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Turn Off Distractions To Turn On Your Focus

by Amber De La Garza, The Productivity Specialist

Productivity PicWhat environment best enables you to focus? Do you require noise-cancelling headphones and a closed door, opera music playing softly, or a noisy coffee shop complete with glass clinking, elevator music, and loud chatter? However you focus best, it’s important you strive to create that environment whenever you work on your highest-value activities - the ones that will move your business forward, increase your profit potential, and require your utmost attention. Now I know you can’t live in a coffee shop eight hours each day, but certain apps on the market like Coffitivity can help you recreate such an environment and even claim to boost your creativity. Take steps to increase your focus and you’ll have more control over your production.

Another giant step you can take is to minimize workplace distractions. Think back to the last time you were in your zone. I mean really in your zone – when a bomb exploding might not have been able to break your concentration. Were you able to get a ton of needle-moving work done? I bet you were. We do our best work when we’re able to completely focus on the task at hand. We screw up less too. According to an article in the “Journal of Experimental Psychology: General”, interruptions of four-and-a-half seconds triple the number of errors made post interruption. Yikes! So how did you stay in your zone that last time? Chances are you had come in early, stayed late, or were working on the weekend to avoid being interrupted. Well, guess what? You don’t have to work at odd hours to get in and stay in your zone! You simply have to create your optimal environment to focus and minimize or completely eliminate distractions. It’s easier than you might think.

My favorite strategy to minimize distractions is to turn off all unnecessary notifications that tend to disrupt concentration. I call these little productivity demons chimes, dings, and rings. They may seem harmless but according to a survey performed by Career Builder, 24% of workers admit to spending at least one hour each day on personal calls, emails, or texts. If you’re unaware your phone just received a text, you won’t feel the need to respond it. You also won’t be zapped out of the zone you had been working so diligently in before that pesky notification alerted you.

Chimes, Dings, and Rings May Include:

  • Email Alerts on Computer

  • Email Notifications on Cell Phone

  • Voicemails

  • Missed Call Notices

  • Appointment Alarms

  • Social Media Notifications

As real estate professionals, I understand you can’t totally ignore your phone all day. Your clients need access to you and you don’t get paid until they get what they want so the sooner you’re able to meet their needs, the better. What you can do, is create blocks of time to get your most important work done then check your phone at scheduled intervals for missed calls, voicemails, emails, and text messages. Otherwise, those notifications going off constantly would prevent you from getting much focused work done.

Take inventory of all the audible workplace distractions you deal with on a daily basis that are within your control. Identify which notifications are indeed legitimate. For example, you may want to purposefully schedule appointment reminders. You will want those reminders to break you out of your zone so you can switch hats and focus your attention on reviewing notes and adequately preparing for your showing. Otherwise, you might miss it or show up unprepared! If you don’t have an internal clock that alerts you when it’s time to leave, choose to keep your appointment reminders turned on.

Turn Them Off!

Numerous other notifications, however, cause more harm than good. No matter if they come from your phone, computer, tablet, or other device, if there would be no ramifications from turning these alerts off for scheduled periods of time, turn them off! If you can’t hear them, they can’t dictate how you spend your day. If you don’t know how to turn certain notifications off, simply YouTube it!

Cell phone calls and texting are primary productivity stoppers according to a CareerBuilder survey. It doesn’t matter if you’re an employee or business owner. The result is always the same: succumbing to small workplace distractions adds up to giant gaps in productivity – gaps that affect your production! If you respond to chimes, dings, and rings you hear, or even lose just a smidgeon of focus any time a notification sounds, you are living at the mercy of everyone else’s wants and needs. Instead, proactively respond to your family members, friends, and clients on the other end of those notifications during scheduled intervals at times you choose. Your optimal focused work environment may be unique but distractions are every real estate professional’s antagonist. Choose to be productive by choosing to minimize workplace distractions!

I am opening up a few FREE 30 min. SUCCESS BREAKTHROUGH SESSIONS in April. If you want to maximize your profits by reclaiming 5 hours per week using productivity strategies tailored for you, I invite you to apply HERE.

About the Contributor

Delagarza CIRCLEAmber De La Garza is The Productivity Specialist! Amber is a sought-after coachtrainerspeakerwriter, and host of the Productivity Straight Talk podcast.

She helps real estate professionals take consistent, massive, focused action in business and equips them with the specific techniques needed to reduce stress, increase profits, make more time for what matters most, and achieve their vision of success.


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