This is part of my Tech Workers' Guide To Distraction Free Work
Every morning I reflect on how the previous day went. I ask myself:
- Were there too many distractions?
- How will today be better?
With a lot of practice, I developed a good rhythm and eliminated most distractions. But sometimes I slip up. For example, a few days ago, I watched President Trump’s interview while I ate lunch. The interview oozed with baseless assertions and false claims. I felt angry and spent a chunk of the afternoon complaining and commiserating with friends on Slack. As a result, I got little work done. After that, I vowed not to watch any interviews until the evening (or not at all).
Take action: Each day, identify your biggest distractions and make a plan to eliminate them.
Tech Workers' Guide To Distraction Free Work
Practices: Just Say No
- Just say No
- Stop Looking For Drama
- Beware Of Taking On Extra Responsibility
- Make an “I won’t do” list
Practices: Say Yes
- Track your distractions
- Stay focused with a To Do list
- Make a “Big Rock” list
- Follow the 2-minute rule
- Try the Pomodoro Technique
- Make a list of questions
Practices: Control Your Physical Environment
- Find your Den of Productivity
- Eliminate distracting belongings
- Limit disruptive noise
- Listen to music
- Silence your phone
Practices: Control Your Digital Environment
- Close your email
- Leave social media
- Close your browser tabs
- Limit distractions from Slack
- Try an app blocker
Practices: Get Organized
What do books say about distraction free work?
“You could try to pound your head against the wall and think of original ideas — or you can cheat by reading them in books.”