Working mostly from home can be a blessing and a curse. No commute? Awesome. More things being added to your to-do list? Not awesome. Being able to get the kids off the bus? Awesome. Being constantly at war with yourself over outside distractions? Not awesome.
It’s that last one that can be both mentally and physically draining. You get to the end of the day and find that you have little to show for a so-called full day of work. All those little requests, distractions, and lingering tasks have snuck into and taken over your day like time-eating termites.
How can you take back control of your day and feel like you accomplished something?
Here are the tips, tricks, strategies, and hacks that I use to deal with my top four distractions.
I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a morning person, but I do realize that I am most productive in the morning up until about 2 pm. After that I end up in a downward motivational spiral until I land on the couch by 6:30 barely able to contemplate turning the pages of a book.
If I am going to get anything of consequence done, it’s usually in the morning. I’ve especially noticed with the Addison’s that if I don’t workout by lunch, it’s likely not going to happen.
Your cortisol levels peak in the morning and slowly bottom out by the late afternoon to allow you to begin to get ready to sleep. My synthetic dosages follow the same pattern to try to mimic the body. My motivation to lace up the shoes or get on the bike is highest in the morning.
But knowing something and being motivated and then actually doing it are somewhat different things. I’ve developed a few strategies that help get me out the door and get my morning workout done.
I’m often asked how I could possibly find the time to read 50 or 60 books a year with a job, a family, exercise and every day social media distractions. I always tell them the same thing: I don’t try to gulp down books. I don’t set aside time for reading. Or plan to read for an hour after dinner. I just read whenever and wherever I can. Sure, sometimes I do go on hour-long binges, but mostly I read in 5 or 10 minute sips. I read in line. I read in waiting rooms. I read during lunch. It adds up to a lot of books over the course of the year.
I’ve found this small, simple act has become a cornerstone of my life as I get older and appreciate the inevitable and inescapable impact of time. Take one tiny, simple step. Repeat it daily. Have patience and the results will begin to accumulate. That’s it. It’s not new. It’s the debt snowball. Or Seinfeld’s chain. Or Ericsson’s rules for deliberate practice. But it’s no less powerful and I’ve come to appreciate it’s impact.