The number one thing that keeps us from doing our very best work is distractions. They may be from outside sources or the distractions may be from within ourselves. Whether we are adults or children we can easily be thinking about the next thing we need to do or worse want to do that make it difficult to work diligently.
Here is a list of some of the major distractions that affect both young and older adults:
- friends interrupting us (phone, texts, email, social media)
- technology (problems, surfing, games)
- unorganized desks (messy desks, backpacks, files on computer, room)
- fears (fears of failing, success, doing a good job)
- team members (different personalities and work ethics)
What is it that distracts you the most? Which from the list above is the one that gets you off course and what can you do to deal with those distractions? If we are distracted and are not working diligently our time is wasted and we find we do not have the time to do the other things that we would like to do.
Here are a couple of suggestions on the distractions listed here.
- Interruptions can be dealt with by setting aside time for the project you are working on and turning all communication devices off. Let others know that you are to be left alone for the next 30 minutes or the time frame you are comfortable with – unless there is a dire emergency.
- Technology is a blessing but it can also distract us from the project at hand. If you are having problems making technology work you may need to find another way of doing the project or ask for help early on with the problem. If it is playing and surfing – turn it off and set your time for doing those activities with a timer so you know that your time is up for surfing or playing.
- Organize your desk, room, backpack, files and keep it that way on a daily basis. There is a three touch rule for every piece of paper we have that serves this purpose well. Either perform the task on the paper, file it or throw it away. Do not just put it on the desk for a later time. In regards to our rooms and other areas of life – get help organizing from someone that is good at that and then stick to the plan, putting everything where it belongs the first time.
- Fears of success and failure can create so much anxiety that we may find it hard to complete the task at hand. Allowing ourselves to have failures and learn from them, not expecting perfection, but rather reaching beyond what we think is possible is how we grow. Smile at the times you fail and push forward.
- Teammates who do not want to work as hard or carefully as we do can be distracting. Doing our best on our part of the project and assisting others to see their potential to do the same may well help. This is a part of life though and not everyone has the same goals. Will the 3 step plan help you? Have you spoken to them and offered to assist them where you can? Could you speak to a superior about your concerns and then if need be you may need to ask to be moved.
Our diligence in our work is going to show with us producing our highest potential. What is your highest potential? Could you be doing even better work with greater focus and diligence?