Regain Control of Your Attention: How to Overcome Distractions and Boost Productivity
These two effective systems are essential to regain control of your attention and make intentional decisions.
The average person's mind wanders 47% of the time, leading to hours of lost productivity each day. That may be fine if you're sitting in the office collecting a check, but if you run your own business, then distraction is costing you freedom. This article will explain two systems that can help you regain control of your attention and make more mindful decisions about how you spend your time.
The Cost of Distraction
- Mindlessly scrolling through content feeds can lead to unintentional time loss
- Being mindful about your decisions can help you regain control of your attention
- Discipline and willpower alone are often not enough to overcome distractions
System 1: Preventative Measures
Increase the friction of distractions to prevent them from happening in the first place.
- Use apps to block or limit distractions
- Apps like One Sec can prompt you to rethink your intentions when opening social media
- Set time limits for certain apps or make them more difficult to access
- Establish rules for social media use
- No social media in the morning or during your most productive hours
- Use social media only on your laptop, not on your phone
- Delete distracting apps
- While not always possible, deleting apps completely can be the most effective preventative measure
System 2: Fail-Safe Measures
Set up a fail-safe system to stop you when you've gone too far into a distraction.
- Use an hourly alarm
- Set an alarm to go off every hour as a reminder to check your focus
- This technique is inspired by the book Focus by Daniel Goleman
- Practice self-awareness
- Over time, you may become conditioned to expect the alarm and will naturally catch yourself when your mind wanders
- Eventually, you may be able to wean yourself off the alarm completely
By implementing these two systems—a preventative and a fail-safe—you can regain control of your attention and make more intentional decisions about how you spend your time. Being mindful of distractions can help you boost productivity and take control of your day.