the work/life balance, or at the very least, doing the best we can. I hope these 3 simple tips can help some of you who may be suffering and falling into the trap of distraction. I know it’s a tough one to tweak, but it’s possible! I’m proof ;)