According to an accredited study performed by businessofapps.com, we receive approximately 46 notifications from our phones each day. And, if you’re just as obliged to a quick shot of dopamine as everyone else, this means you’ll probably reach for your phone immediately after your screen lights up.
Though this barrage of distractions can certainly pose a challenge to the everyday employee, the attribute of self-control can allow you to shine among your peers. Consider these seven ways to stay focused at work and be the exception to distraction:
1. Silence your phone—or, for the brave, turn it off completely.
For a sure-fire way to trim at least 46 distractions from your workday, designate a resting place for your phone, (preferably somewhere hidden: out of sight, out of mind), and make sure it’s silenced. If you’re smartphone is an instrumental tool in your workday, try applying this practice in a more measured approach: check your phone in time or task-based intervals.
2. Set daily, specific goals.
Endless agendas can be daunting, and the temptation to cave to distraction is greater when there seems to be no end in sight. Setting several goals throughout the day, perhaps in hourly increments, can break the day into checkpoints and encourage motivation. Goals create a sense of urgency that will help curb distractions.
3. Give a heads up to Chatty Kathy and her friends.
Obviously, trumpeting to your coworkers that they impede your ability to focus can be perceived as a little pretentious. Rather, nonchalantly let your conversationally-gifted neighbors know that you’ll tackling a large project and hone-in for a few hours.
4. Treat yourself.
The drive to stay focused is much easier to maintain when there’s a promise of Kit-Kats at the end of the hour. Allow yourself a small reward when a project or interval of time passes without distraction.
5. Take an ‘interruptions inventory.’
Create an inventory of items or actions that you know will prove to be a distraction… and remove them. Whether that be retiring well-loved office toys, or unbookmarking YouTube cat playlists, be honest with yourself in evaluating your own distractions.
6. Segment your workload.
Dividing your workday into a series of projects can not only create a more manageable experience, but it’s also rewarding. Something about drawing out the tail of a Sharpie’d checkmark is just satisfying.
7. Dust off your paper-and-pencil notepad.
Oftentimes, a thought-intensive project can be interrupted by the thought of another task. By keeping a notepad nearby, you can effectively jot the task down in a tangible place with the assurance of eventual completion.
Distraction is a common toxin that can kill ambition and success, but if these tips are actively implemented in your workday, you can be—
Sorry, my phone’s buzzing.