How to Get Rid of Distractions?


Get rid of distractions while preparing

Work is hard, Distractions are plentiful and time is short.

For making your dreams come into reality, while dedication is important, what is of more importance is getting rid of distractions. Our lifetime is made of various seconds, minutes and hours, with this in mind, wasting some time here and there does not seem much to us as we are very much used to procrastinate things and we know that we have a lot of time in hand to do the work later. Well, this is the biggest lie that the world tells us and we also tend to repeat quite often to get away with some important work.

What we all forget is that these silly excuses more often than not destroy our life and give the others around us an opportunity to take over the steering wheel and take our dreams and make them theirs. So the only way to accomplish greatness in life and not let the others run over your aspirations is get rid of these distractions that act as a hurdle in your path of success.

While statistics show that distractions cause a lack in productivity, it almost seems impossible to get rid of them given that they have been so deeply rooted inside each of us. Checking our cell phones from time to time, going through social media and starting a little chit chat with someone is like a daily norm which we can’t seem to avoid. Well, in this article we shall discuss ways in which you can overcome these distractions. First we need to understand why we get distracted.

What is distraction?

Distraction is basically a process which diverts the attention of an individual or a group from a desire focus area, in turn blocking or diminishing the acceptance of necessary information. The Cambridge Dictionary defines distraction as ‘something that prevents someone from giving their attention to something else’.

We hope now you know what distraction is, now sit for some time and write down about the various distractions that are there in your lives. We shall one by one tackle each one and know how we can get rid of these distractions.

Why we get distracted?

In our daily lives, we all get distracted, sometimes by past memories, a future event and most of the times by an uncalled work which is for someone. While on the upper level, this is distractions, when you analyse the deeper levels you understand that we get distracted when we let our thoughts control our actions.

Every time we focus on something, it uses a measurable amount of glucose and other metabolic resources. Studies have shown that each successive task makes you less effective at the next one, especially if you are doing high energy tasks. So with all the exhaustion, the body looks for something to feel good, this may be an idea, a thought or an activity which makes your brain happy. All this happens in a split second, losing sight of the task that we are at the moment involved in, before you know your brain takes over and distraction has taken its toll. You are either busy playing a game, busy scanning through social media posts or anything that makes you happy.

Get rid of distractions:

In order to get rid of distractions, we first need to understand the various causes of distractions. Distraction is caused by two simple factors: internal and external.

Internal factors: When the distraction happens within us, it is an internal factor. It is a result of our thoughts, feelings and emotions.

External factors: When the distraction is not created within us but due to some external source, it is known as external distraction. It usually occurs through the people, environment or objects around us.

We hope all of you have made a list of distractions inn your life and now we shall discuss each in detail, finding ways in which it can be tackled. Some students list of distraction may be long while for some it may be short, but summed up in one the three reasons for distractions are:

  1. People : When you are sitting for an important work, either your mom calls you for some work, a friend calls you for some problem, your office mate may start discussing her life with you or somebody would want your help. Well, in this case most of the time one tends to get distracted as you are afraid that not calling to that person’s call may make that person sad and angry at you. So even if you are too focused in what you are reading, you tend to get distracted.

The solution to tackle this sought of problem is:

Before you sit to study or do your important work, inform all the people around you that they should not disturb you.

Despite the warning if they call you, try to avoid them.

If you cannot ignore, then make a note of where you were in the work and mentally prepare your brain that immediately after the work is done, you will get back to your seat and complete the work.

  1. Phone: The second distraction is the phone and the various apps that you have installed in it. We have forgotten that ‘a phone is a tool that works for you and not against you’. To avoid the distractions from phone, these small tips can help you :
  • Delete the unnecessary apps: All the apps you need are readily available on play store or apple store, so instead of keeping the apps that you do not use, deleted them and if you feel you need them then reinstall them for free.
  • Turn off the notifications: Every time you sit to study, either you phone starts to vibrate or some notification is received. This hampers your concentration and distorts you, so turn off the notifications of the app. In the settings section of each phone is an option to turn off the notification of all the apps that you have installed on your phone, choose all the social media apps and turn off the notification for each. These days there are apps also available for the same purpose.
  • Turn off the Wi-Fi & Cellular Data: Instead of being available all the time, set timings in which you will be answering mails and replying to messages. Other than that time switch off your mobile data or Wi-Fi to avoid any distractions.
  • Organize your apps: Instead of haphazardly keeping your apps, keep them organized so that you do not waste time in finding the useful apps.

