28 Ways to Remove Distraction and Get Productive

  1. Close programs you aren't using
  2. Close web browser tabs you aren't using
  3. Paste links into a task note, then close the tab
  4. Save your work in the program, then close the program
  5. Auto-hide your taskbar or dock
  6. Remove icons from your desktop
  7. Ignore your email
  8. Move all paperwork to a central inbox
  9. Move all incoming electronic documents to an “inbox” folder
  10. Process your inboxes to empty once a night or once a week
  11. Create tasks for items in your inboxes or email that need attention
  12. Focus on one task at a time
  13. If you find yourself jumping from task to task, clear your desktop, close tabs, close windows, and focus
  14. Stick with one task until it is done or you have reached the next step
  15. Write down the next step as a task
  16. Make your task steps actionable (so, no “Facebook page” – rather, “Create new image for Facebook page”)
  17. Set a “tough timer” and work for 15 minutes on a rough task – without stopping
  18. Work expands to fill the time you give it. Set a realistic amount of time for a project – and stick to it!
  19. Turn off the ringer on the phone.
  20. Frustrated and unable to focus? Get up, do some simple stretches, and get a glass of water.
  21. Work at home? Set office hours so others know you are working and are not to be disturbed.
  22. Put your young children down for an afternoon nap so you can work. Older children can have a period of quiet work on their own projects.
  23. Turn on motivational music (I tend to favor epic “soundtrack” style when working on something tough)
  24. Go for a minimalist workspace
  25. Put your word processor or text editor in fullscreen mode
  26. Keep a pad of sticky notes – write down anything that comes up while you work on a sticky, put it in your inbox, and get back to work.
  27. Put your smartphone and tablet in a drawer or bag
  28. Remember what it is that you want most and push through the hard stuff so you get there.

I'm a wife and mother who loves working online. This is my little home on the web. I run Milk and Mud to share what I'm discovering as I run my own business and explore personal development.