We make plans and schedule events into our calendars, but at the end of the week, find that we missed accomplishing all that we set out to do.  What happened to all the time we had?  We all get the same 168 hours each week, but why do some people have no problem hitting their goals while others struggle to cross one item off their to-do list?  Distractions.  Your cell phones, computers, tablets, and TVs are huge distractions that we need to manage.  Here are my top 3 ways to avoid distractions.

Find Your Time
We all have specific times of the day in which we perform best.  For me, it’s morning time.  I like to get up early usually around 5 am and spend time alone either writing for my own blog or catching up on other blogs. I get up before anyone else is moving and enjoy the silence and the time to focus on my own thing.  It’s the same thing I used to do as a child.  Growing up with two older brothers meant chaos in the house, but in the early morning hours, after my father left for work, the house was quiet and I would go downstairs, sit on the floor in a corner and read.  It was my time and the only quiet time I could get in that house.  But when I was in High School, I thought I was a night owl, not a morning lark.  I stayed up late doing homework and watching TV and then struggled each morning trying to wake up.  I kept at this horrible schedule for several years, sleeping through the most productive time of day for me and then slogging through the rest of the day.  It wasn’t until I was introduced to morning pages that I started getting up early again.  And once started, I haven’t stopped.

Turn It Off
Once I found my productive time, I needed to protect it.  And the first thing I did was establish some ground rules with my husband.  He knows that my morning quiet time is important and respects it—and it helps that he hates getting up early. This was my time to write or read without the sounds of the TV or the distractions of cell phones or computers.  When I’m writing, I write the old-fashioned way, pen to paper.  No need for the computer until I’m ready to start putting it into the blog. On the days that I’m catching up with other blogs, while I need the computer, there is still no TV during this time.  It’s basically writing or reading time for me.

This might be harder for anyone who finds they work better in the afternoon or evening—when your family is also up and active.  You will still need to set ground rules, you need to gain commitment from your family to respect your time and you’ll need to find a place (like your bedroom or an office,) that takes you away from most of the noise.  At times when there are other noises in the house, I put my headset on and listen to something like the Creative Mind System by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson. No lyrics to distract me.  Just music that is both calming and conducive to my creativity.

Plan In “Fire-Drill” Time
This is important.  We can plan out all we want to in our calendars, but if we’re not setting aside time for the unexpected, then we are the creators of our own problems.  What are you going to do with your goals if you have to spend 4 hours in the emergency room because your child sprained an ankle?  What if you forgot a special birthday or anniversary and need to run out to do some shopping?  Where are your plans for writing or crafting or studying then?

What does that look like in a calendar?  It’s really about planning ahead.  Your calendar for today can’t include something that is due today (or even tomorrow.)  If you are a blogger, that means your posts really should be scheduled out at least a week in advance.  How can you meet a deadline of tomorrow if you have nothing written and an emergency comes up?  But the follow-through is also important.  And this is something that I’m sometimes guilty of….if this week, you write next week’s post, then you have to keep going.  Don’t stop and think you’re good for a week and don’t have to worry about writing anything for the rest of this week.  Just continue on with the plan, follow the schedule in your calendar.  Stay ahead and then you can weather the emergencies and last minute to-do’s as they come up.

I hope these help you and I’ve love to hear about other ways that you use to avoid distractions.

My top 3 Ways to Avoid Distractions on UnfoldAndBegin.com