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10 Daily Distractions That STEAL Your Productivity (And How To Fix Them!)

July 06, 2019DMT.NEWS

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It seems one of the most popular excuses of the 21st century is “I don't have time”.

The reality is, gentlemen, there's plenty of time, but most of it goes to waste on distractions.

man being distracted header

Your time is limited each day, most people would absolutely love more of it.

So why waste it on unimportant things?

Today I'm listing 10 distractions that pulverize your productivity and I'll give you some simple tips on how to fix them, so you can increase your productivity.

 

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Click Here To Watch The Video – 10 Daily Distractions That STEAL Your Productivity (And How To Fix Them!)

Without wasting any more time (pun intended)…

  1. Your Phone
  2. Time Wasters
  3. Cigarettes and Coffee
  4. Sugar and Snacks
  5. Overthinking
  6. Video Games
  7. The News
  8. Unnecessary Meetings
  9. Your Inner Voice
  10. Hunger Pangs

 

1. Your Phone

Mobile phones have slowly integrated into our daily lives.

While they are essential for communication, they also play a huge part in most peoples workdays.

But phones put a ton of stress on our productivity, simply due to the number of distractions they carry.

Calling and texting is one thing, but it gets even worse with social media.

These kinds of apps can be addicting because they feed our tendency to socialize and keep up with people.

These apps are a major source of distractions, and they know it! They will constantly remind you of various things at all hours of the day.

These distractions can include ring tones, notifications and even LED indicators that blink in bright colors.

man looking at phone

Do you catch yourself checking your phone too often?

All of this can be overwhelming, and when you add to the fact that most of it is not important, the problem becomes obvious.

Here are some tips on how you can deal with this:

  • Remove unnecessary apps from your home screen.
  • Disable notifications on apps that don't contribute to your work.
  • Get a proper alarm clock – If you use your phone, make use of the “Airplane Mode” or “Do Not Disturb” options.
  • When charging your phone, put it out of reach as you'll end up forgetting about it until you absolutely need it.

 

2. Time Wasters

“Time Wasters” can be summarized as things – and sometimes people – that require a lot of attention, but provide little or no return.

These are things that – no matter how annoying – simply aren't high on the priority matrix.

The priority matrix is an effective and simple way to break down the importance of tasks.

eisenhower priority matrix

The Eisenhower Task Priority Matrix

So the next time you know you have a bunch of stuff to do, try organizing it all with this simple method – and you'll increase productivity on all of them.

Simply put, getting what's important done first releases the pressure. This leaves you with a good overall idea of how much time you can spend on other things.

 

3. Cigarettes and Coffee

Nicotine and caffeine are part of many people's daily lives.

The average smoker in America takes in 15 cigarettes a day.

Combine the time it takes to smoke one cigarette and the time it takes to find a smoking area, and you'll find that hours of your day will be spent on this habit alone.

While it's hard to flat out ask you to just stop smoking, I strongly suggest doing a breathing exercise instead.

This will help you to battle the desire to smoke and help you to focus on getting your work done, and thus increase productivity.

drinking pouring coffee

The average consumer of coffee in the U.S. drinks over 3 cups per day.

Coffee shops are a multi-billion dollar business. Over 50% of Americans report they drink it every day.

Women report they consume coffee as a relaxing, socializing opportunity. Men mostly drink coffee as preparation for work.

For lots of men, coffee becomes an addiction, and without your morning coffee, you feel like you can't get much work done.

To battle needlessly drinking coffee, drink as much water as you can. Being thirsty is the main drive that leads us to drink any beverage.

Not only will this help you overcome your addiction, but by balancing out how much coffee you drink, you will be able to push through the need to drink coffee and be more productive.

 

4. Sugar and Snacks

There's no doubt the U.S. has a problem with obesity – there are many factors in that equation, but sugar plays a major role.

Many people complete a meal with a dose of sugar, that's why desert exists. What most of them don't know is how much sugar is in the snacks they eat.

Snacking can be a distraction in itself because you're not focused – your hand is jumping around from the task to snacks.

You also risk spilling something and making a mess, and the noise you create can annoy you and your coworkers.

This is why most offices have a “no eating at the work station” rule, to reduce distractions and increase productivity.

different types of fruit

If you find it difficult to put down snacks altogether, try some fresh fruit instead.

To minimize the need for sugar and snacks, make sure to eat regularly and drink plenty of water.

Along with coffee and cigarettes, these addictions are not only time consuming, but also distracting as they can cause unease until the craving is fed, lowering your productivity.

 

5. Overthinking

A huge cause of daily distraction is spending a lot of time overthinking.

It's one thing to put too much focus on a first date, but what I'm talking about is the practice of fact-checking things, even when we're sure of something.

The internet has given us unlimited resources on demand, but it also created a culture of searching for everything and anything.

This creates doubt in people and forces them to search for things, just to confirm what they already know.

While being absolutely sure of something isn't a bad thing, fact-checking everything does not mean you will be more productive.

But even this is just part of the problem. The average person – searching for an answer to a question – will open multiple sources only to read the same thing, written in a different way.

Also, searching for one simple answer can often lead to lots of pointless web browsing.

The amount of ads and suggested links popping up doesn't help us here either.

