Useful Tips

How to stop being distracted or 10 ways to calm your mind

We all know how Facebook, Twitter, various blogs and other sites familiar to us can distract while you are trying to do some kind of work on the Internet.

This article will tell you about some methods that you can use in order not to be distracted by time-consuming sites, but to focus on work or study. With the extensions and applications that you can install, you'll notice that it’s much easier to stop being distracted while surfing the web.

1. Turn off notifications

Stop dissonance of notifications of fresh spam in the mail, new marks on photos and likes on Instagram. Leave only important notifications - messages in the working messenger and calls.

Check the rest in your free time when you complete the task. To change the settings, dig in your laptop and smartphone, look at the parameters of social networks and email accounts. Life will become quieter, calmer and more measured.

Check from time to time only those groups, channels and dialogs that are important for your family and professional richness.

Divide the big task into small ones

“Sometimes you procrastinate only because it is not clear how to approach a huge“ mammoth ”. Cutting it into pieces - it becomes clear how to "swallow" them. It’s great to have some kind of tool like Wunderlist to divide a large task into small ones, solve them quickly, and tick off, ”advises Danil Brenner, architect of the web development department of GK System Technologies.

Delegate uninteresting

“It’s better not to do those tasks that you don’t like in advance - otherwise very soon even the walls will seem interesting. If possible, it’s best to immediately delegate such tasks to others, ”recommends Anton Borzenko, CTO CourseBurg.

If there is no opportunity to delegate, think about how solving this problem may be useful to you. Or maybe it’s worth automating the solution or optimizing something from above to completely miss the task?

Try Pomodoro

The method helps to better concentrate, maintain the "freshness" of the mind and not be distracted by external stimuli. Classic use case for Pomodoro:

  1. Select a specific task.
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work all the time on it.
  3. Take a break for 5 minutes. Return to step 1.
  4. Every four such iterations take a break of 25 minutes.

Denis Vorotnikov, lead web developer at Mercaux Inc. emphasizes that it is necessary to completely separate from the outside world:

  • put on headphones, telling colleagues to be bothered only on very important issues and better in corporate chat
  • disable notifications of mail, instant messengers, social networks and similar distracting programs
  • fully focus on the task at hand, without thinking about anything but her

Difficulties arise when urgent tasks suddenly appear. “At the same time, you should not give in to panic, immediately throw the solution to the previous problem. Try to complete it first and only then move on to the next one, ”advises Boris Shestakov, BSS Practice Expert at AT Consulting.

If the standard rhythm of the technique does not suit you, then do not worry. The main thing is to adapt it so that it benefits you. “This technique helps me get into the working rhythm. When these 25 minutes end, I most often continue to do the same task. But such a mental kick in the ass for myself is a good thing, ” Danil Brenner.

Switch context

Remove all unnecessary. Probably, the simpler and more effective the advice, the more often it is neglected. But this commonplace really works.

In addition, protecting yourself from irritants is not difficult. For example, in Windows 10 there are many desktops between which you can switch. “I have an area where all the chat rooms hang. And when I start writing code, I don’t look there. Switching context is very important, ”says Danil Brenner.

Use the right sound

If we are talking about music, then this is a controversial topic. It will help or hinder, depending on the mood, the noise around, the level of difficulty of the task, personal preferences. “I tried a lot, settled on special music for coding - Music to code by. Such good music, relaxed, it really costs money. The creator of this music says that he specifically analyzed what bit should be for you to concentrate as much as possible. Sometimes, however, I want something more energetic, like The Offspring, ”says Danil Brenner. To increase concentration, they also recommend listening to music from video games.

But moderate noise is useful for immersion in the workflow and solving creative problems. There is even a Noisli app that helps you combine different sounds to create the perfect backdrop for you.

Are you constantly distracted by all sorts of nonsense, and then for a long time you can’t get into the working rhythm? Let's talk about how to quickly plunge into the process, so that nothing would interfere, and most importantly - there was no desire to break away from the task.

1. Plan your day

Each of us has certain hours when everything is given to us a little easier. Plan the most important tasks so that they fall just at this time. I also found that scheduling for the day helps to get everything done and not to forget anything. Whether it's a meeting reminder, a deadline, or lunch.

2. Switch to full screen mode

We are not as versatile as we would like. And since it so happened that you have to work tirelessly, remove all possible distractions. Remove all unnecessary icons from the desktop and open in full screen, for example, a text document in which you work. After all, the less superfluous before your eyes, the less chance that you will be distracted by something unnecessary.

3. Block or hide all distracting websites and applications

Parental control is useful not only for naughty children. It will also be useful to us, forever distracted adults. Is it difficult to be offline on Facebook while you work? Remove links from the browser. Or even remove the application from the phone. You can also create a separate browser profile to work with. Or, if you need more drastic measures, you can use extensions such as LeechBlock (Firefox) or StayFocus (Chrome) to block sites that distract you.

4. Turn off notifications on your smartphone

There are applications that cannot be removed. For example, Gmail or corporate chat. For such applications, it’s worth choosing the mode in the settings when all notifications are completely turned off. Try disabling email notifications. You should not check your mail when a new letter arrives. At least set a silent ringtone for these apps.

5. Track how you spend your time.

Distraction can come in many forms. This is not always a waste of time on Facebook, games on the phone or pictures of kittens, but the essence is always the same. Some tasks are less important than others. And if you spend more time on them than you should, they should also be considered as distractions. If you cannot understand where all your time is spent, use time counters. Such as RescueTime. It will show which sites you visited, which applications you used and how much time you lost on each of them.

