My good friend @joesorge who is also in charge of my Small Business Advisory board the Kitchen Table Companies gave me some great tips on helping me clear my mind and focus. One of the exercises he gave me, I have been doing for the last few days and plan to write a post about it once I am finished with my full two weeks.
I Joined the Kitchen Table Companies in January and have really taken advantage of it since it has given me the opportunity to interact with many people. I get value out of the personal interactions which I have with other members of the group including @chrisbrogan, @joesorge, @raffel, and @margieclayman.
I am in the right set of mind the problems are the distractions
I am not sure if working with music makes me think faster. I think it distracts me and makes me repeat phrases and cut out words when I am writing. It is funny that I notice how I keep on repeating the same thing unconsciously when I am doing my morning writing exercise. One of the phrases I write is that I need to get things moving and on track. This makes me realize that I might be in the right state of mind. The problem is the execution and the distractions I have during the day.
We have so many distractions and we keep on adding to them on an hourly basis.
When realizing I have too many distractions I do the following:
1. I restart my computer
I turn my computer completely off and then rev it back up. It closes the many programs that are probably running in the background. I also make sure I close all the windows so I don’t get distracted .
2. Stay away from twitter and facebook
When I stay away from twitter and facebook I get a lot more done. When I see a tweet or status update of interest, I respond as quickly as possible. The problem is that I receive plenty of messages during the day that can take me off track very easily. These platforms can be excellent tools if used correctly; the key is not allowing them to control us.
3. Don’t Open Your Email Client
Once I see an email from a client or a close friend, I want to quickly respond. If someone took the time to write a message or needs something, I want to respond to it with a high level of urgency. The reason I bought a Treo back in 2005 was to be able to conquer email 24/7. Now I realize Email really conquered me and it does the same to many other people. Keep the email client closed so it does not alert you that a message needs to be read.
4. Stay away from your phone and don’t look at it.
If you stay away from your phone you are more likely to get things done. Have someone look over it and take important calls for a few hours a day. Having something buzzing telling me an email, tweet, status, text, or a call is coming in quickly distracts me. I have some colleagues working on an application that might be helpful. Have an assistant or someone push those messages to you. They are looking for Beta Testers so it might not be a bad idea to sign up and see if that tool works for you.
5. Find a Quiet Place
I am doing my morning pages and I try to find a quiet place which is very difficult with my 18 month Labrador who decides to bark and make noise when I am just getting started to write. This is a loud distraction that breaks my thought process. Today I decided to not play music and I have to say I am had better progress than other days.
6. Choosing a style of Music that complements and creates relaxation.
I love writing, although I am not sure if I am any good at it. I write throughout the day, so listening to music every once in a while might change the mood. As much as I like many types of music I try to listen to blues, jazz, bhangra, or music that makes me focused and relaxed. I never use Salsa or Merengue because those make me want to get out of my seat or put me in a state of wanting to get things done quickly. What type of music works for you? If you don’t know try a few and monitor which ones really keep you focused when working.
What things do you do to eliminate distractions and to focus on your task at hand?