How not to be distracted? Why I screwed up freelancing

For about 8 years I worked as a freelancer, the main field of activity is SMM and scripts for youtube videos. Looking back, I understand that in 8 years I have not become a cool specialist in my field, and I have not earned any money either. I didn’t understand at all what I was good at, where my strengths were, what I should do next.

And so, 3 years ago, I left freelancing for the office. I completed a test task, passed an interview and became a creative in a large media company. And after 1.5 years, I became the head of the branch, in my area of ​​​​responsibility there are 120 people, my income during this time has grown 5 times. And now I know where my strengths are, what I can do.

And now I understand the reason for the failures. I was very distracted, I couldn’t concentrate. And the banal change of the regime, from 9 to 12 and the working environment, gave a significant boost to my career. (I don’t work under cameras, I don’t work call-to-call. It’s just that my freelancing work ethic was disgusting that the little changes brought me to my senses.)

I recently realized that I was getting too distracted again. Phone, YouTube, something else. I complete the tasks, but much longer. And knowing that if I fix this, I can return the efficiency. I talked with my coach, developed methods, conducted experiments, studied the scientific base. And now I will share the simplest and most high-quality ones.

1. Tidy up your phone

The fact that if you see a push notification on your phone while you work (don’t open it, just see a flash on the screen) distracts your brain for the same amount of time if you read it, it struck me. In digital terms, this is about a minute. As much as 60 seconds your brain needs to return to the task. Count how many unnecessary notifications you receive per day and multiply that by a minute, how much time did the blinking on the screen steal from you? Take the time to organize your push notifications. Divide into 2 groups: urgent and non-urgent. And you’ll be surprised how much you turn off. Telegram channels, banks, YouTube, etc. Spending a few minutes can save you months of life.

2. Tidy up the desktop

“So what’s my plan for today? I’ll go to the planner. Where is he? So, how’s my WB package? Hmm, still on the way. Okay, where’s that scheduler. Listen, did Pasha look at my message? Maybe he will be reminded? Haven’t read it yet. It’s clear. So, why did I take the phone?

The monologue is based on real events that took place in everyone’s head. Open your phone and see how many apps are there that you have never visited or don’t know why you need it. I had this figure more than 20. I downloaded them all into one folder or deleted them. Reduced the number of obstacles on the way to the desired application at times. Group the rest of the applications into folders – finance, documents, navigation, sports, etc. I uninstalled HomeScapes at level 7000. It was painful, but helpful. I’m afraid to count how much time I spent on it. If you understand that you have problems with perseverance, do not take half measures, remove everything that distracts you. I gave myself a break.

They gave me a good VPN and started hanging out in one social network. Network watching short videos. The average time spent on the phone increased by 40 minutes a day. And that’s 20 hours a month. Removed VPN.

3. Arrange with family

You need to clearly speak to those people who are close to you. They must clearly understand that you are busy and you should not be distracted. This must be shown not only in words, but also in deeds.

I didn’t do it at the time. I worked for an hour, I played Civilization for an hour, the video plays in the background, I continue to work. Of course, my soul mate thinks that I can be distracted. I’m really not very busy with work.

In the US, there was a high death rate in hospitals due to nurses’ mistakes (injecting the wrong drugs). They conducted an experiment: nurses began to put on red vests, which meant: “Do not touch me, I am collecting drugs for injection.” The number of errors has been halved.

4. Positive reinforcement

In the list of tasks that you have to complete, there are those that you will do with pleasure and in the first place. And there are those that you leave for later, and during execution you will be constantly distracted.

To make these tasks easier, reward yourself for completing them. Or back up with something pleasant at the time of execution. If the work is routine, turn on your favorite playlist or podcast. This is how I wash my dishes. Or take a laptop, go to your favorite coffee shop.

5. Expensive and extreme

Suitable for solving large complex problems. Sign a contract with a friend or girlfriend: “If I don’t turn in the project in 2 months, I’ll give you 10,000.”

Exactly. You will not give me 10,000 as a reward, but I will give it as a fine. The fear of losing something is much stronger than the joy of receiving it.

These methods worked for me, maybe they will work for you too. And now quickly to work!

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