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How to Deal with Distractions

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Man using phone while driving the car

In today’s interconnected world it’s really easy to get distracted. It’s one of the kryptonites of productivity.

Like the other day, I was reading an interesting article, clicked on a link, ended up watching a YouTube video, watched another video, researched something on Wikipedia and before I knew it I lost 30 minutes of my time.

That’s not even that bad… I’ve seen friends who struggle even more when you account all the phone calls, text messages, push notifications etc that derail them.

So what can you do?

Another Asian Efficiency reader asked me the same thing. Here’s an email we got from Sam who asked me what to do about it:

“Hi guys,

The distractions of emails, phone calls, texting (work-related) interruptions and unexpected emergencies that come up throughout the day are always an issue. Any advice?

Sam, New York City”

We get this question all the time – how do you deal with distractions? Like Sam hinted, distractions come in many different shapes and forms. The best way to address this is by having a standard way of handling each type of distraction.

Each type of a distraction needs its own unique approach. The way you handle email is very different than a co-worker who interrupts you.

One tip is to setup the logistics before distractions can occur. What we mean with this is that there are a lot of things you can do that will prevent distractions from grabbing your attention. For example, you can wear headphones which will reduce the chance of being interrupted.

An undervalued approach is to elevate your energy level. Have you ever noticed that you were most susceptible to distractions when your energy levels were low? When we feel sub-optimal and have trouble staying focused, that’s when we get easily distracted. On the other hand, when you feel good and energized, you’re less likely to get distracted.

There are so many things you can do to address distractions but the fastest way is to implement the techniques we reveal in the AE Primer. We’ll show you exactly how to combat each type of distraction.

Asian Efficiency Primer

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1 Comment

Posted by Alexandra  | June 30, 2016 at 8:48AM | Reply

It took me some time to understand that not everything that happens around me needs my immediate response. I am ok now to set my status on Do not disturb, dive into my work and deal with everything later, but years ago, this was a fantasy.

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