Distraction: The root cause of being inefficient

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In the recent months I have been following a rigorous “work plan” in order to not get distracted (read: inefficient). Sometimes I fail to follow all “my rules” but mostly I manage to make it work. Thus while working I follow these simply rules;

  • Turn off eMail (Log out of Mailplane, Mail app, Outlook or whatever you are using) Check your eMail every 4 hour!
  • Turn off any notification apps
  • Turn off any IM apps (Skype, etc.)
  • Run your phone in silent mode (vibration is accepted)

Basically this means, that all those little things which can take your attention away from you have to be turned off or made silent.

Now, some of you might argue that you can’t do this, that you have to be “reached”. While this might hold true for some (call agents, etc.), it is simply an accuse for others. Ask yourself if you are really so needed or if this is more a self attention issue? Don’t get me wrong, I used to think the same way, but quickly figured that people will accept that you answer their eMails within 4 hours and not within 5 minutes. People will also accept that you are offline on Skype, IM or whatever. Just test this out and you will see how focused and less dependent you become on the “latest news”.

Still not convinced? Here is an inspiring talk by Joe Kraus talking about how we’re creating a culture of distraction. Enjoy and let me know how you achieved a distraction free environment.

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