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10 Ideas on Creating a Distraction Free Environment

    1. Have a Schedule Where You’re Locked Into Several Hours of Deep Work Every Workday

    This is an idea I plucked from Cal Newport's book, "Deep Work." Consider the times of day when you're least distracted by outside stimuli or when you can best focus, and schedule blocks of time when you work deeply with minimal breaks.

    Some people like using the Pomodoro technique of 25 minute blocks of work followed by a 5 minute break. Personally, it takes me about 20 minutes to really settle in and get going on what I'm trying to work on, so I'd have to block something like 40 minutes of work with a 5-7 minute break.

    Experiment with your schedule and find your optimal work rhythm.

    2. Quit Playing Games That You Can Easily Access on Your Browser or Phone During Work-Time

    I have a bad habit of playing Tetris in another tab of my browser when I'm supposed to be working.

    If you're having a similar problem, maybe downloading a web blocker for certain websites can work for you. For me however, blocking certain websites has the opposite effect and I become fixated on what I can't have.

    The only thing that has worked for me long term is focusing on why I want or need to work on the task in front of me and the consequences of putting it off for too long.

    3. Avoid the News as Much as Possible for a at Least 6 Days a Week

    Of all of the events going on in the world, very few of them apply directly to you, and even fewer of which you can realistically do anything about.

    You might not be able to change the world, but you can change *your* world.

    In my opinion, you should only watch or read enough news so you're aware of the current agenda being pushed, but not so much that you're getting distracted or losing sleep over it.

    4. Avoid Social Media Sites Unless Your Job Explicitly Requires That You Use Them

    Social Media sites are explicitly designed to be addictive and hold your attention for as long as possible. If you must use social media, block out specific times to use it, and turn off notifications otherwise.

    5. Keep a Tidy Workspace

    It can be hard to work when there is a bunch of clutter lying about your workspace. Doubly so if your workspace is also your bedroom.

    6. Have Clear Goals for What You Want to Do in the Short and Long Term

    While I do believe having a system of work established is vitally important, if you don't know what you're working towards, it's easy to lose motivation.

    You can try writing down a brief sentence or two on a blank journal page or a text file about what you want to accomplish at the start of your work session. Something like "I need to write two pages of this report" for a short term goal or "I want to make enough money to move to a better area" for a long term goal are enough.

    7. Do Some Kind of Exercise Daily to Promote Circulation and Minimize Restlessness While Working

    The mind and body are connected, and if the body is stimulated, so is the mind. Any kind of exercise will work as long as you enjoy it and it makes you sweat a little.

    8. Condition Yourself to Use the Computer (Or Phone) Mainly for Work and Study

    We use our computers and phones as our sources of entertainment as well as our workstations. It's too easy to get distracted and want to watch a movie or open a game of solitaire when your attention span starts to slip.

    When possible, find your sources of entertainment in the real world and try to keep your electronic devices mainly for work and study.

    9. Remember That Ultimately, the Work You’re Doing Now Is the Price You’re Paying to Buy Long Term Independence. Work Hard and Smart.

    When you're in the process of starting a new project or learning a new skill, progress is slow for a while. If you work diligently, progress speeds up as you begin to understand the processes of what you're working on.

    If you work diligently and intelligently, you will progress much faster towards what you want. Haphazardly trying to squeeze required work in between sessions of the latest mobile game or scrolling down lists of viral videos will ultimately end in frustration.

    10. Create a Comfortable Work Environment.

    Turn on the heater or air conditioner if the climate is uncomfortable. Do you like to work in silence, or do you need to listen to music to get into the zone? Do what you need to do create a comfortable environment to work in.

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