Staying Productive In A Myriad Of Distractions
One of my biggest challenges is staying productive in a myriad of distractions. At every turn, there are numerous ways to make you unproductive. Before you know it, days, weeks, and months, or even years pass by and you wonder where all the time has gone by. It is incredibly frustrating when you know you have so much to offer but have little to show for it.
This has been an enduring frustration for me. It is common to many of us, and we wonder how high-performers managed to get it done.
The myriad of distractions will never go away, but there are methods to manage it and break through.
Here are a few of the things I have done to keep as productive as possible:
Remove the items that are distracting you and zapping your time. For me, I eliminated my television and video games. This list is usually very long. Take an honest assessment of your life, and determine what you do that is not leading you to your goal.
You Need A System
I use Remember The Milk as a to-do list manager, but you can use any kind of system that suits your needs, including pen and paper. Remember, you are Staying Productive, and you don’t need style points. Go with what works for you, but remember to stick with it every day.
Being productive is like driving effectively. Drivers who are looking no further ahead than their headlights make key mistakes. They do not anticipate coming hazards and can only react at the last possible moment. You should be viewing your life the same way, planning for hazards that pop up and being able to change course early, instead of letting a last moment issue affect you.
Failure is a part of being productive. Some days will be better than others. There will be moments where distraction gets the best of you. You will lose track at times, and your focus may wander occasionally. Embrace it, because these moments allow you to reassess, evaluate, and improve. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you fail. It is one step to success.
Distractions are acceptable! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Allow your mind to wander when you have the moment to spare. Inspiration often comes from these “idle” moments. You can even schedule the moments that you tune out and enjoy the break. If you have been working hard to be productive, you will likely need some time to relax. Staying productive doesn’t mean you have to exhaust every moment for a hint of progress. Find the life balance that works for you. Allow yourself those moments when you have earned them.
Staying productive is a never-ending exercise. These tips have worked for me, but you may have your own methods. Use this article as a start, and find your own methods based on your own experience. No matter how organized and productive you are today, you have the opportunity to make changes that will truly improve your life.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.