Tips for Eliminating Distractions and Improving Creativity

Trying to focus to work done can be challenging. Anything extraneous is mental clutter – the icons on your desktop, the five other windows that are open, notifications on you laptop, notifications on your phone, etc. When you get distracted, your brain loses it’s train of thought and it must start over resulting in lost time and depth of thought.

To really do your work and think deeply, you need to eliminate distractions. Distractions drain your mental resources and suck away your creativity.

Before you work, here are a few things to help you be productive.

1) Turn off all notifications on all nearby devices. On a MacBook, you can open the Notification Center on the right of screen, swipe down, and turn on the Do Not Disturb mode.

2) Add an event to your calendar to block off the time. This will discourage other people from taking your time and create a mental space for the work.

3) Define what work you are about to do. Don’t decide what work you are going to do in the time slot – define and decide beforehand so you can immediately get to work. Answer the question: what work am I about to do? What tasks does it involve? Jot down your answers and get to work.

4) Create a distraction free workspace. On a Mac, open a new Desktop with only the files or windows you need to get the work done. Next, open the Think app (link to download) to further eliminate distractions. The Think app creates a black background behind your apps to hide the desktop image, files, and folders, etc. which can be distracting. It’s a handy little app I’ve been using for years.

Hope that helps!

What tools or methods do you use to increase your focus or creativity?