Opportunities to learn are all around you. From every misstep you take, to every negative encounter or experience a hard day at work, lessons learnt are in plenty. Each moment of friction experiences inherently carries with it something to be gained.
Lets Start with a balancing act:
Life is always changing and for me its changing on a faster pace. My second half and I are always engaged with the most vital growth period ( 8 yr to 10 yrs) of our two children. However, within the resources available at our respective disposal, we are trying to put up our best foot forward. We’re doing a tightrope walk; both trying to be as productive as possible while making sure our children are learning, entertained, and getting the love and attention they deserves. In other words , My days of long, uninterrupted stints of working at my home desk are gone. Now, it’s a balance. A balance between attentive father , my meaning Job and as an effective Carpie-diem Coach. And because of all this, distraction is easier than ever to fall victim to. Fortunately, my second half and I have found our footing with time and have created an equal partnership as both are involved with good parenting and work management. It started off a little rocky, but each new moment of challenge, of discomfort, serves as an opportunity for learning, adjustment, communication, improvement. And from that, we’ve created something that works for us.
Just Two ways to reduce distraction
Still, just because we struck a balance doesn’t mean I’m able to focus as well as I used to. There’s a lot more going on than ever before. Aware of that friction though, I do two things that are absolutely crucial in my ability to remain productive irrespective of the chaotic days.
Two things that you can use to your advantage, that you can do next time distractions arise in your life.
Rule #1. Set boundaries:-
One of the keys to the successful balance is by setting up the boundaries. Well, maybe not boundaries. More like expectations. Because when everyone is doing a work full-time then the responsibilities have to be equally shared. Thats why lines are need to be clearly drawn of who does what and when. So, it would be a good idea to sit down and work through it together.We know exactly when we will have time to be productive, and when we won’t. Through setting that simple boundary upfront, would tell two things:
- That when and how I can be contacted throughout the week
- But they can absolutely get ahold of me during my set office hours
Stick to the expectation:
In your life then, you can do the same thing. Instead of letting people barge into your office anytime or letting random calls and texts dominate your life, set a boundary. Tell them when they can expect to hear from you and, more importantly, when they can’t. Then stick to it. If you tell a person or a colleague or client, you don’t answer calls after five, don’t answer after-five. If you tell friends that you only respond to texts at lunch, only respond to texts at lunch. Now, you’re probably rolling your eyes thinking: C’mon. No one is that rigid. And… you’re right. You can answer that call or respond to that text whenever you want. If it’s not in the hours you specified, that’s fine. What matters is that you set the expectation. So if you want to answer that post-five-o’clock call, go ahead. Answer it because you want to though, not because you need to. If you want to answer it, go for it. But if there’s a more pressing project staring at you in the face, hold strong on the boundary you set. Be deliberate about your distractions and set the expectation for the kinds that you do or do not allow through the gate.
Rule #2. Block out the noise
A lot of young generation enjoy working from coffee shops. It feels… fancy? Is that the right word? All that matters is that whether you enjoy it or not. Now, I don’t always work from coffee shops, but when I do I make sure to bring headphones with me. Because when I’m working, if I hear a voice in the background or someone talking on the phone, I become completely distracted. My focus goes to zero. But throwing in headphones gets me back on track. Suddenly, I can resume my work and make the progress that I need to.
Put those headphones in
When you’re working, you need to be in control of your environment. If you’re in a busy office setting or a loud restaurant, having the ability to block out noise so that you can focus on what’s in front of you is a must. So when you find outside factors distracting you:
- Put your headphones in. I personally uses these ones.
- Go to YouTube
- Search for focus music (something like this is perfect)
- And hone in on what you’re working on
Even if music isn’t your “thing,” give this a try next time you’re feeling distracted. It will help.
- Just a Side note: Be sure to put on a long playlist with an uplifting rhythm and little-to-no words. Words will distract you, slow music may make you melancholy, and short playlists end leaving you to find something new to listen to.
See each moment of friction as an opportunity for learning and growth. Set boundaries. Recognize the distractions that derail you and treat them as areas for improvement. Remove the friction and create a system that allows you to actually get your work done.
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