As a business owner, I’m regularly working at home with only my pups for company. Working in that environment it’s important to cultivate discipline to stay productive and avoid distractions. It’s so easy to become side-tracked, and whilst small distractions may seem harmless, frequent interruptions can seriously impact your productivity and quality of work.
For me, here are 7 ways that help me avoid distractions when I'm working:
Cultivate daily habits: I swear by my morning routine for keeping my day on track and focused. Remember you can’t create efficiencies overnight, but by repeating a few actions daily they soon become a habit. And this can apply to many things, not just your working day.
Plan your day the night before: Planning the next day is the last thing I do each day. Having a clear idea of what I’m working on helps me be far more productive at the start of each day and stops me wasting precious time in the morning.
Organise your workspace to minimise visual distractions: I’m a shocker for clutter, but keeping my workspace clean, tidy and clutter free and only having the project I’m working on in front of me, helps stop my attention wandering to the things around me.
Block online distractions: This is a tricky one when you have an online business, or your business is social media but, if possible, when you are working on a specific task, switch off alerts and notifications and limit checking your emails to two or three times a day. I check my emails first thing in the morning, again when I get to my desk, after lunch and early evening.
Time block: For specific tasks that require concentration, I block out the required amount of time to complete the task, and work on that one task for the duration. This helps me to be laser-focused on the task in hand and block out unwanted distractions.
Break large tasks down into bite-size chunks: Large tasks can seem overwhelming, which can lead to welcome interruptions. By splitting a large project or task up into smaller tasks that require less time, helps make the end goal feel far more achievable.
Schedule in breaks: It might seem counter-intuitive, but scheduling short breaks into my day reenergises me, helping me to be more focused and motivated when I return to my desk.