Taking a detour from distractions

June 9, 2016 By    
Photo credit: bark via DesignHunt / CC BY

Photo credit: bark via DesignHunt / CC BY

The world is full of distractions, and many of those distractions keep us from using our time wisely.

For example, the average person spends between one to 10 hours a week online. Is it any wonder that we find it difficult to accomplish any meaningful or productive work? Once we are distracted, it takes an average of 20 minutes to return to a task.

Cal Newport, author of “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World,” tells us that the No. 1 power tool for time management is the time block. He suggests that we isolate ourselves from all distractions for a certain period of time to do deep work. It is best to start small, perhaps with a one-hour time block. Multitasking, on the other hand, is a false belief that many of us have bought into. It may look impressive, but, in reality, multitasking is simply jumping from one subject to another, which causes mental exhaustion.

If you want to do deep work, learn to say “no” to nonessentials. We like to please others, so we accept almost every job that we are asked to do. Simply say “no” if you honestly can’t do it. It may create some awkwardness among your coworkers for a while, but it will be worth it in the long run. We do our best work when we bring the full power of concentration to it.

 

Ken Albrecht is president of Reliable Propane in Clarence Center, N.Y.


Photo credit: bark via DesignHunt / CC BY

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