Ten years ago, my family lived in a cramped house. It was me, my husband. and three kids, including one teenage girl.
Five humans sharing one bathroom. It was not cute.
Our house was a whirlwind of nonstop commotion. Someone was always crying. Someone was always puking. In the midst of all the chaos, I was trying to get my very first company (a virtual law practice) up and running.
We didn’t have a spare bedroom. So, I didn’t have the luxury of a swanky home office. My workspace was a small table and one bookshelf, wedged right by the front door.
Because my desk was right smack in the middle of all the action, I had zero privacy, and constant distractions.
Kids tugging at my sleeves. The doorbell. The FedEx delivery guy. The phone ringing. My husband coming in, going out, or swinging by to ask me “one thing real quick.” (It was never “one thing,” nor was it ever “real quick”!)
I got interrupted 100 times a day.
It was incredibly difficult to concentrate and perform at a high level.
A legal document for a client that should have taken 1 hour to complete would end up taking me 5 hours because of all the interruptions. Some days, I’d wake up at 4 am just to have one hour of precious silence, working in pitch blackness, before sunrise.
I did not feel like a boss.
I felt trapped, cramped, and miserable. My income reflected this.
When you allow yourself to be interrupted all throughout your workday, you pay a painfully high price. All those interruptions cost you millions of dollars, and countless hours you can never get back.
Distractions keep you broke.
You know that beautiful feeling called “flow state”? When you’re grooving along, ideas are flowing like warm honey, you’re in your power zone, slaying your to-do list, feeling like a genius?
One study from UC Irvine shows that every single time you get interrupted, you get knocked out of your flow state. And then, after each disruption, it takes you approximately 23-30 minutes to fully re-enter your flow.
In other words, that “tiny little 3 second distraction” (an incoming text, a whining kid, a tap on the door) is actually a 30 minute setback.
Do you have 30 minutes to waste, numerous times a day? You most certainly do not!
How can you fix this unpleasant situation?
Raise your standards.
No more settling for inhumane working conditions! Roll out some new policies.
Especially right now, amidst the pandemic—a time when you might be working from home even more than usual—it’s crucial to protect your peace and eliminate distractions so you can do your best work.
Here are some small things you can do right now to reduce distractions and boost concentration even if you’re working from home and your situation is not ideal:
- Explain to your colleagues, kids, and housemates, (anyone around you), that every interruption costs you 30 minutes of precious brain power, and makes your day much harder and longer than it needs to be. Tell them, “This has gotta stop.”
- Implore them to stop interrupting, because when you can focus, make more money, and finish work earlier, that’s a “win” for the whole family.
- Keep your phone on silent (better yet, in another room) while you’re working.
- Install a plug-in like BlockSite on your Internet browser to stop yourself from visiting unnecessary sites during work time. No more going down a YouTube rabbit hole.
- Three words: noise canceling headphones.
- Two words: virtual assistant. Hire someone 5 hours a week, for starters. Assign them a big list of tasks. Start learning how to delegate. Clear items off your plate. Fewer loose ends floating around your brain. Free up mental bandwidth so you can focus on higher-priority projects.
- One word: boundaries. Set them. Enforce them. This means raising the standards for others and for yourself.
Jonathan Franzen, the award-winning, bestselling author, used to wear ear plugs and a blindfold so he could block out distractions. That’s how he wrote The Corrections, which sold 1.6 million copies. His approach might sound crazy, but the man has a point!
Maybe it’s ear plugs. Or maybe it’s a long-overdue conversation with your spouse. Do whatever you gotta do to create an environment where you can thrive.
Even if you’re working in a cramped lil’ desk in the hallway (like I was, a decade ago), you can still make numerous improvements, and you can do it now.
You will be astonished by how good it feels, how much you get done, and the massive amounts of money you’re able to generate…once you can bring your undivided attention to your work.
We are moving into a Fall season that promises to be busier and more distracting than ever. And so now, more than ever, it is crucial that you learn how to FOCUS…and how to clear distractions, streamline, and simplify your business and your life. Your wealth depends on it. Your sanity, too!
This is exactly why FOCUS will be our theme for September inside We Should all Be Millionaires: The Club… culminating in our 3 day virtual Million Dollar Focus Retreat. If your brain and bank could use some focus, you’ll want to join The Club right now.
An undivided mind is a powerful thing.
You’ll be amazed by what yours can do.
PS. Looking to end August on a high note? Join The Club by midnight tomorrow and you’ll get our BONUS ebook Million Dollar Requests: 15 Scripts to Ask For What You Want at Work and Home – And Get It for free!