8 Easy Ways to Avoid Distractions and Be More Productive
There are very few people, in today’s world, who would honestly tell you that they are as productive as they could be, and/or, want to be.
Distractions are simply killing us these days. And this sucks. Really sucks!
If you are like most, you go to bed, and even usually wake up, with the very best of intentions. You swear today will be different. You intend to get so much done. Then…
…poof! The day has once again come and gone, with very little you had planned to accomplish getting done.
Let’s be perfectly honest, distractions aren’t just a nuisance. They are downright damaging to our lives.
Continuously finding yourself disappointed with your productivity at the end of the day, week, or month can have serious, lingering impacts on your future.
If you aren’t able to find ways to minimize distractions, increase your efficiency and start getting what needs to get done, done, you will almost certainly see negative impacts on your motivation, self-esteem, and productivity going forward.
We think avoiding distractions should be a top priority in today’s society, so we threw together a shortlist, just six areas where we think you can make drastic improvements with just some small, simple changes.
Start Tomorrow Today
The better prepared you are to attack tomorrow, upon waking, with a plan in place, and a clear view of what you need and want to get done, the better chance you have of remaining focused.
Does the simple process of taking 5-10 minutes each night, before bed, to map out your next day mean you won’t encounter distractions? Absolutely not. But, you will see a noticeable difference in how your day starts, and how well you control it if you know what needs to be done, and when.
If you want to know just how to make the most of tomorrow, read this now.
Before you go rolling your eyes, relax and imagine, just for a moment, having your single most productive, yet freeing day of your life.
Can you see yourself waking up, knowing just what you were going to do and when, and getting it all done?
If you cannot even remotely begin to imagine what this feels and looks like, you need to implement this tip RIGHT NOW!
There is an old saying, “what gets scheduled, gets done”…and it is remarkably true.
The most effective and efficient human beings, those individuals who achieve the greatest successes, have a plan for their day, every single day.
They almost always know where they need to be, when, and why. And maybe, more importantly, only the truly important things make it onto their schedule.
So, if you only use your calendar for your doctor’s appointments, your children’s events, your business calls, and meetings, you are completely missing the boat.
We schedule EVERYTHING here at 3D Labs Nutrition. And we do mean everything!
Pause again…don’t freak out! It’s very simple to do, but the power of it is exponential. And, as a pretty cool bonus…scheduling this way provides you with your very own life journal as well.
Finding Freedom Through Scheduling is how we handle we do all we do. We suggest you give it a try ASAP if you truly want to get better at avoiding distractions.
Mute, Mute, Mute, and Mute
Ding, dong, swish…how many damn things do you really need to be “notified” about?
Come on, seriously! Do you really need to know every single time someone posts on social media, a message hits one of your 55 chats, another sale hits your email inbox, one more “reality star” makes the news, etc?
Turn ALL THAT CRAP OFF…and do it right now before you read on!
Having access to information, and even worse, getting notified of such access is quite possibly the single biggest distraction humans face today.
If it weren’t bad enough that most people can’t put their cell phones down, this constant “dopamine hit” has taken FOMO (fear of missing out) to a whole new level.
You aren’t that important (no offense) and neither is all that crap you get notifications on.
Make some “not so tough decisions” and find more peace than you could have possibly imagined.
Turn off your notifications now!
Control Your Tribe
Let us be crystal clear right now. Everyone does not need access to you at all times.
And, controlling your tribe (friends, family, colleagues, etc) does not make you a bad person.
We are certainly not suggesting you eliminate your interaction with others, we are simply saying if you truly want to get more done and be far less distracted, you need to DECIDE and CONTROL, when those interactions take place, with whom and how often.
And don’t even try to play the…”that’s so cold” card. When you do the first three things we suggested above, you’d be amazed at how much more time you have to call family, friends, meet for coffee, etc.
Our goal here is not less time with family and friends, it is simply “calculated” time with family and friends.
Besides, why is it ok for others to call or text you just because they have “free time” or are bored, and thus, knock you off your game for minutes or hours on end?
Priorities people! Priorities!
Adjust the Apps
Once again, technology can be a tremendous tool, when used properly, for increasing productivity. But, application overload can kill our ability to get things done too.
If you want a simple little tip that can make a world of difference, here it is…
…move all your truly non-essential apps off your phone's home screen immediately.
Set your home screen up so that only what you NEED is visible. Remove all social media apps, burying them further from your home screen, or removing them from your phone altogether. (The world will go on…and you will survive.)
If you are an iPhone user and have the most recent iOs update…make the best use of your widgets and App Library. For us, this means one home screen, (three widget areas and only 8 apps visible) and the App Library!
That’s it! No more pages of visible, easy to access apps.
Unnecessary app distractions GONE…just like that!
Set Yourself Up for Success
You cannot multi-task…so stop lying to yourself.
