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Do you feel distracted? Are you not focused?
No problem…In this post, I will share some easy tips for staying on task if you need help to minimize distractions.
Now, I know that I am not the only working parent out there that tries to get something done, only to be interrupted and then get completely sidetracked… “squirrel” lol
THEN…after I finally remember what I was supposed to be doing, 30 plus minutes has passed and nothing gets done.
Is this you too?
Yes! Thank goodness its not just me, lol.
I want to take a few minutes and talk to you about why we get distracted and how we can get back on track or stay focused in the first place.
I have a few strategies up my sleeve.
According to a recent study, it can take up to 25 minutes to get back on track when you are interrupted.
This means that interrupting one thing to do another can make both of the “things” you were doing harder to finish.
Time Management for this Struggling Mama…
I struggle with this so bad! Trying to do more than one thing at a time…especially if it is something difficult.
When I was working on my bachelor’s degree a few months ago (I’m finished! yay!), being an online student while also being a working parent was totally hard!
One of the things that I struggled with the most during the last two years being a student was constantly getting interrupted while I was working on school work.
“Mom, can you….” or (hearing distant screaming in the other room followed by one kid crying and the other trying to explain what is going on)…that was my life. (But let’s face it…it still is my life)
It sure is hard to write a paper when your thoughts are interrupted by a kiddy conflict! (or a blog post for that matter)
But hold on…
I’m going to give you some of the things that I learned to do to help keep me focused, which I’m positive can be helpful no matter what you are trying to accomplish, whether it is work, school or things around your house.
1. Give yourself time intervals with scheduled breaks.
This simply means to allow yourself a set amount of time to work followed by a 5-10 minute break. Make sure that it is a scheduled predictable pattern so that each day you will know what to expect.
(I always joke with a co-worker that for every 5 minutes we work, we get a 15-minute break…but we are only joking lol.)
During your break, get up, stretch, check notifications (without going down a rabbit hole), eat some (sugar-free) candy…
whatever you need to do to take that mental break from what you are working on. Just make sure you set a timer and when the break is over…it’s over.
This will train your brain that for every work interval, you will get rewarded with a break.
It is another distraction management technique.
2. Make a list of what HAS to be accomplished and what you would like to accomplish
Every day you should write out what you want to accomplish.
You could list out daily tasks, weekly tasks, and/or monthly tasks.
Make it into a checklist so that when you finish one, you can cross it off the list (yay- my favorite thing!).
It will help you visualize what you need to get done and make you feel like your making progress as you cross things off the list.
Have a plan! When you don’t have one, your mind can’t focus because it is trying to figure out what to do.
Not planning can be detrimental to your productivity.
3. Focus on ONE task at a time
When you sit down, pick one thing from the list. This is essential for getting things done!
If you start more than one task at a time, you will never finish.
Picking just one thing will help you stay on task if you need to minimize distractions. (I’m so talking about myself here)
4. Use your Calendar
Utilize your calendar for more than just appointments and kid’s soccer games.
Mark off blocks of time during the day where you can focus on the ONE task you chose to accomplish.
I like to use colors. I am a color coder and each thing in my calendar is marked this way.
Don’t forget to block off your break times!!
(If you need some help with organization see this post about 5 Easy Organization Tips)
If you block off the time for working on certain tasks in your calendar, you are less likely to schedule something that will be a conflict.
It will keep you more engaged if you can stay on a schedule. (I have put a link to my favorite planner by Emily Ley below -the budget hustle is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.)
5. Minimize Distractions
Imagine your phone dings…you stop and look at it, it’s a social media notification and before you know it you have clicked…
which led you down a rabbit hole of distraction. 30 minutes later you realize you haven’t finished the task you started.
If this happens to you, you need to put your phone on silent, close the door, put up a do not disturb sign up.
Being productive doesn’t have to be chaos, Re-think what you define productivity as and concentrate on the positive energy throughout your day.
Set up your day the night before
Go ahead and make these decisions so that it will be easier the next day
If you make this a habit, you will ultimately be more productive in the long run.
You can even set up your week on Sunday. (I usually meal plan on Sunday)
Do the difficult things first
Get the hard stuff over with so you feel relieved and you can use the rest of your energy to tackle the smaller tasks.
Get a full nights rest
Because you need it and you will feel recharged and energized.
Think about the big picture
Create your vision, stay connected with it and you will be motivated to keep trucking towards your ultimate goal.
I hope you use these easy tips for staying on task if you need help to minimize distractions and help you conquer the impossible!
If you struggle with getting your Budget under control check out these 2 posts that can help you. This budget is for people who want to be detailed and this budget is for those who need things simplified!
Go follow me on Pinterest for more great tips.