5 Easy Ways to Minimize Distractions

Introducing The Agile Lifestyle 101 — basic skills and principles that we try our best to adopt.

1. Although some people say they’re great at it, studies have shown that no one really is good at multi-tasking (at least not on tasks that require the same type of cognitive ability. If you can chew gum and walk down the sidewalk at the same time – that’s not multitasking – sorry.) When we multi-task, we don’t actually end up saving time, quite often it adds to the time you need. Every time you lose a stream of consciousness to give attention to the latest tweet or message, it can take seconds to minutes to get back focused. Despite lots of CAPITAL LETTERS and exclamation points!! No tweet is worth that.

2. Do a mini-audit of your day to determine how much time you actually spend doing things. If you need to – create a little schedule that shows what you currently do, then recreate another one to show what you probably should do (eliminate Facebook checks and time used for water-cooler chat) and decide if you really need it. While you’re at it, create a schedule for how you’d LIKE your day to go – then make it your mission to get there one day.

3. When you do have idle time, like waiting on hold, in line, or for the next train, resist the urge to pick up where you left off on Farmville or Words with Friends. Instead, take this time to clear out your email inbox, respond to messages that you’ve been putting off, clean out your apps, practice some calming breathing techniques, stretch. Take this gift of time to do finish the less fun tasks so you don’t have to do them later.

4. Set a timer for activities. The Pomodoro Technique is a great strategy for setting boundaries around the things that need to get done and the things you want to do.

5. Don’t let other people decide what you do with your time. Turn your phone to airplane mode when you need “you time”. Say “no” more often. Be early to events and decide when you’re going to leave, then stick to it! Unplug from the 24-hour news syndrome. This is the information age, don’t get stuck being the owner of it all. Unplug from discussions, re-think if you really need to respond to the latest controversy. Turn off the news – it will still be there tomorrow. Do not let other people drag you into their poor time-management either.

Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of our decluttering throughout the day. That’s why we added it as a healthy habit to track in The Agile Life Plan 4-week kick-start free course. Try it out for yourself 🙂

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