10 Distractions that Destroy Productivity: The WRONG Advice

Are You Sabotaging Yourself?

Expert Authors face a fast, competitive atmosphere. Simply finding the time to write while balancing personal and professional priorities is an enormous challenge. Compound that with overcoming pesky distractions and you’re in for an uphill battle.

Here’s a tough point most people will not easily admit: You are the cause of the majority of your distractions.

While distractions like texts, notifications, email, and more may come from others, you choose when, where, and how you react and engage with the distractions. It’s not too late! You can reclaim your power over distractions.

Take a look at the list of distractions below and see how many you can relate to. If the number is overwhelming, it’s time you took a closer look and deal with them in a way that suits your priorities.

WARNING: Each point below is written from the perspective of the wrong advice. It’s delivered tongue in cheek to provide a humorous view of self-induced distractions. I hope they make you smile because I know I’ve been guilty of a few of these excuses. Let us know which ones you’re guilty of too!

10 Distractions that Destroy Productivity: The WRONG Advice

Turn On All Electronic Devices

  • Email/Internet: Maintain a non-stop connection to the Internet while you’re writing for news updates and constant idea generation. Also, avoid scheduling specific times to check your email – it’s far too important to respond to each message straight away. Be the ultimate multitasker, don’t neglect email or the Internet!
     
  • Phone Calls/Text Messages: Never risk letting a caller go straight to voicemail. Even if you’re on a great track in your writing, you should make time to chit chat with friends and brush up on your texting skills while you’re brainstorming. It won’t bust your productivity too much and it’s better to respond to others quickly to keep them engaged in conversation. Keep your phone on at all times.
     
  • Television: With so many great shows on TV and streaming media channels, how can you possibly keep up with it all? Tune to your favorite programs and have them play in the background while you’re writing! It will ultimately save time because you’re multi-tasking! Challenge yourself to concentrate on your writing and what’s going on in the show you’re watching. Take a seat on the couch, write, and take in all the drama of the entertainment world at once!
     
  • Video Games: Playing video games or apps on your smartphone can be soothing. Take a break from writing by grabbing a controller and get lost in fantasy or the latest app saga with a truly hands-on experience. Your writing can wait. You can get back to work once you complete the next level or the one after that.

Be at the Beck and Call of Relationships

  • Friends: Your friends need your full attention. Try to make plans with them while you’re thinking about your next set of articles. Do they want to drop by during your scheduled writing session? No problem! It’s good to interact with others when you’re trying to focus. Casually talk about current events and controversial topics to get your mind racing and to make the room more tense.
     
  • Neighbors/Surprise Visits: We’ve divorced ourselves so much from face-to-face communication these days due to technology. Encourage your neighbors to visit as they please! You never know when you’re going to have company over, so have the kettle and a few homemade goodies ready. Don’t ignore knocks at the door because you’re busy – you can pick up where you left off with your writing.
     
  • Pets: To most pet owners, these loyal and adorable animals are like family. Include your pets in your writing sessions. Isn’t it adorable the way your cat sits on your keyboard? How hilarious is your dog’s latest tail-chasing antics? Never let your pet think your office is off-limits; after all, they want to be near you and get updates on dinner. Take frequent breaks to give them attention.

Let It All Go

  • Physical Condition: Turn discomfort into opportunity! Being too comfortable while you’re working will put you to sleep. You need to feel agitated, hungry, tired, and shift constantly in your seat if you want to be alert. Let the motivation to relieve the discomfort – eat, sleep, or straighten out your back – drive you to finish your work faster.
     
  • Environment: If you’re the type to be distracted by a little dust or coffee stain, by all means – take the time to thoroughly clean your workspace. You need the absolute cleanest environment for any type of writing. When you see an opportunity to organize, dust or vacuum, be sure to take it! Alternately, if your workspace is so messy that you can’t find your outlines or notes, let it go and don’t worry about organizing the space! You can let your memory do it’s work or perform the research over again.
     
  • Procrastination: It’s necessary to put things off from time to time. You need to mull over an idea because the longer you put off writing, the more powerful your ideas will become as they mature in your mind. Throw out your calendar and avoid a schedule. Take your time and wait until tomorrow, or the next day. You’ll get around to it!

DISCLAIMER: Do not follow the advice given above – in fact, do the exact opposite! Think about the distractions you specifically struggle with. If you recognize and understand how harmful these can be to your productivity, you will have a chance at success. Remember, you can do things as you’ve always done them and get the same results. Or break the pattern, step it up, and focus on your writing by eliminating distractions. The path you take is up to you! Are you guilty of any of the above self-induced distractions? Do you have solutions to drive away distractions? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

21 Comments »


1
Marie maille writes:

How very observant! Guilty as charged I’m afraid!

Comment provided October 21, 2013 at 9:49 AM

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2
Bellaisa writes:

Funny, I was checking my email for the fifth time today (I’ve been up for one hour!), which is why I came to this article. It just happens to be the first point! I’ve been working on my focus because I find that complete focus allows me to get at least three times as much done. Very important.

Comment provided October 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM

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3
wayne writes:

I can relate to so many points in this article. I always check my e-mail maybe 10 times a day and is regularly on my phone to check messages. Time to get my priorities straight.

Comment provided October 21, 2013 at 10:23 AM

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4
BJ writes:

Lol, I was on my way to take care of laundry, then walk. However, I left my email up and had to check it, only to find I am distracting myself once again! Thanks for the humorous help – best kind there is!

