You may have heard the cliché – “the only thing that is constant is change”. Here is another one which you may not possibly like, yet, it is very much a reality in our modern lifestyle, which is this: “the only thing that is constant is – distraction.”
Distraction is an endowment of a modern lifestyle. Everyday we are enveloped by distraction, thanks to social media and our multi-tasking lifestyle. We have become jugglers who are constantly juggling with many duties. No wonder mental stress has become more prevalent than ever before as research shows, and lack of productivity is the major cause of downward spiral for most business.
Needless to state that far too many times, we find ourselves venturing into minor things; in other words, not sure how to prioritise. Added are the insurmountable amount of task load, as many of us also have side hustles. While a lot of us still enjoy the mundane style of writing stuff in the notepad, here are a few ideas that can help you to unearth yourself once you get piled under the rubble of distraction.
Strategic Time Blocking
We do tons of things everyday. From dawn to dusk, we are overwhelmed by myriad tasks, notifications, meetings and commitments. Given such a humongous number of tasks’ load, we get overwhelmed and at times feel ‘flat out’. On top of that our attention span has started to decline – we are competing with goldfish, only for 6.5 seconds. So, how can we do everything within the limited timeframe that we have.
One way to get most of your task done is a method called ‘strategic time blocking’ popularised by best-selling author Robin Sharma. Once you have planned the tasks and ranked them in order of priority, allocate your time slots based accordingly and create an absolute focus around each work until you get it completed. During these sacred hours stop getting distracted with notifications, emails or anything else. Create a ‘tight bubble of total focus’.
Automate Automate Automate
We live in this world of technology where everything is automated. There are tons of applications and software these days, which can help us to easily automate every process. For example, when it comes to managing social media, you may be struggling to keep up with a variety of them. But, if you have tools like Hootsuite, not only does it make your life easier but you can have advanced functionality like analytics and target your audience more objectively. Similarly, for managing your daily workload, there are many project management and marketing automation softwares, which can earn you quick win compared to other who are still using the same old traditional methods.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, we deal with lots of stressors in our everyday life: at our workplace, family, affairs, lost client. More and more businesses and organisations have identified that stress in the workplace is a costly matter. According to a study by the American Institute of Stress, workplace stress costs approximately $300 billion annually in lost productivity. As such it is absolutely essential to identify what are the factors that are causing job stress for you or for your team. Spare yourself and your company the loss of productivity by identifying your stressors and eliminating the ones that you can.
Take a Break
The illusion of mass productivity at times makes us workaholics and we start to act like robots forgetting the biggest reason for which we work – to live a happy life. The essence of a truly successful life is therefore to have a perfect work life balance. If you can’t balance your work with your life, you will surely miss out the most important endowment of life. Think when was the last time we took your child to the park, had a family reunion, or spent some intimate time just yourself reflecting. These things are really important to keep ourselves focused and intrinsically motivated to the purpose.
Find your Menlo Park
All the great things happen in Menlo Park. Starting from Edison’s invention to tech giants like Google or Facebook. A Menlo Park is your sacred place, could be a ‘hide out’ where you could be free from all distractions. From time to time, create a minimalistic and distraction-free zone where you can unwind all of your thoughts or plan succinctly about whatever that you are trying to achieve.
Also keep in mind that the secret behind a productive individual is an entire league of a winning team who will hold the baton when you are tired of juggling many things at one time. Ever wondered why Googlers are known as the most productive employees on earth? Not because of the free gourmet food, free massage parlours or other perks, but all due to a culture which is inclusive and empowering where everyone feels valued. So, the individual success is largely reliant on the power of a winning team no matter how big or small that is.
Image courtesy – Freepik.com
This article was originally contributed by Dr. Sayem Hossain to be published in the Entrepreneur magazine.