How to Stop Getting Distracted
The Simple Trick I Use to Beat Distraction and Be More Focused
Distraction is deadly. Though, getting distracted now is more common than ever before. Furthermore, the demand for focus is greater now than ever before. So, how can you regain focus in a distracting world? This is a simple trick I use to stop distraction and focus on what I should be doing instead.
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Last night I posted a story on my Instagram explaining how I’ve discovered some magical solution to getting distracted. Let’s face it, we all get distracted and have our attention taken away from what we should be doing. Right now, in this century, the most important characteristic to have is focus.
It’s what employers are looking for, so it’ll make you more hireable, it’s what allows you to get more work done and get better grades, it’s what allows you to have clarity and comfort within your own life to get more done and achieve great things. Focus.
What’s this trick that I discovered last night that removes distractions?
Let me explain.
I remember in the midst of my studio 6 project thinking “right! I’ve got 8 days to go and have 6 weeks of work to catch up on. I’m going to leave my phone in another room, I’m closing all other programs and I’m not going to get distracted. But first… I should clean my desk. But first, I should check my university emails. I should take the trash out. I should have something to eat.” Yaddi yaddi yadda.
Even when we know we have to work without distraction – we sometimes just can’t pull ourselves to it.
What I did was this…
I said no – I’m not going to clean my desk. That’s the first step – to say no to the distraction. It’s very much a habit you need to develop over time from doing it more and more. Say no and your willpower will get stronger.
That’s something worth noting too – you need to know what you’re actually getting distracted from. We might know that we need to do our studio 6 project. But, what does that actually involve? It might be worth initially investing 5 minutes of your time to figure that out and create a plan for yourself before getting stuck into it. It’s like the analogy I often use where we tend to do busy work instead of what’s important. It’s like we’re running on a treadmill, when you need to step off of that and go run towards the finish line.
Know what you need to do by creating a plan and schedule.
Anyways, this is the trick I did.
I got my phone and set an alarm for 1 hour. I put that phone in the room next to me – on do not disturb mode of course – and got to work.
Quite often we say, “okay, no distractions, let’s go.” And we end up getting distracted like before. That’s because we don’t know how long we should be working without distraction for.
By setting an alarm for 1 hour, it constantly reminds me for that hour that I can’t get distracted until I hear that alarm go off.
What made me think of this was that I was cooking up some frozen chippies in the oven. I warmed up the oven and put the chips in to cook them. I knew that they’d take about 20-30 minutes, so I went upstairs to do some work.
I sat down and worked pretty unproductively for 6 minutes and thought “Hmm. I wonder if the chips are done?”
I ran downstairs, opened up the oven and saw that, they were still as cold as anything.
I ran back upstairs, continued to work… for 5 minutes. Then ran back downstairs to check them. Yup. You guessed it. Still bloody raw.
I went back upstairs, disheartened. And while I was working – all I could think about was, are the chips done?
It was taking my attention.
This went on for the next 30 minutes. Back and forth, getting no work done. I thought, “what am I doing? I’ve just wasted 30 minutes on a task that should have taken none of my attention”.
The next time I put some chippies in the oven, I set an alarm for 26 minutes. I went upstairs. And I worked for the next 26 minutes – in fact the alarm started going off and I was that focussed that I continued to work for another 2 minutes before running downstairs.
Long story short, by setting an alarm for 1 hour when you work, by knowing that you’re working towards an end, you can work undistracted for that entire hour as you know there’s nowhere else you need to be and nothing else you need to do. It’s just you and your work for 3600 seconds and no distractions. At the end of the hour, you can have a 5-minute break, and then set that alarm again.
I encourage you to give this a go. Let me know down in the comments that you’ll try it and then come back in an hour and let us know how it went. Did you successfully work for 1 hour? Maybe only 45 minutes? I guess there’s only one way to find out if it works.
- 15 Must Have Tools for Architecture Students: https://youtu.be/9fdUM7Ar-ZA
- The 7 DEADLIEST Mistakes Architecture Students Make: https://youtu.be/OrS7NCtrlTc
- Why Do Architecture Students Drop Out?: https://youtu.be/EGwYvcRBJCQ
- 7 Tips for Studying Architecture – The Secret Habits of Successful Architecture Students: https://youtu.be/BaIpQStsZK8
- Get access to your FREE online architecture course! 70 Hacks for Archi Students
- Check out other episodes of the Successful Archi Student’s podcast!
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