Distractions. We all have become far too familiar with these time sucking phenomenons. They are events, objects, and people that seem to remove any hope of completing that project which has been planned for weeks now. Most people can handle the occasional distraction, but for some, these events rule their lives. Are you in control?
There is far too much time in life that is wasted, and those that are willing to make sacrifices to work hard will take home the better paycheck (and, potentially, have a more successful life). Hard work will pay off in the end, but some will never see it because of those distractions.
Honestly, we all get distracted, but we all react to it differently. Some of us only live with minor distractions, but others just won’t get anywhere in life with them. Some might say that distractions can equate to laziness.
I just think of them as moments that act as deterrents to reaching your lifelong goals.
Regardless, if we want to fix this, we have to identify what is doing the damage:
If it is not House nor NFL football on television, it is something else that is bound to catch your attention. Thankfully (perhaps unfortunately) since the advent of online television services like Hulu, I have not had an issue with passing up on watching the tube, but now I watch it on the computer—that doesn’t help much. Many people that work from home manage to keep the television on all the time, even while working! It is a huge problem. Let’s just say that Sundays are not very productive for me.
Young and old alike have that gaming spirit thanks to the Nintendo Wii. Not good news for many as games can be even more distracting than television. I will admit, I used to get caught up in video games when I was younger, but nowadays, it is rare for me to even pick up a controller. Even though I am, somewhat, cured, others are still obsessed with blasting away their friends on Halo and drifting in Mario Kart Wii. Wii Fit might be an exception.
That mobile phone can be a nuisance or an irrelevant thing depending on how social of a person you really are. If you are quite the chatty person though, the cell phone won’t only take away from your productivity while you are actually talking on it, but it could also lead to new and unexpected plans that might also take away from work. I am not saying to toss your phone in the trash—especially any iPhones—but there are some people that could certainly benefit from doing exactly that. Oh, and don’t even get me started on text messaging Twitter updates.
The new way to kill your time is through Twitter, MySpace, FriendFeed, Facebook, YouTube, Seesmic, and pretty much any application or service that has a social vibe to it. Twitter has pretty much been taking a pretty significant chunk of time in my life, but at least it has ties with blogging and marketing. By the way, I am @JMowery on Twitter—do you see how I actually just made Twitter into a personal marketing tool? Joking aside, social networking is the new cool “thing” to do with friends, but it is an involving and time consuming process.
Web browsers are great for many things like connecting everyone to a web of information, but web browsers, just like those Wii controllers, are also vehicles for distraction. It might be the most distracting thing on this list. We humans, naturally, have the urge to go explore the great things that the internet has to offer us, but people easily get lost as well. For me, thanks to the advent of RSS, this is not much of an issue anymore, but for others, it can just rob you of time which could have been spent being more productive.
- Chat Apps
Tips to Avoid Distraction
Well, we know what distracts us, but how can we help alleviate this issue? It won’t be easy, but there are a few things you can do, right now, to help keep on track:
- Maintain Cleaner Surroundings—It supposedly makes you more productive!
- Create and Follow A Schedule—Google Calendar helps
- Block Annoying People, At Least, Temporarily—TwitterSnooze puts annoying Twitter friends in timeout
- Block Distracting Websites—Use a tool like LeechBlock
- Surf Productively—Why not visit a site like Wikipedia?
- Focus & Reward—Keep your eye on the prize, and you might end up like this guy.
After identifying your distractions, you can find ways to avoid them. But this is only a tiny piece of the solution though. You have to be motivated to work hard; people can’t afford to be lazy anymore. It is a tough world, and things are bound to get tougher for bloggers. Avoiding distractions is one way to stand out from the rest.
Do you have any distractions which rob you of productive times? I know I do. Please let everyone know in the comments section of any distractions you have trouble with and manage to avoid.
[Image Source: Distractions—Marvin Kuo | CC]
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thanks for very useful tips.. hope you will post other tips
Damn YouTube to hell for their Related video bar, that thing has sucked hours away from me 🙁
You got distracted while reading an article about distractions. Seems like the perfect situation!
Nice tips, and I will give those a try.
You know what is really depressing?…I kept getting distracted by other things when I started reading this the first time :O Good post though
Then again, maybe it is just technology in general?
Another simple trick to help keep your focus is to use a good old fashioned alarm clock; using a reminder on your PC can be all too easy to snooze. But if you have to get away from your desk, it can help establish better production hygiene. If you set it for 50 minutes or so & take 10 minute breaks, productivity and focus are way tighter.
This article, while true to the truest of truthness, can be boiled down to one thing:
Nix that and you’ll be able to blog. Of course, if you’re not online, then you won’t be able to blog either. Maybe use some text editing program?
(Now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go twitter something of general irrelevance.)
Yeah, Twitter has pretty much borrowed over 3 to 4 hours of my life this month alone.
By the way, I love the modified Firefox logo. Its meaning is flawless.