Want to know how to minimize distractions in a world filled with popups?
One of the biggest assets we have today is time. If you let people rob time away from you, there is a great probability you won’t be able to achieve your goals and dreams.
This is one of the reasons for my focus on the subject, ‘How to Minimize Distractions and be more Productive as a Digital Entrepreneur’.
I have to say that I have been through many challenging times myself. I’m recording this video to give you a few tips which I’ve personally used when it comes to personal productivity and overcoming distractions. It is always a work in progress.
Let’s then dive straight in, and I’ll share with you my learning a digital entrepreneur myself.
One of the biggest things you can regret, is others robbing time away from you. Time is the most valuable asset today. You know you can always make your money, you can buy different things, but you can never buy time.
Once seconds pass by, there is no way you can rewind time and go back to what it was. Robbing time away from you is probably the worst things that you can let others do to your life, especially in today’s age.
Peter Drucker has said, that ‘Humans are Knowledge Workers’.
In days of the past, our ancestors used to work in fields, use their hands and legs. Later came the industrial era, where our father’s used to work using their minds, hands and legs.
We are working in a time right now, where it is completely driven by technology. We are completely using our minds. It is very easy for us to get distracted. A recent study mentioned, that when we get distracted from a particular job, it normally takes us between 20 to 30 minutes to get back into the flow of continuing with it.
The paradox of today’s world, is that we’ve got so much technology, we’ve got so many conveniences, we can do a lot more in our life, just with a click of a button or swipe of a finger on a screen.
Despite all this, for many of us, including me, time does go waste just dealing with the pop-ups of life. Whatsapp, email pop-up’s, other notifications, often tend to rob us of our valuable time.
10 Ways On How To Minimize Distractions
These are practical tips, which like everything else, are a work in progress. I’m still working on these in my life. Even if you’re able to take away even one or two of these points, if you can apply this in your life, I can assure you that you will have more of your time to yourself and get more done.
1. Pretend To Always Be Busy
This is something which I have adopted in the last couple of years. I pretend to always be busy. I am busy for sure, but I am not busy working on other people’ s things. I am more busy working on things that are important to me.
When it comes to the outside world, I don’t take many phone calls and only prefer responding to texts. That’s my personality type. Anybody who wants to get in touch with me, message me first before they speak to me. I get back to them only if it’s really important. I am always busy, and I pretend to busy.
Initially, when people couldn’t get in touch, they told me I played hard to get. But over a period of time, people begin to realize that I value my space and I respond back to them. Now I’m able to get more time to myself. That was the reason I was able to eliminate the first levels of distractions of calls that worry me all day long.
2. Make Technology Work In Your Favor
In the past, I used to get so many notifications. I was a part of so many whatsapp groups before. Now, I keep those that are not very relevant or with too many conversations muted.
I never get notified on those. I check them occasionally, see the messages, respond to something interesting if required. I am not quite bothered otherwise, with what goes on there.
3. Plan Your Next Day Before You Sleep
To prepare myself for the top 2 or 3 action items of the next day, I jot down these pointers before I go to bed. I believe that when this sinks in at a subconscious level, I’m able to achieve that the next day.
I ensure that I jot down just 5 points. These may be 3 to 4 important goals, major actions that need to be taken on a day to day basis.
This has really helped in minimizing distractions, because even at a subconscious level, I know that I cannot let these 3 things go by allowing others to enter my life.
4. Stop Being a People Pleaser
Many a times, out of our goodness of heart, we try to accommodate other people’s agendas into our own life. In some cases it is good, even important to help others. I really value the fact of reaching out when someone is in need and helping them. But being a people pleaser is something else.
I have experienced this many times in my life where I just want to feel good, where I want others to have a good impression about me and want them to feel that I’m always there for them.
But it actually turned out, that I was spending more time on other’s agenda and not on my own which can probably impact more lives. I’m spending more time on creating this one video because it can impact thousands of people watching it.
