How to Shut Out Distractions and Become More Productive

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Most people waste a large portion of their day both at the office and at home, with simple distractions that they likely don’t even realize. If you could boost your productivity by even a small amount, you’d be able to either get a larger volume of work completed, or to put more careful thought into the work that you already do. Either way, your value as an employee would increase, possibly earning you the promotions and pay raises that you’ve been working for. If you think it’s time for you to move into a new field, you can find more information on the web, including info about career fields you may never have considered before.

Set specific times to check your email

Many people get notifications on their work computer when they receive an email, and then immediately open up their inbox to keep on top of those emails. In some fields, it is important to answer emails nearly immediately, but in most careers people are willing to wait several hours for a response.

Instead of being at the constant beck and call of your email account, set up specific times every day to check your email and respond to all messages. For most people, a feasible schedule would be to check their email as soon as they get into work, and then again in the afternoon, perhaps around 3 p.m. Block out a half hour or so at each time so that you can both read and respond to all messages that you’ve received. Don’t check your email if it isn’t during the scheduled time. This will allow you to focus in on the task at hand, instead of being constantly sidetracked by incoming messages. And, if you set up your schedule effectively for your specific position, you’ll still be responding to emails in a timely manner.

If the idea of being unreachable for several hours makes you nervous, you may also choose to include your phone number in your email signature, and notify people that you’ll answer your phone even when you aren’t answering email.

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Block meetings together

Instead of scattering meetings across the day, with small blocks of wasted time in between, push to schedule your meetings back to back. In the first place, this will force you to keep meetings moving along quickly, without going over by any significant amount of time. In addition, you’ll be able to switch back over to regular work mode after the meetings are over, allowing you to be more productive. Make sure, however, that you allow yourself enough time to get from one place to the next if your meetings are being held in different locations.

Turn off push notifications

For commonly used apps, such as Instagram, Twitter, and even text messaging, the constant notifications can be incredibly distracting. Turn off push notifications on your phone, so that you won’t receive a notification every time someone messages you or likes one of your photos. Instead, only open up your phone when you actually have time to respond to those messages and interactions.

Turn your phone off, or on silent, for set periods of time

Even if you’ve turned off push notifications, you should still have entire blocks of the day when you’re away from your phone. Don’t believe that it’ll make you more productive? Give it a try. You’ll be surprised how often you check your phone without even realizing it.

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Jeremy Kaplan

A 50-something year old lifestyle, career, and education blogger based in Atlanta, Georgia. Years of experience in the office setting working with others and still loving it year-after-year.

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