So, if you need to search for something, find a credible source that will become your go-to, instead of using search engines. This will help you to narrow your focus, and reduce the time you spend on useless browsing.

 

6. Video games

There are countless arguments on both the positives and negatives of playing games, but there's no doubt they can become addicting.

Question is, do you play video games in your spare time, or do you neglect other things to play the game?

A study by Brigham Young University suggests playing games can boost creativity, improve decisions making and increase productivity in office life.

However, the real culprits of this addiction are small, mobile-friendly video games. Those that offer no results other than virtual achievements and short term satisfaction.

As many as 70% of Americans play video games. Around 60% are male and 40% are female.

Most of them are packed with addicting features that give you the incentive to play them on a frequent basis.

These are masked as rewards for playing at a specific time or for a certain amount of hours and so on.

They send notifications such as “You haven't played for X amount of days” or “X person has earned a certain achievement”.

In the best-case scenario, they are just annoying. But in the worst cases, they force you to spend countless amounts of time and money.

The best thing you can do is to avoid these altogether and find a different source of entertainment, which brings me to my next point.

 

7. The News

Reading the news is a very popular way of passing time. You'll notice a lot of people are doing it.

An unmeasurable amount of time each day is spent on reading news that has no benefit or just isn't factual.

Unfortunately, most news sources are interested in clicks more than the quality of their content – that's why they rely on “clickbait”.

By using shock factors they make users think “I've got to see this”. What often follows is a story that's either overdramatized or underwhelming.

The media knows dramatic stories attract a lot of attention. That's why a big portion of the top news stories are negative.

man reading a news paper

While many people start their day off with reading the news, be careful not to douse yourself with negativity first thing in the morning.

Now I'm not saying that you should cut yourself off from the world, reading news is a good way to keep up to date.

It's just that you've got to be careful which news sources you trust.

The best idea is to pick the one you will follow, instead of relying on browsing. Alternatively, you can pay someone to scour headlines for you and send you daily updates with the most important stories.

This will help you to focus your attention only on the things that matter, and keep you from losing track of your time.

 

8. Unnecessary Meetings

It's hard to tell which meetings are important, and which waste everybody's time.

Attending meetings that hold no value to you can be as bad as doing nothing.

While you may find many coworkers enjoying them and treating them as “extended breaks”, they're wasting your time in the long run.

Which would you rather do:

  • Go to work, attend a two-hour meeting on something you already know, return to finish up for the day and leave.
  • Go to work, finish 2 hours early and go home for the day, or use the time to catch up on other projects.
    man thinking at a meeting

Assuming you have things to do and deadlines to stick to, the meeting may either be postponed or skipped altogether.

So bring it up to your manager, they will appreciate your honesty and initiative, but make sure you're explaining why you think the meeting is not helpful – otherwise you risk consequences for trying to get out of work.

 

9. Your Inner Voice

You know that inner alter ego talking to you, with whom you have conversations long into the night?

No, that's not what I'm talking about, do you think I'm crazy?

Who knows, but what I am talking about are the voices of self-doubt.

  • “I can't do this.”
  • “There's not enough time.”
  • “I'm the only one making an effort.”

These thoughts go through our heads more than we like to admit.

man pointing at head smiling

It's all in your head.

The way to eliminate them is stopping for a second to rethink.

  • Take a short break
  • Go for a walk
  • Do some quick exercises
  • Practice breathing techniques
  • Meditate

This should not take more than a couple of minutes but will help to refresh your energy and regain focus.

What follows is that rush of energy and boost of confidence that will make you crush any obstacle.

 

10. Hunger Pangs

Feeling hungry is the most natural daily distraction everyone faces. This is something you can't automate or ignore.

Most people have a tendency to eat only when they feel hungry, and often at specific times.

But that feeling is often just the beginning. What follows is feeling tired due to a lack of energy.

You get anxious to get things done – or go eat – and thinking about which to do first saps your energy even more.

So you either speed through a task, leave it and lose momentum, or compensate by snacking.

different types of vegetables

When you eat is equally as important as what and how much you eat.

To beat this distraction, plan out a daily eating routine. That way your body can get used to when and how much you eat and adjust accordingly.

Regardless of how many meals you eat per day, what matters is consistency, and consistency will help you to be more productive.

 

Summary – 10 Daily Distractions That STEAL Your Productivity (And How To Fix Them!)

Let's quickly remind ourselves of what we talked about:

  1. Your Phone
  2. Time Wasters
  3. Cigarettes and Coffee
  4. Sugar and Snacks
  5. Overthinking
  6. Video Games
  7. The News
  8. Unnecessary Meetings
  9. Your Inner Voice
  10. Hunger Pangs

With all this in mind, you're all the more ready make the most out of your day.

 

Don't forget to check out Skillshare – the online learning portal with thousands of courses on loads of topics. You can learn video editing, mobile photography, photoshop, app creation, investing, graphic design, and more. 

These courses have amazing teachers – and they give you a chance to showcase your work. Click here to discover Skillshare. When you sign up through our link, you'll get a two month trial trial!

The post 10 Daily Distractions That STEAL Your Productivity (And How To Fix Them!) appeared first on Real Men Real Style.



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