Distractions Are the Bane of Productivity

Distractions Are the Bane of Productivity

I know many women who claim that they can multi-task very well. I think it’s bullshit. The human brain isn’t wired to focus on more than one task. It’s that very same reason why when you talk on the phone while driving you may forget passing through intersections. Texting while driving is even worse. I’m guilty.

I find it very hard to get stuff done without being distraction free. I live in an apartment and my neighbor is obsessed with the TV… he watches it all of the time. I sometimes wonder if the guy even sleeps. I have an iPhone. It constantly chimes when a new email comes in. I also use Gmail, which has integrated chat, many of times friends or family will try to start a chat conversation throughout the day. Even worse are the Twitter clients.

I think I’ve finally hit productivity zen. Looking back, it all started with getting rid of my Twitter client. Twhril would prompt me every time a tweet came in. Sure enough, after two days I realized I didn’t get anything done. Plus, the web client is satisfactory. Next, I slowly realized that having my Gmail tab open all of the time was killing productivity as well, friends and family were too chatty. That had to go too. I then decided that I had to drown out all of the surrounding noise of living in an apartment. Nothing that a little TechnoBase.fm can’t solve.

See, us creatives need to get into the “zone” to do our best work. Getting into the zone usually takes about 20 mins, and only seconds to be knocked out. I thought I was close to being able to work at peak productivity. Nope, something was still cutting in. Text messages and phone calls. I then realized that my phone had to be turned off. I’ve done all of these things and I was laser-focused last week. It was unreal how much work that I accomplished.

This all sounds like a no-brainer, but unfortunately we humans can be slow to pick up on some things. So I encourage you to ask yourself if you’re at peak productivity. If not, what can you do to get there? Also, if you feel the need to ask a coworker a question and you can clearly see that they are working, make sure that your question is damn important, or you might be knocking your coworker out of the “zone.”

If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy:

  1. Less Consumption, More Production
  2. Is It Actionable? No? Then Get Rid of It
  3. Work Until Your Eyes Bleed

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