Time management Monday: How to avoid distractions

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The New York Times recently ran an article called 5 Cheap(ish) Things to Help Get Rid of Distractions. Their list was mainly of things that help you stay off your phone, and thus avoid falling down the rabbit hole of online distractions. Some items on the list were expected, like noise-cancelling headphones. Some were a bit surprising but make sense, like an alarm clock so your phone isn’t the first thing you reach for in the morning.

Of course I was pleased to see that paper planners are on their list of things to help you get off your phone and avoid distraction. Planning in your paper planner, and taking notes in a notebook, are great ways to detach from your phone and live life offline and away from screens. Every time you look at your phone to check your schedule, to-do list, or notes, you run the risk of being sucked into distractions, getting sidetracked, and losing valuable time. Paper planners and notebooks allow you to focus and stay on track.

Here’s another tip to help avoid distractions: do time blocking and assign specific times to work on projects and tasks. This will allow you to focus on the task at hand and avoid the temptation to flit to something else. You’ll know this is your time to work on what you’re doing, and you’ll have time to do the other things later.

What are some ways you avoid distractions and/ or stay off your phone?

2 thoughts on “Time management Monday: How to avoid distractions

  1. Honestly, the paper planner has been a huge one for me. I switched to a “hybrid” where I did dailies in my notebook and long-term stuff in Todoist a few months ago. Then I moved everything into my notebook(s) a couple weeks ago and it’s been like night and day for me. I’m able to focus more on the tasks and get things done.
    The other big change to remove distractions was to turn OFF notifications for most apps on my phone. The ones I care about are vibrate only and not intrusive so I only get the notification when *I* want to check. That way I don’t feel the need or sense of urgency to check a (usually) meaningless notification.

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