Some days I am easily distracted. Perhaps it's because of nice weather, a personal problem that is demanding attention, or work overload. Sometimes I am just too tired to focus. Still the work needs to get done, even on the most distracting days. When distraction takes over, it's good to have a few techniques for refocusing. Here is my best approach, and more insights from my Inc. colleagues.
1. Try a little meditation.
Life is full of distractions. The best way to get back on track amongst chaos is to shut everything out of your mind and refocus. Find a quiet place, turn off the electronics and take on a quick 15-minute meditation. Focus on your breathing and soon your mind will reset. Then you can get back to completing the task at hand.
2. Make a clear schedule.
At night I list the three most important things I need to do the next day, in priority order. Then I get everything ready and put it on my desk and desktop so I'm completely ready to start it -- that takes away all the resistance or friction I normally feel about starting something important. I don't do anything else until I get the first thing done; then I check email, do a few odds and ends, and move on to the second. Before lunch I get the third item set, and after lunch jump right in. Getting things prepared and following a schedule makes discipline a lot less of an issue. --Owner's Manual
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3. Remove the distractions.
When I really, really need to be disciplined and stay on task, I get rid of the most distracting things in my work area. This usually means shutting down my email, which is a constant distraction for me. If things are really bad, then I cut off my Internet connection -- for just a little while. --The Leadership Guy
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4. Turn to the vision.
When a good book, beautiful day, or plain laziness temps me away from my work, I remind myself of my vision and purpose. A strong, big picture vision, one that has true meaning, sparks passion and drive in an entrepreneur. When I focus on my why, what I call the vision beyond the vision, any lack of discipline slips away. A bit of journaling, or simply reading what I've written about it in the past, will usually restore my focus and energy. What's your vision beyond the vision? --The Successful Soloist
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5. Block the world out.
There are at least two types of workers in this world. Those, like my wife, that need complete silence to get their work done and those, like me, that thrive with background noise. Both require blocking the world out in different ways. My wife needs complete silence and enjoys the quiet solitude of her home office. She is most disciplined and on-task when the house is empty and she is in her place of Zen. When I need to get something done, I find a local coffee shop or co-working space, pop in my headphones and pump up Pandora. The static created by the people around me and the music pulsing in my ears allows me to focus and stay on task. --Lean Forward
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