By Savanna Perry
Everyone gets distracted, it’s just human nature. Distraction is often seen as a negative, but in reality, it can be positive and healthy for your brain. Distraction gives your brain time to rest and reset, allowing you to become productive again. Here are a few distractions that actually boost productivity:
Take more (not less) breaks
Taking small breaks throughout the day is a great way to help manage and minimize distractions. It’s perfectly okay to respond to a text or scroll through social media for a few minutes. Often, if you don’t, you’ll just be thinking about it while you’re trying to focus, thus making you distracted anyway. Use those few minutes to take a break from the task at hand and relax. You’ll come back to it refreshed and refocused.
Another way to use distraction to your advantage is to do a cognitive task. Take a few minutes to do a word search or play a video game. Yes, we’re giving you permission to play on your phone! This way, your brain is still working but able to get a break from the task you’re struggling with. Or, if you work from home you could do something mundane like washing the dishes or doing laundry. (Though to be honest, I would think any work task is better than laundry.) While completing these other distraction tasks, make sure you only focus on that singular project to give yourself a rest from your work.
If none of that works for you, try taking a break where you do nothing. Yup, you read that right. Just find a spot, sit, and do nothing for a few minutes. Let your mind wander and relax.
Break up your work
One method to help maintain your focus is to break the work up into small segments. A great way to do this is by using the Pomodoro Technique and setting a timer for 20 to 30 minutes. For that period of time try to give all your focus onto a specific task at hand – whether it’s writing an article, content planning or administrative work. Once that time is up, set another timer and take a break for five minutes. You can do whatever amount of time works best for you, but make sure to give yourself those breaks.
Staying mobile is especially important if you are sitting at a desk all day. Staying static is not only bad for your brain, but for your body too. Your brain will fatigue quicker, and your body will be sore. Get up and get moving. Consider taking a walk outside, the fresh air will help wake you up and rejuvenate you. Movement allows you to focus better and get your work done. If the great outdoors isn’t an option, you can at least still get up and move around the office, run up and down the stairs, do some jumping jacks, or even just stand up and stretch for a bit. Office yoga can be very beneficial as well! Keep your body moving.
Not every day will be thoroughly productive, and that’s okay. Acknowledging you just aren’t able to fully focus and moving on is healthy, too. Remember, everyone gets distracted, but some distractions, if leveraged the right way, can boost productivity.