Comment provided October 21, 2013 at 11:17 AM

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5
Jarvis Emerald writes:

This may or may not be the case. A recent Article I read suggests that Day-Dreaming or Wondering is our “default” mode. If we are or become dis-engaged, we go off to La la land. Studies suggest 1/3 of our life, 2000 times / day and 14 min per time is spent in “default” mode.

So, These so called distractions, MAY be ways we are actually trying to stay “engaged” and not the problem. Some MAY be using the distractions as an escape into La La land. But, it is a natural state.

Or is it? I would like to suggest that why you are posting this article is to help followers stay engaged with their purpose of writing. The only problem is the motivation. Why are they writing? To what end. Daily Articles are difficult to write, because they require Experience and Life to be considered effective or good / valuable. It’s difficult or impossible to tech a lesson or guide your followers if you don’t have something of value based on experience to offer.

So here’s my suggestion, Consider that MOST people are Asleep, even while awake. We have all heard on being “Enlightened”, which is not being asleep. In order to remain “enlightened once there, takes ritual practice…I mean Intent behind your actions and words…one might say prayerfully. Being informed about our disillusions helps to motivate us from “falling back asleep” and writing with right intention. Reading with proper intent allows for this. Ensure you are reading with selflessness and intent to enlighten with regards to patterns within the path you take reading and understanding. Continual Daily self inventory helps this.

A Realization I personally had and believe, is having watched articles be recycled over time, is there really isn’t anything NEW out there. SO I wasn’t going to “miss” anything. Only if I wasn’t “regularly” following or reading with right intent, I would miss it and my EGO would just be reacting.

Get up every morning, with the intent to Add value to the Internet Consciousness, if that’s what you would like to call it – Understanding that you will add to the “Enlightenment” and progress to wards uncovering the truth that has been hidden in confusion, and be a part of the positive direction of our Collective Consciousness. Be a moderator / filter of Bull-loney :) The reward will be there.

Comment provided October 21, 2013 at 12:13 PM

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Great points, Jarvis! Thank you for your contribution to the post!

~Vanessa

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6
Jamie writes:

THANK YOU for this article. Boy did I need reminding of all that stuff. And reading these tips as negative advice really clarified how the voice in my own head does not always steer me true. Ok, getting back to work now (although this was a fun and informative distraction)!

Comment provided October 21, 2013 at 1:19 PM

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7

Well said.

Comment provided October 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM

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8
Jesse writes:

So you environment should be messy? You should fall asleep in it?

Comment provided October 21, 2013 at 5:02 PM

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9
Randall Magwood writes:

It’s so hard for me to NOT watch TV while i’m doing my article writing. I call this a pleasurable distraction though lol.

Comment provided October 21, 2013 at 8:05 PM

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10
Gracious Store writes:

All sources of modern communications on their own are all sources of huge distractions. However good these media outlets and sources are, you need a lot of discipline to keep their usage under control. You have to control how often you check you emails, how long your TV is on, how long you stay on the phone, and so on. If you don’t control all these means of communications, you cannot be focused nor do anything meaningful.

Comment provided October 21, 2013 at 10:33 PM

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11
Sunil Chadha writes:

absolutely wrong advice may be destroy of your productivity or business. thanks for sharing great advice.

Comment provided October 22, 2013 at 1:54 AM

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12
du hoc nhat ban writes:

How very observant! Guilty as charged I’m afraid! :(

Comment provided October 22, 2013 at 11:10 AM

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13
Elmer writes:

Great site :D I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more posts.

Comment provided October 23, 2013 at 4:22 AM

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14
Salihu S Dikko writes:

I am grossly affected with these 10 distractions that destroy productivity, which obviously brings about my procrastination or stepping aside for some times. It is not my intention to find my self in such a situation, but it is just that I can not help it or avoid it. In my own case, power failures and most times inactive internet service in my area discourages me and I feel like not doing anything again, regarding writing or going internet. Most times, we remain without power for days or even weeks. But, today I am happy to read, how frequent some people do visit internet every day. I pray we have steady power supply so that I do same too.

Comment provided October 27, 2013 at 5:42 PM

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15

I definitely need to get an office. I have finally admit that I cannot “work” from home and avoid all the distractions.

Comment provided October 28, 2013 at 9:26 AM

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16
Marie writes:

Great article that I’m sharing with my colleagues! (I needed it)

THANK YOU for posting it!

Comment provided October 31, 2013 at 3:52 PM

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17
Kendrick writes:

What’s up, I check your blogs on a regular basis. Your humoristic style is awesome,
keep doing what you’re doing!

Comment provided November 5, 2013 at 6:40 PM

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18
Mike Andrews writes:

I would love to have my own office. This would give me the feeling of going into work mode. However as I don’t have my own office perhaps I should put a notice on by door politely requesting people not to disturb. I’ve seen that done in colleges when there are examinations.

Comment provided November 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM

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19
Andra writes:

This post iss priceless. How can I find out more?

Comment provided November 11, 2013 at 9:37 PM

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20
Karleen Lindsey writes:

This is just too funny because it’s so true! And frustrating.

I would say, though, that my biggest distraction problem is my elderly mother living with me, me being single. She is hard of hearing so has to have the TV turned up loud and there is no where in the house to go to be able to focus on writing and thinking.

The way to work around that is to stay up after she goes to bed and get up early before she gets up. It’s the only quiet time in my house and the only time I can really be productive.

But, hey, we do what we have to to get the work done. My second biggest distraction is the email thing and getting sidetracked by something I’ve just read that leads me to something else I want to read. THAT I’ll have to work on in the new year!

Thanks for the tongue in cheek post! :-)

Comment provided December 31, 2013 at 10:55 AM

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