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Actions Against Distractions: Do You Have a Game Plan?

Actions Against DistractionsAlmost half a decade ago, the term distraction-addicted society was discussed in the press .   Unfortunately, the situation has not improved for leaders and staff alike. In fact, it has gotten worse. Most recently, it is reported that Americans use electronic media more than 11 hours per day. This includes watching television, listening to the radio, and using smart phones.

Some questions leaders and managers need to address are:

-To what degree are needless distractions providing a significant barrier to your and your staff’s productivity?

-How much is distraction costing your business or department in missed opportunities, needless mistakes, or neglect of professional commitments?

As a leader or business owner, you can improve profitability and decrease stress when you take conscious and systematic action against the major distractions that interfere with effective time and task management. You need a game plan to reduce the time you waste due to overuse of social media, information gathering, or binge watching.  There are practical, research-based strategies to help you deal with common distractions that plague you and interfere with your productivity and profitability.

First identify how distraction interferes with your responsibilities. What are the consequences? Are you neglecting record keeping, marketing, networking, or writing activities?

Second, identify the specific distractions that rob you of the time and energy you need to become more profitable. For example, do you distract yourself by surfing the Internet or talking/texting until all hours of the night? To what degree are you binge-watching and waking up exhausted and stressed?

Actions Against Distractions-2Make a game plan to take action.  For example:

-Create boundaries for at least some portion of the day to allow for creativity and think time. If someone asks, “Do have a minute?” say, “I wish I did, but not right now. Let’s schedule something for later.”

-Impose an Electronic Lockdown: turn off or silence all equipment except the one you need to accomplish the task-at-hand.

-Put on an alarm to help you “Shut off the TV!”
-Use an automatic shut down command on your TV, radio, or phone.

If you are a leader, a few distractions may be managed easily. However, constant distractions can lead to feeling overwhelmed, irritable, and ineffective. Better management of distractions, however, spurs greater productivity, creativity, and profitability—while lessening stress.
Be on the defense and get a game plan to defeat your personal demons of distraction.

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