Tips for Staying on Task

Distractions are EVERYWHERE. These make it almost impossible to get things done. I don’t know about you, but my refrigerator is one of my biggest distractions when it comes to staying on task. If food is in sight, I can’t get anything done because it’s all I can think about! Luckily, I have found some things that really help when I’m trying to stay on task.

To start this off, let’s talk about what I was doing wrong.

So basically, my office was my couch. Anything I had to do was done on my couch. Do you know what sits directly in front of the couch? My TV. Obviously I am not going to get anything done when Netflix is calling my name. Doing my work on the couch not only led to distractions, it also led to back pain! Slumping over is not good for anyone, and we should always try to have good posture so we can age gracefully.

Another thing I was doing wrong was leaving my cat out. He is a HUGE distraction. He gets into everything and I’m constantly having to get him out of cabinets and chase him around. He also has a strange obsession with ink pens. If you have a cat, you probably already know this, but anytime I would write anything, he would attack my pen. This not only made my work look messy, but it also slowed me down!

My third mistake was not writing things down. I’m the type of person that is constantly thinking. I swear my brain never stops plotting things. This can be a good thing, but also super annoying when I’m trying to work. I would start thinking of all these random ideas, then just completely forget about the work I was supposed to be getting done.

Now let’s get into what I’ve changed to make my life productive.

I would say the change that I’ve made that has helped the most is definitely moving my couch office to an actual office room with a desk. A desk and a chair make a huge difference. I now have a location that is considered my workspace. The goal is to keep this space very organized and have minimal things surrounding it. Make sure your desk is stocked with pens and pencils, paper and a spot for your laptop. Good lighting is a must for this space!

If you have an animal, try to put them up while you’re working. At least get them to a location that will be less distracting for you. I’m not saying neglect your animal at all! Just make sure they are somewhere that allows you to get your work done. Don’t forget to take breaks so you can let them out to run!

My third change helped me with focusing. As I said above, I think all of the time. Once I start thinking, I don’t want to stop because I don’t want to forget the idea I’ve had. To make this distraction go away, I have started writing down my thoughts before I start working. I keep a spare notebook next to me (yes, I have an idea notebook), and anytime something pops into my head that starts distracting me, I write it down. This way I know that I won’t forget my idea and I can come back to it at a later time when I’m not busy.

Additionally to the tips mentioned, I also make sure to plan my week out on Sunday so I know exactly what to expect for the upcoming week, and I try to keep my cell phone on silent when I’m working on projects.

Hopefully these tips work for you like they did for me!

 

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