6. Keep distracting colleagues at a distance

Of course, many stimuli arise in the real world. If you work in an office, then you probably know how colleagues can distract you. Just chatting, lots of questions that can actually wait, and more. Good headphones can show you are working hard right now. And if this does not help, you can directly say that you are busy. Or load them so that next time they don’t have an idea to distract you.

8. Break down your tasks

It is very easy to get distracted or even avoid getting started when the task seems incredibly huge. If you need to motivate yourself to work with a large project, then break the task into several smaller subtasks. It is much easier to force yourself to do a small specific task. This is easier than jumping headlong into one huge task. The Tomato Method is great for this purpose if you have a convenient timer.

9. Teach your brain to focus

You can put in a huge amount of effort to get rid of distractions. But your brain can still be your worst enemy. So if your brain jumps from thought to thought while you work, you need to learn how to control it. The following tip may seem silly. But try, it will suddenly help. Put the elastic on your wrist. Every time you get distracting thoughts, beat yourself with this rubber band. Let the brain develop a habit that you can’t be distracted.

10. Do not overdo it: distraction is a necessary part of productivity

Distraction at the wrong time can adversely affect the performance of a task. But this does not mean that we should be focused 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Distractions are vital to a healthy lifestyle. And also stimulate creative thinking. Research has shown that browsing the web at work will help make your work more productive. But only if you did it at the right time.

So instead of letting your brain get distracted while doing an important task, determine in your day plan the time to relax your brain. This will not only give you the opportunity to relax, but also increase productivity. After all, your brain will rush to complete the task in order to get rest as soon as possible.

2. Unsubscribe from mailing lists

It is simple and important. Email often tries to sell a person what he does not need. Endless mailings from stores like Lamoda and Wildberries, where you have been purchased one or more times, come to the email. Letters pop up and distract. You spend time closing a notification and viewing an incoming message.

Today, all mailing lists have quick unsubscribe functionality at the end of each letter. Click there right now.

3. Buy a watch and an alarm clock

You already realized that a smartphone is evil. According to statistics, Russians devote about a third of their free time to Internet communication on the phone. In Britain, young people check the status of the gadget 85 times a day. 150 times in the USA and Australia.

The surefire way to reduce the number of moments of being with the phone in your hands is to limit its capabilities. To do this, buy a simple watch and use it only to check the time. Set a real push-button or electronic alarm clock to get to work, but do not bring gadgets to the bedroom.

4. Uninstall applications

The radical method. Determine which apps on your smartphone or tablet are most distracting. For example, you are constantly thinking about Instagram. Remove it while you work. Now you can check this social network only through a browser, where the functionality is very limited. This method will definitely reduce the number of constant views of the tape. When you complete the task, install Instagram again.

5. Clean the desktop

Is your monitor dotted with files that are too “important” to be deleted? Overcome yourself and structure all unnecessary. You do not have to drag documents directly into the trash. Move some of the data to cloud storage or a separate folder.

If your computer is full of useless digital junk, try using applications such as CCleaner. The program itself will analyze the contents of the device’s memory and offer to get rid of a list of files, the absence of which you will not notice.

Turning on your computer and not seeing all the trash on your desktop is a great way to start the day and stop being distracted.

6. Choose the right music for the job.

Many people use headphones when they want to concentrate on working at a computer, especially if this happens in a public place. But think about what exactly you are listening to. Modern music services, for example, Yandex.Music, offer excellent track lists for concentration. You can find compositions where white noise is combined with slow instrumental melodies.

7. Click carefully

Think carefully before clicking on the link or sharing the news. Gossip pollutes the tape. If you read and share them, then also give them fame.

Many world news make you feel despair, disappointment and anger. Try to ignore them. It's not about living in information isolation, but about the fact that a person does not always need to know all the details. Less silly articles and videos on your daily routine are a good step to stop being distracted.

8. Create a schedule of work and rest

Many of us have calendars and planners where work meetings, organizational meetings, and other office life events are celebrated. This helps not to be late, to set goals and to keep abreast of things for a week or a month.

But what about vacation planning? Put things you need to relax and calm down: meditation, meeting friends, breaks in work, reading, exercise.

If necessary, make a schedule of visits to social networks and news portals.

9. Save interesting things online

The network really comes across something worthwhile and useful. The correct information must be consumed. But when you read constantly and spontaneously - even the most interesting turns into a harmful distraction.

If you stumbled upon good material or received a link to it from colleagues or friends, save it. There are special applications for this, for example, Pocket. It also allows you to return to articles in the place where you quit reading. The presence of such a program on a smartphone will help to carry a useful source of information and stop being distracted during work.

10. Download the meditation exercise app

The ability to meditate is one of the useful and powerful skills that will help change your own life. These days there are tons of programs that make meditation accessible, easy, and understandable. In such services, you can choose the duration of meditation and topics. You can meditate at short intervals while you are waiting for someone to meet or traveling by public transport. Original guides will help you not to be afraid of exercises and understand their effectiveness.

Meditation Apps:

• Headspace: Gu> iOS and for Android)
• Meditation and Sounds by Verv (For IOS and for Android)

The ability to observe oneself through meditation is the ability to look at distractions in a different way and react to them in a new way.

If you have a curious mind, that’s fine, be proud of it. But it is also useful to realize in time when you are distracted from something important.

A good concentration will help you calmly survive stressful conditions, work more productively and have more free time for your favorite hobbies and communication with loved ones.