This is a difficult time to get anything done. The pandemic is still raging on, keeping many of us at home for work and school, and working families are dealing with a lot between trying to keep healthy and safe while managing remote work and homeschooling kids. Add to that the protests throughout the country against police brutality and the major disruptions to many businesses because of COVID-19 and the political strife and divisiveness taking place and we have a lot to collectively worry about right now. Frankly, if you aren’t distracted right now you probably have superpowers. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks that can keep you on track and help you focus despite all the distractions taking place around you.
How To Focus Despite Distractions
First and foremost, you have to stop doom scrolling. It’s tempting to be up to date every second of every day when so many things are rapidly changing. If you blink you could miss something really critical. But it makes more sense to set aside a time to get caught up on the news, and services that aggregate news sources and topics relevant to you can really help you here.
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But even when working in a traditional office there are tons of distractions. Most offices are open these days, whether that means completely open or cubicles, and dealing with coworker’s phone calls, video calls, and music can be very distracting. Even listening to the methodical pecking of someone typing away all day can be a huge distraction. Add this to coworkers walking by or popping in every once in awhile and it’s a wonder anything gets done in an office.
White noise machines or apps can be a great way to mask many of these distractions. Positioning desks further away from each other and providing soundproofing can also help significantly.
For other distractions, there are some pretty innovative solutions. One major distraction is our smartphones, which beep and ping us all day long with every single update we could ever want and then some. Some apps can prevent those incessant beeps bloops and bops from getting through during certain times, which can help keep distractions to a minimum.
Cutting down on emails can also help salvage a lot of your time. Switching to a communications app like Slack can cut down on the amount of time it takes to send or read short messages.
Finally, making lists and taking regular breaks can help immensely. Checking things off gives you a sense of accomplishment, and taking breaks after you accomplish something can help keep you on the right track.
Learn more about how to focus despite distractions below.