10 Principles to Reduce Distractions and Accelerate Results
about 2 days ago.
Updated about 2 days ago.
Through my 20+ years of coaching people, I have found that we're all guilty of allowing the little things to distract us from what we should be doing. This happens to all of us to some degree or another. Instead of working, we chat with our friends or co-workers, check the latest chain email in our inbox, surf the internet, and do everything we can to avoid working. Why? Because we don't feel like working - we're too busy daydreaming about being on the beach in Hawaii sipping a MaiTai or skiing the slopes. I'd like that too, but the fact is that in order to get where you want to be, you have to do the work required to achieve your goals and experience ultimate success.
Whether you are an employee or self-employed, your income depends solely on you. And the more efficiently you can work the bigger returns you will receive. Take a moment and ask yourself where you truly want to be? Now tell me how many things you did today, yesterday, and the day before yesterday that directly contributed to the future results you want. And then tell me 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.
So, you might be saying, ah - it's OK, everyone does it and shrug it off. Well, not everyone does it - however, most do. So, what's the harm in the little everyday distractions? Those distractions are called distractions for a reason. They are distracting you from doing what you need to do in order to get you where you ultimately want to be.
Minimize distractions and you'll reach your goals faster - plain and simple. If you're self-employed and want to increase your monthly income by $3,000, that won't happen by surfing the internet or playing solitaire. It's going to 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.
Whether you are an employee, self-employed, or work at home, all of these ten principles can be applied to reduce and eliminate distractions.
Apply these ten principles we will now be discussing to help you reduce or eliminate distractions from your life.
1. Use and honor your calendar and task list. Honoring your calendar will help you stay focus on the ‘right’ activities and eliminate distractions. Remember; concentrate on doing the things that have the highest probability of you achieving your goals and that build your success. Distractions offer no return and no profit.
2. Discourage walk-in traffic. Ideally, scheduling appointments (in person or on the phone) is the most effective. Establish clear boundaries when you are not to be distracted, unless it’s an emergency like the building is burning down and you need to get out. Working by appointment only, as much as possible, is better time management for everyone involved.
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. I suggest reserving at least a few hours per day when you do accept any calls. 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 a set time during the day. Set a time that you honor and don't get on it 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 slow you down 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 from your computer can be distracting; like the sound you hear when you receive an incoming email.
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. Starting a conversation with something like, The purpose of our call (of our meeting) is to _____, helps get right to the point without wasted time and is professional.
9. Learn how to cut off 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 2 hours with no one else around than you can in 8 hours and a full office.
Wouldn’t it be great if our ‘good intentions’ worked the way that we think they should? Not even enthusiasm guarantees positive results. There’s often a wide gap between our intentions and our actions. We fail to take the action necessary to be in alignment with our good intentions. We allow things to distract us way too much each and every day.
Generally speaking, it's easier to become distracted when you're self-employed because it removes the accountability factor. When you don't have a manager looking over your shoulder, it's tempting to mess around with distractions. Remind yourself that those little distractions offer little return, if any at all, 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!
JACK NICKLAUS, Legendary Professional Golfer said: Learn the fundamentals of the game and stick to them. Band-Aid remedies never last.
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