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Apr 12, 2012

5 Fast Ways to Cut the Distractions and Be Productive

It's 7 a.m. The baby's crying, the four-year-old is tearing around the house yelling, "Hulk smaaaaash!", your husband is asking you where the car keys are, and you are trying to maintain enough sanity and patience to make it through the day. All of this, on top of the fact that you have chores to do, work deadlines to meet, and countless other commitments and projects. The fact is, there's so much going on during any given day that it's virtually impossible to accomplish it all. Sometimes the overwhelming burden of having to do it all results in doing not much of anything. It's important to have a plan in place to make sure productivity isn't lost.

Prioritize

Tasks must be prioritized to make sure that the necessary items get accomplished first. Less important tasks can be tackled during the time remaining. Think about the items on your to-do list. If there are work-related deadlines, those should most likely be at the top of the list. While it's easy to get caught up in household chores: laundry, organizing, picking up clutter, or dishes; remember that a messy house will still be there when you get home.

Use Time Wisely

When you set out to accomplish a task, get it done. Minimize other distractions, such as the phone, emails and texts, the Internet, television, or the radio. If you work in a busy office, close your door, or let others know that you are unavailable for an hour. Turn it all off and focus on the task at hand. Block out specific chunks of time to work on specific tasks without interruptions. If you find that your attention and motivation are waning, give yourself a break by taking a brisk walk or stretching for five minutes. Reward yourself for accomplishing the task by checking your email or social networking sites after the task is complete.

Set Goals

Set specific goals each day, week, and month. Goal setting keeps you focused and motivated. This will give you a sense of pride for accomplishing the tasks and keep you on track. It might be beneficial to assign goals into distinct categories, such as work goals, home goals, and family goals.

Avoid Distractions

The way to minimize distractions and time wasters is to vow to avoid them. If you are constantly being interrupted by co-workers, shut your door and turn off your phone. If you have small children and work from home , plan to get your work done during their nap time or other quieter phases during the day. If you find yourself sitting in a meeting that is dragging on and on, take the bull by the horns and wrap it up. Your colleagues will probably thank you.

Take Care of Yourself

At the end of the day, it's you who matters most. If you aren't functioning at your best, everything else will suffer. Take the time to get adequate sleep, exercise, and nourishment. Spend time with your loved ones. Indulge yourself with a good novel, or by simply doing nothing for 15 minutes. You will be more motivated and ready to accomplish the next day's to-do list if you take the time to keep yourself happy.

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