Shiny Things: Minimizing Distractions

My problem is I am easily distracted. I find myself mentally flittering from one thing to the next unless I am carefully aware of what I am currently doing. I guess you might call it ADHD. Personally, I just call it – SQUIRREL!

Trying to get around distraction is always a challenge, so minimizing, or eliminating, distraction is a huge benefit to any work environment.

In my travels, I have found many things to keep distraction at bay. Here are three that have been successful for me. (Note – these are pretty much ‘stolen’ from Austin Kleon’s new book ‘Keep Going‘. You MUST read it. It’s killer.)

Disconnect: Turn off your phone. Go into ‘airplane’ mode, hide it under your mattress, give it to your kid to play with, whatever it takes but get it out of your hands and eyes and ears for a few hours. Just let the world go on without you for a little while. The apocalypse won’t happen if you miss a tweet or don’t check your Instagram for 10 seconds. Give it a rest and do some real creative work. You’ll be glad you did.

Create your own space / time: Carve out a sacred space in your home that’s your own creative sanctuary. This is the place where you get to do your creative work, and there are no other expectations of you while you are in that space. Similarly, if you can’t have a space, have a time. You may not have room for an office or a study or a desk, but you can use the kitchen table at night after the kids go to bed.

Create a Schedule: This one works the best for me. By creating set expectations for every day, I know what’s supposed to happen when. I can zero in and focus on what needs to be done at that time, knowing that I’ll be able to focus on the other stuff at other times. I’m not overly strict with my schedule, but it does help to keep me grounded.

What do you do to keep from getting distracted? How do you ‘shut the world out’ when you need to get some work done? Let us know in the comments below!

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