How to Cut Back on Distractions So You Can Be Insanely Productive

30 Oct


I’ve been overdosing on coffee lately and I feel like a zombie. I look at my to-do list and I want to cry.

School… work… 354 e-mails to read… it’s disgusting.

But instead of being productive, I find myself getting distracted and overwhelmed and then I have these anxiety-induced nervous breakdowns which really don’t help me get any of my work done.

And then, post-breakdown, I just feel bad because my wonderful boyfriend has to deal with me when I’m a crazy lunatic. Which is 95% of the time these days.

So basically, today’s guest post by Kevin Gannon is exactly what I needed to read! Thank you so much Kevin! You rock! Check out today’s post to read about cutting back on distractions, so you can be a fully-functioning member of society… NOT a crazy lunatic like me. ********************************************************************************

The fantastic team over at Copyblogger recently wrote about seven bad habits of insanely productive people and it instantly made me think about how productive I had to be in college. As an English major, I was balancing lengthy papers with day-to-day homework, reading assignments, and the like, all while trying my hand at writing for the college newspaper and blogs.

Needless to say, I got a lot done, but I also found myself getting wrapped up in distractions—bad habit #5 at Copyblogger—that made some of my assignments and articles take longer to wrap up than they should have. I mean, how often do you find yourself, say, firing up Twitter or Facebook on your new smartphone or tablet only to realize you’ve been browsing for like 20 minutes? I though so.

When my distractions got to be too much, I realized I need to make a change. And after doing some research, I found that my phone could actually help. Some of this is going to seem easy, others might seem impossible, but I know firsthand that these tips will help you cut back on being distracted and, as a result, make you more prepared for the workforce.

Find the Right Organizational App 

I always found myself wasting time as I transitioned from one task to the next. But then I found Wunderlist, and I realized how easy it was to keep up with my schedule.

The app looks nice and clean, is super-simple to use, and allows you to setup alerts so that you’re reminded in case you miss something. That might seem anxiety-inducing, especially for the to-do list haters out there, but once you get used to it, you’ll never go back to your old ways. You’re going to need to be more organized once you take on a full-time job, so this is key.

Get Confident and Know Your Priorities 

As I wrote earlier, I had my hand in a lot of pots during my college years. And even though I’m satisfied with how everything turned out, I will admit that there were times when I could have better prioritized. With everyone exclaiming their accomplishments across social networks, this can lead to the form of social anxiety known as “fear of missing out.”

In other words, you’ll feel like you need to do everything everyone else is doing. No, you don’t. You need to gain the self-confidence to be proud of what you’re doing and not worry about what your bajillion Twitter followers are up to this afternoon. With that confidence comes fewer distractions, too, because you’ll be more focused on your own accomplishments. This goes in hand with…

Schedule Some “Me” Time 

When you’re in school, it’s so easy to get caught up in everything, be it your social life, school work, internship, part-time job, or all of those. But what about the time you need to yourself? Don’t be afraid to schedule some well needed “me time,” and that goes for after you graduate too.

This time should be spent completely off the grid, aka get off the web and any kind of electronic device, so you can give your brain a rest. If you’re the creative type, this is especially helpful for sparking some new ideas. In other words, take a breather.

Hopefully this helps you make the transition from college to the “real world” smoother for you. Good luck!

This is a guest post by Kevin Gannon. He is a recent college graduate with an English degree, a caffeine addiction, and a passion for online journalism.

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7 Responses to “How to Cut Back on Distractions So You Can Be Insanely Productive”

  1. meredithwyatt1990 October 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Reblogged this on Speak Through Your Heart and Your Mind Will Follow and commented:
    Every stressed person and even anyone who’s just busy juggling it all should read this

  2. Aja October 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    I needed this right now.

  3. TK October 30, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    I’ve been looking for a great to-do list app. I’ll have to try Wunderlist. I am downloading it onto my phone as I type this.

  4. Sean Breslin October 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    I’m very easily distracted, and I agree with all of those tips. Because I’m so addicted to social media, I also have to turn off the phone and exit the Facebook/Tweetdeck apps on my computer to stay on track, too.

  5. millennialonthemove October 30, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    Love this! Especially the importance of taking “me” time. As someone who works in front of a computer all day and then goes to class to sit in front of another screen, all while multi-tasking on a cell phone all day — I’ve been trying to take “me” time each evening for an hour before bed so I can unwind and recharge.

  6. Megan @ Lush to Blush November 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    I love this! It is so easy to get distracted these days. I find myself letting too many things slip through the cracks. I definitely need a better time/task management app. Thanks for sharing!!

    xo Megan,

  7. Shane Prather November 10, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    Love this, very relavent to me right now! I’m new to HerCampus and love finding fellow college bloggers (Sometimes feel like I’m the only one!)

    xo Shane

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