Therefore, quit trying to be a people pleaser. Weigh your pros and cons on this particular point. You don’t have to be arrogant. By please people all the time, it is robbing away yours.
5. Clear Workplace Clutter
When you’re working, you need to be in a space where your table is clean, you don’t have anything around and it makes you feel like working.
How many of you have experienced not feeling like sitting in your workplace, only because there’s so much of stuff on it. It probably doesn’t inspire you to go to work.
If you spend a little bit of time clearing out your workplace clutter, you can be more productive and eliminate all other distractions.
6. Clear Digital Clutter
Digital clutter includes what’s on your desktop. I can evaluate a person, based on the busyness of his desktop. Try to keep the desktop as clean as possible. I know some of you have everything on your desktops, your desktop screen is filled to the brim. If that is how it is, trust me that’s how your life is. You’ve got too many things distracting you.
I’ve just got a few folders on my desktop, and that’s all I need. I’ve got everything else; my videos, songs, photos, other stuff, all my digital content in their respective folders on my computer.
I know it takes a lot of time to put this together, especially if you want to de-clutter your digital space, but trust me once you have it all within control, it will be clean focus after that.
You can do whatever you want, get on your machine, you have few folders, you know what exactly has to go where. It’s easier to find stuff & whatever isn’t serving you, just delete them. Why would you even need them?
7. Clear Clutter At Home, Get Minimalistic
I have also spoken on this topic earlier on, about how we can do more by having less. I’ve just got a few pairs of clothes right now and don’t need too many things. I want to just bring it down, consciously trying to own just 150 items I need in my life.
Once you have less, there’s nothing to hanker for. You’re very happy, content and satisfied with what you have. It gives you so much of space to do more stuff. It’s an amazing feeling!
8. Don’t Accept Meeting Invites That Easily
Accepting invites gets to the point of you becoming a part of other people’s agendas. Weigh the pros and cons which are very easy to configure.
I’m very hard to access if you want to meet me. Meeting people is important, since you need to work and interact with a lot of people. I’m not asking you to stay in a cave all day long.
It’s about weighing the pros and cons before you commit. Sometimes it’s okay, you don’t have to evaluate every single thing. There needs to be a balance.
When you’re working, when you know you got a lot of stuff to finish, & let’s say you’ve finished that, then go ahead and do whatever you have to do.
Go out, socialize, meet people, and do your thing. I don’t accept meeting invites easily unless I know there’s a clear agenda, unless there’s a mutual value exchange, or even if I’m able to go help somebody else at that point of time which is not interrupting my schedules.
9. Check & Reply To Emails Only Once A Day
I’m still working on this. Since I’m running a business and some things have to be monitored, with 25-30 people working for me it becomes imperative to respond. Most top productivity experts advise setting aside a chunk of time only for sending and replying to emails.
They say don’t do it first thing in the morning, because you will be reading other people’s agendas for you. Rather, what you should be doing is finishing up the stuff you got to do first half of the day.
Post lunch, 3-4pm is when you should check and reply to emails. If you make it a habit, other people will expect that you won’t reply to them immediately. This is something you can set as your standard as a routine with other people.
10. Get Into A Rhythm, ‘Work and Unwind’
Nature works in a rhythm, summers followed by winters, day and night, the ying and yang of life.
If you want to be more productive without distractions, you need to spend enough time unwinding.
In my case, I just shifted to Chennai recently. As I work hard, I also try and spend time with my family, play with my son, go to the beach, catch a movie, just strolling around.
These activities help me think & I can come back and do some really amazing work. If you only work, chances are that you will burn out. Get into a rhythm, work hard.
Conclusion – Final Thoughts
In conclusion, if you live in a world with clean focus, you get a lot more done.
It comes out of practice, keeping distractions at bay.
You may not be able to do it right away, but once you learn how to deal with distractions, you can get a lot more done.
You can be conscious of what you take up on a day to day basis.