Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and having to balance home life and work simultaneously, leaders struggled to limit distractions. In 2019, Statista reported that workplace distractions involved where you worked as well as co-workers. In addition, personal distractions such as social media continue to be a deterrent when attempting to remain focused.
I have a problem staying focused. So many things run through my head at any given moment that I keep a notepad at my desk to quickly jot down a thought and get back to whatever task I was working on. Even when I browse the web, I have multiple tabs open at once. As I’m typing this blog, I have a couple of screens open with Photoshop running, Chrome browser running, and OneNote as the program I use to write my drafts. So, needless to say, I understand how distractions can cause a person to get unfocused.
Be aware of what distracts you
For me, most of my distractions are relevant to one of my many goals (except for music videos and comics). As a result, I can easily find myself looking up the latest leadership book when I was supposed to working on my blog. Or I’ll stray off and start reviewing the latest trends in content marketing when I am supposed to develop my own marketing strategy. Though many of my distractions fall in the realm of learning and expanding my knowledge in various areas, they are distractions, nonetheless.
Distractions are one of the many roadblocks to consistency. How many times have you been caught by one of those ads on your favorite social media network? Unconsciously, you’ve lost an hour and are now behind schedule.
Create a routine to help limit distractions
Consistency is an area that requires an individual to limit distractions. When you attempt to establish a routine, you should set aside a regularly dedicated time to focus solely on that task. That may require putting your phone on silent, turning off the television, or finding a quiet place to focus for the time needed to accomplish your tasks.
I try to dedicate at least one hour daily to physical health. To remain consistent, I’ve put a couple of things in place to limit distractions. I wake up earlier than the rest of my family, which provides me my alone time. Then I avoid the news; I don’t check my emails and put my phone on silent. I have learned that any of these distractions will get me unfocused. Finally, I like to get in the zone by listening to some music and prepping my pre-workout and warmup for the day.
Limit distractions to becoming more consistent
A critical component of developing a routine, ultimately the road to consistency, is accounting for and avoiding possible distractions. Though limiting distractions is not included in my 3 steps for the experienced leader on how to be consistent, it is still essential when staying on track.
So for this week’s quickie, take some time and determine what your distractions are, and commit to limit those distractions for a while. You will be surprised at what you will accomplish.