If being a yarnpreneur is your side hustle, you have to make the most of all the moments you have to work on your business. But if you finally get time to work and then you’re contstantly getting distracted, it’s hard to do that.
In this article we’ll discuss ways to avoid distractions while you’re working, so you can be as productive as possible when you’re working.
The first place we usually find distractions is in our environment. Working with the TV blaring, the kids running around, or the phone demanding our attention, is not optimal for avoiding distraction.
Recognizing that your environment is working against you is the first step to removing or minimizing that distraction. Everyone works best in different spaces, so it’s all a matter of finding what works for you… and is accessible.
For example, if you have young kids, it may be harder for you to find time to work without also having to oversee the kids’ activities.
No matter your environment or situation, there are always ways you can minimize outside distractions and make the experience more productive.
Here are some examples and ideas:
Create a home office space, where you can close the door!
Work at a cafe, library, or co-working space.
Designate certain hours for working and make sure the TV is off, the phone is down, and everyone else knows not to interrupt you!
Once we’ve optimized our environment to remove distractions, the next thing we can take a look at is the elements in our surroundings.
If you’re working with your current exciting WIP next to you all day… you’re bound to want to pick it up.
We all have different “triggers” that will pull us away from the work at hand. Again, recognition is the first step to figuring out how to minimize or eliminate the distraction.
For me, I have to work where I can’t see anything that might get in the way of my focus. The iPad is put away, the phone is silenced, and I put my current read on the shelf behind me, out of sight.
Be conscious of the triggers that might get in your way throughout your work session. Remove or minimize them as necessary.
There might also be things you’ll want to see, that motivate you or help you focus.
I like to have a candle burning on my desk, as I find that soothing. I also have my favorite artwork on the wall in front of me, and many of my pieces contain inspiring or beautiful quotes that help me focus when my eyes wander!
The last type of distraction might be the hardest to overcome with willpower alone… the computer black-hole of distraction!
For most of us, a good amount of our work is done on the computer. That means we have access not only to the tools we need to accomplish our work, but all the time-sucking sites as well!
When was the last time you went on Facebook “just to check something”? Or popped into your email just to see what was new? Or gasp turned Netflix on while you worked?
These distractions, and many more, live just a few clicks away while we’re working.
So how do we put a stop to this type of distraction?
There are a few solutions to our technology troubles. (Thankfully technology has provided a solution for our technology problems. Ironic, right?)
First option: turn off your wi-fi.
Some of our tasks can be completed without wi-fi. Formatting a pattern in Word, photography edits, etc; these can all be done without our fickle friend, wi-fi.
If you really need wi-fi for your tasks, there are apps to “shut off” the distracting ones.
For example, I use 1Focus on my Mac to block both distracting apps and websites. Not only will it not let you access whatever you deem distracting, but you can actually create presets for different activities. For example, when I’m planning social media posts it’s highly likely that I’ll need Facebook. So my ‘writing’ preset (which blocks everything but my writing app) is very different from my ‘content planning’ preset.
I’ve found this extremely useful for saving me from myself while I’m trying to get work done.
I’ve also found that this system promotes good focus habits, and it turns out that even when I’m without the app or I haven’t turned it on, I have an easier time of focusing on what I’m doing!
Other similar options (for other operating systems) include:
I haven’t tested any of these, but I would experiment to find one that works for you and your devices.
After working on your environment, your elements and triggers, and your tech distractions, you’ll most likely have created the ultimate distraction-free environment!
Of course, nothing is perfect and there might be days where you just can’t seem to focus at all, or days where your environment is working against you. When that happens, learn to be flexible.