I’ve been working from my home office for more than 10 years. I know there can be so many distractions all around you. Phone calls, laundry, scrolling, Amazon deliveries. Now add a pandemic with a side of quarantine to that and you have homeschooling, endless conference calls, meal prep, the list seems to be longer than ever before and so are the distractions. No matter how focused you are, some days, it’s hard not to get distracted. Life can sometimes get in the way of meeting the goals you have set for the day, but it doesn’t have to derail you. Here is my result driven tips to avoid distractions and how to stay on track, no matter what else is happening around you. Let’s go!

1. Get F+C+C+O!
I LOVE word formulas and this formula stands for FOCUS+CLARITY+COMMIT+ORGANIZE = NO DISTRACTIONS. It’s easier to focus if you’re not distracted by the small, daily tasks. Get clear on what needs to be done and commit to a daily routine of preparing for the next day and deciding what to wear, what to have for lunch, and the other necessary things that are part of your routine. Once you are organized take action. Don’t forget to schedule some movement time… turn your yard, garage, patio, or living room into that home gym you’ve always wanted and got moving! When I can release endorphins, it helps me to stay focused when I am back in work mode

Examples: I like to work in chunks of time. I set a timer for 90 minutes, no calls, I turn my phone face down and all notifications are off, or I put my phone on DND; no scrolling just focused work. When the timer goes off. I take a break, scroll, eat, return calls. I might even go for a walk. Then I return to my next round of chunking. I try to get in 3 CHUNKS a day!

It can help to get organized for your week on a Sunday evening. For example, have all your “work clothes” (yoga pants) clean and pressed and ready to wear. You might even consider a minimalist work wardrobe of similar garments to mix and match. You can also bulk cook and freeze meals so that you don’t even think about suppers during the week.

There are just so many things, you don’t like to do, you don’t want to do but they require you to do them. THOSE are the tasks you must tackle first. Do the tough things first and get them done! You can free up a lot of mental energy by putting the difficult tasks and decisions at the top of your to-do list. Do the hardest tasks when your brain is still fresh first thing in the morning, then you can get on with your day without the nagging dread at the back of your mind.

You might be surprised to hear that fatigue can be a distraction. If your energy is low, you won’t be performing at your best, so make sure you take regular breaks. You know you are stuck when you are feeling depressed, anxious, sad, hopeless, and angry. I could go on and on. I’m not saying pretend those feelings don’t exist. I am saying keep your energy high!! Get out of the office (home office) and get some fresh air. Eat your lunch in the park and give your eyes a break from looking at a screen. Eat lots of fresh foods and stay hydrated by keeping a water pitcher on your desk.

What I mean by that is everything is not a priority and if it is, you must learn to manage them. Chances are, many of the requests you get during the day don’t deserve to be your top priority and can distract you from your core goals. Instead of responding straight away, decide on how urgent the request is in the bigger scheme of things. Do you really need to answer that email now? Learn to prioritize requests and respond accordingly.

… and keep your eye on it! Hold your vision! There are so many distractions in modern life that it can be easy to lose sight of what you want to achieve. Whether it’s a dream board, a mission statement, or a post-it note on your computer, have a visual reminder of what you’re working toward. Check-in every day to see how you’re tracking and make sure you keep a line of sight on your big goal. I like to set BIG goals for each day which usually begins with my to-do list. Look at that list with 3-5 items as the PRIZE then do something special for yourself to celebrate.