This misconception has been scientifically disproven time and again now. The brain is incapable of “focusing” at any significant level, on more than one “task”.
Does this mean that some of us cannot walk and chew gum at the same time, of course not? But those are not tasks that require focus. They are not competing mentally for bandwidth.
But, trying to answer an email, chat with your BFF, and balance your checkbook all at once? Tons of wasted time.
So, do one thing at a time, knock it out, then move on. The loss, in time and focus, needed to constantly jump back and forth is immeasurable.
In addition to accepting the inability and inefficiency of multitasking, you should do your very best, before you begin anything of significance, to make sure the area in which you are operating, is distraction-free.
If you are working on your computer, mute your phone. If you are reading, turn the TV off. If you are at your desk, remove everything from your site, except that which you are working on.
In other words, set yourself up for success by controlling the environment in which you are going to be working, relaxing, playing, etc by removing all that is unnecessary for how and what you will be spending your time on.
Bonus thought…choose your noise (music) wisely as well. Not going to get into detail here, but it does make a big difference so choose your tunes based on what you are doing, not what you would love to sing along to.
Get a Move On
You didn’t think we were going to write up our ways to reduce stress levels and not include exercise, did you?
Did you know that routine exercise can help you sleep better?
If some form of a fitness routine can help you sleep, it goes without saying, it has a positive impact on stress levels right?
In non-scientific terms…some form of daily exercise will provide tremendous benefits to not just the ability to deal with stress but your overall mental state on a whole.
Stop and think…have you ever finished exercising, playing a sport, going for a walk, etc, and not just immediately felt better? Didn’t think so.
And, as just some added good news, creating these benefits do not require intense, all-out training sessions.
The next time you feel even slightly overwhelmed, just get up and go for a walk outside for 10-15 minutes. Watch what happens.
Mind Your Mind
Now, don’t go rolling your eyes at us again when we give you our final tip on avoiding stress.
But, in true transparency, we had to overcome some mental blocks of our own, years ago, when we finally decided to try meditation.
Yes, you read that right! Meditation!
Before giving in and attempting meditation for ourselves back in 2015, we had preconceived notions, just like so many do. Thankfully, after a single 10-minute morning session, following the Headspace App, we were hooked.
Meditation has been used for thousands of years, dating back to about 1500 BCE (Before Common Era). And while yes, it was more of an Eastern tradition up until more recent times, there is no doubt it is making its way into every civilization these days. For good reason too.
Just as a little FYI…the English word “meditation” stems from meditatum, a Latin term meaning “to ponder.” Interesting, no?
So, with a little history out of the way, how about some reasons why this should be part of your daily routine too?
First and foremost, in our humble opinion, the sheer impact of setting aside just 10 minutes a day for yourself is huge.
When you couple this with the research on the known benefits of meditation such as increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being, it should be easy to see, these few minutes are well spent, to say the least.
To be brutally honest, given the world and times we now live in, anything that can positively increase the interactions between the brain, mind, body, and behavior should be welcome.
Considering how much of our days, our weeks, months, years, and life we simply move through, without much recognition to the moments themselves, the use of meditation to create greater presence, less distraction, and more peace, is much-needed, by almost everyone.
Now, to be very clear. Meditation takes effort. It takes time. It requires patience and consistency. But it is well worth it all.
We highly suggest, when you finally decide to give meditation a go, you try one or both of our favorite tools, Calm and Headspace. These two apps, while offering very different meditation experiences, are both excellent and highly recommended.
Once you try both (free trials available for each), you will quickly decide which best fits your personality and goals.
We would love to know your preference once you do! Until then…
…silence! (Just kidding.)
Avoiding Distractions is Key
Let’s be brutally honest yet again here. Whether you are someone looking to improve your overall health and well-being, or someone looking to become even slightly more productive, avoiding distractions, or at the very least, minimizing them, is key to achieving your goals.
We find it hard to believe anyone could argue this, but unfortunately, while many may agree, far too few are taking any real action to create less distracted, more focused environments for themselves.
This has to change. Not just for us individually, but as a society as well.
It is now more important than ever to recognize those “evil” people, places, and things that obliterate our ability to focus and be productive…and squash them like sour grapes.
Let’s see how you do. Find 1-2 of the above tips that you think you can implement the quickest, and go. It is, after all, your time, and knowingly wasting it, would be downright foolish.
…we would love to hear your thoughts on this or any other article we write, so please, drop us your comments, ideas, input, and suggestions in the comments below.
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Now, onward! You only have one life to live, one body to live it in...so take care of it. Progress, not perfection. Good, better, best with your food intake, and some form of "movement" daily. Get your nutritional foundation from food, supplement where necessary, and drink plenty of water.
And, don’t forget, always consult your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise regiment.
Live a 3D Life...Decisions Determine Destinations!
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