Ten concepts to eliminate distractions and increase your success
By Anne Bachrach
The Accountability Coach
We're all guilty of allowing the little things to distract us from what we should be doing. The fact is, in order to get where you want to be, you have to do the work required to achieve your goals so you can experience ultimate success.
Take a moment and ask yourself where you truly want to be. Now, tell yourself how many things you did today, yesterday and the day before that directly contributed to the future results you want. Then, tell yourself how many things you did today that did not contribute to your success. Those things probably distracted you from what you knew you should have been doing.
Minimize distractions and you'll reach your goals faster -- plain and simple. Your goal achievement will come from doing the highest payoff activities that have the highest probability of building your success. You must minimize distractions and focus on the tasks that have a positive effect on your success.
Apply these 10 concepts to help reduce and eliminate distractions:
1. Use and honor your calendar and task list. Honoring your calendar will help you stay focused on the "right" activities and eliminate distractions. Remember to concentrate on doing the things that have the highest probability of helping you achieve your goals and building your success. Distractions offer no return -- and no profit.
2. Discourage walk-in traffic. Ideally, scheduling appointments is the most effective strategy. Establish clear boundaries that make clear that you are not to be distracted, unless the building is burning down.
3. Screen your calls. Establish a schedule of when you are available to accept calls. Outside of those times, you'll need to arrange a screening process to allow only the most important calls to make their way to you. Again, scheduling phone appointments is ideal and leads to working as efficiently as possible.
4. Stay off the Internet. If you have to get your fix, do it at the end of the work day or set a specific time during the day. Honor that time and don't go online before then, unless you absolutely have to.
5. Remove desktop clutter. Remove all items out of your immediate and frequent field of vision. Only keep those items on your desk that you are currently working on. Anything else can cause a distraction and prevent you from getting your work done.
6. Remove computer desktop icons. Out of sight, out of mind is typically a good policy.
7. Eliminate noises. Even alert sounds like the one you hear when you receive an incoming e-mail can be distracting.
8. Ask for what you want. Busy professionals appreciate concise, focused conversation and you can show them you respect their time by not wasting it needlessly.
9. Learn how to evade excessive conversation. Everyone appreciates productive conversation. Superficial chit-chat is just that -- superficial.
10. Work when no one else is around. You can sometimes accomplish more in two hours with no one around than you can in eight hours in a full office.
It is easy to become distracted. Remind yourself that those little distractions offer little return for the time you've invested. Instead, stick to the productive tasks that build your success. Eliminate distractions and you have an even better chance of acting on your good intentions and achieving amazing results.
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