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Get focused: How to minimize the risk of outside influences



Do you remember those moments where you’re so much focused on something that you completely forgot everything around you?

Those are great. Those are the best moments for really getting things done and be highly productive.

Outside influences that affect your focus

But there are certain situations that you have no control of and where our focus just drifts away no matter how hard we try. It’s useful to know that we are naturally drawn to events that might be dangerous for us.

Things such as blinking lights and loud noises will always get our attention because they are loud and irregular and stand out from the normal environment.

In our daily routine those come in form of loud coworkers, traffic noise, phone calls, people passing by and so on… Once distracted it can take you up to 25 minutes to fully focus again. So the trick is to minimize the risk of outside influences as much as possible.

How to minimize the risk of outside influences

Here are a few simple things that you can do so to get back some control over outside influences:

1. Reduce visual distractions

Place yourself where you have the less visual distractions possible. Don’t put yourself in front of a place where a lot of people will pass by or where a lot of traffic is happening. Even moving your computer just to another angle or side of the desk can do wonders.

2. Create a calm space for work

Your workplace should make you feel comfortable so try to keep it tidy and avoid a lot of clutter that you don’t need. Your eyes will get distracted by all the things that are not relevant to the current task. If you have a note laying on your desk as a reminder of another task you will sooner or later get distracted by it.

3. Turn off notifications

Avoid and block out all visual and sound notifications that might try to call for your attention. If you see an email notification, hear a phone message or whatever, it is obvious that you get immediately attracted by it and that you want to check it out. By not even seeing or hearing them, you won’t have to defeat your curiosity and you can focus easier on your task.

4. Be aware of noisy spots

Try to figure out where the noise comes from and try to move or change your workplace accordingly.Take advantage of the architecture of your place or move things around to avoid the most noisy spots.

5. Listen to background sounds

Get yourself a good pair of noise cancelling headphones and put on some background sounds from Noisli to help block any annoying noises.

Avatar photo Written by Sabine Staggl

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