How To Free Yourself from Distractions

Why do I only feel most motivated in the middle of the night? There aren’t any distractions. It’s quiet. Everybody I talk to is asleep. No matter how many times I refresh Instagram or Twitter, there is no new content.

The next question? Why am I unable to push those distractions aside during the day to focus on work?

I feel this need to be up-to-date all the time. It’s not even important, but I need to be caught up on all my notifications and social media feeds. I need to respond to all my texts because the notification bubble drives me crazy.

Would you say this is an addiction? I don’t think so. It’s not as if when a deadline is nearing I don’t shut everything out and work on completing the task or assignment. I get it done, but why do I do it at the last possible minute when I have the power to not do so?

Procrastination has accompanied me for much of my time as a student. In fact, it has never actually left my side. Now, I can plan all the tasks I need to do, but there’s no telling if I’ll actually follow it.

Instead of being unproductive and unmotivated during the business and distractions of the day, I want to learn to work within it. Instead of getting rid of the distractions, I’m going to try and work with them.

Does this sound like it’s going to work? Probably not, but here is what I’m going to try:

1. PRIORITIZE VALUE

What matters? What doesn’t?

This first step will help me understand the work I’m doing – blog posts, homework, self-learning – has way more value than checking my notifications or being focused on other distractions.

Basically, I need a reality check.

2. LEARN SELF-CONTROL

I’ve always been skeptical of those browser extensions that block your access to social media pages for x amount of time. I always thought they would render useless since I’d still have the power to turn the timer off. But, I’m a little desperate right now to be productive, so I’m going to give it a shot.

For all you Chrome users, I’m going to use the Block Site extension. If you have a different extension you think works better, please let me know in the comments.

3. PLAN IT OUT

I know I just said planning is useless if you don’t follow through with the plan, but I’m going to plan how and when to work during the day. For example, if I’m at home, I’ll allow myself an hour of work followed by a half-hour break. It’s like the action-reward method I mentioned in my post about balancing work and school.

The ultimate end goal is to eliminate steps two and three. Just prioritizing value should be, and will be enough for me to get things done. To work within the distractions. To kick procrastination’s ass and be damn productive.

Do you find yourself in somewhat as the same boat as me? How do you plan to work within all the distractions of the day?


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