While these are some specific tips that we believe will help, you can also use some other methods to avoid distractions from phone.

  1. Internal

For any distraction, a thought is the first trigger, if the though this left to be escalated than you get distracted and end up wasting time which should otherwise be utilized for some important work. To tackle these thoughts all you have to do is manage yourself by saying inspirational things as ‘What you say is what you feel. So why not, choose to say good’.

  • Question yourself: Ask yourself if you have anything important to do at the particular moment, and if the answer is yes, do not let that thought grow into a distraction.
  • Manage where you sit: Whenever you sit to study make sure that you do not have anything around you that can remotely also contribute to your distraction.
  • Stay aware: Always be aware of what you are thinking and doing. As soon as you feel like you are getting distracted, pinch yourself or hurt yourself. This will trigger your brain not to think about that particular thing.

So internal thoughts though difficult to manage, cannot also be rid of through proper practice and meditation.

While these were some distractions that are very normal and we have seen how each can be easily be dealt with. Now however we shall discuss some general tips to avoid distractions.

Stay Focused:

These some small yet effective tips will help you in staying focused to your aim and not let little distractions divert you from your goals.

  1. Remove Temptations:

Distractions are nothing but a gateway to distractions. So if you avoid or remove the temptations, you will never be distracted. In order to do that all you have to do list down your temptations and form alternative habits for each. As discussed earlier, once you understand how much energy your brain is consuming in doing the particular task you will better understand the need for removing temptations. If your brain focuses on one thing that is in front of you, it consumes less effort, but if you have something extra going on at the side it will consume more energy. So the best thing to do is remove these temptations by switching off all your communication devices.

  1. Set Objectives:

Every day when you wake up, have a plan and set objectives for the day. These objectives will provide you a pathway and guide you through the day. Do not set too many objectives, as that too will again distract you, so start with just 3 things to do in a day and do them without any distractions. If you have lesser objectives, you will work with greater intention and your mind will be less likely to stray.

  1. Short Time Frame

Parkinson’s Law says that “work tends to expand to fill the time we have available for its completion. So for each task at hand, set smaller time frame for completion. The more time we give to a task, the more you are likely to get distracted as the extra time is usually filled by distractions. Our mind is wired to conserve as much energy as possible, so no matter how long a time period you give to a task, it will be completed in a short time frame and the brain will use up the rest of the time to use up energy to watch you tube video, play a game or scroll through social media. So setting a hard deadline will help you avoid distractions and amp up your productivity.

  1. Monitor your Timing

A Harvard study has shown that nearly 50% of our waking time is spent in thinking about random things and not about what we want to do. They key to avoid distractions and increase productivity is to keep track of your time and your mind. Monitor the time when your mind is getting distracted and brings its attention back by engaging is some useful activity.

While providing small time frame is important monitoring the time is also of utmost importance. One effective technique to monitor time is The “Pomodoro Method,” in which you set a timer and are completely focused on a task for a period of time, such as 45 minutes straight. Then allow yourself a 15-minute break.

  1. Get rid of stress

Stress also plays a major role in distraction. We often tend to sit to study with a lot of stress and mental baggage, this not only distracts us but also compromises on our productivity. So make sure you calm yourself down, get enough sleep and relax your mind in order to reduce the body’s stress response. You can also practice breathing exercise and mediation to break the cycle of stress and distraction.

We all are slave to distraction, but what we forget is no distraction will make things clear and visible. So while preparing for any exam or appearing in one ensure that you take over all your distractions and come out strong and productive. This will not only help you in clearing the exam with good marks but also ensure a bright future and a happy tomorrow.

We hope this article has helped the students in being focused. If you have any more queries please feel free to comment below. Until then we wish you all the very best for your preparation and hope you have a bright future.

Stay Safe and Stay healthy.

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