Productivity Tips – Blocking Out the News

Productivity Tips – Blocking Out the News

In 2017, it’s never been easier to stay in the know. Between television, radio talk shows and social media, it’s easy to be inundated with new information before the work day really begins. Whether you realize it or not, your brain is taking in all this information and stores it. However, if you don’t become intentionally about brain-dumping and become a news junkie, this can dramatically affect your ability to be productive at work. If it seems like productivity is on the slow side at the office, it might be time to pull the plug on the news.

  1. News is usually useless.

If you really pay attention, the news outlets take one major story and retell it in different ways. As soon as one tiny new speculation comes out regarding the major story, tv personalities, political pundits and experts dissect it to shreds. In order for you to really know what’s going on, you don’t need 24-7 updates. This concept applies across the board even when it pertains to a major election. Sure, there is a level of excitement to a watch night party. It may be cool to see the live results. However, people who went to bed at 9 pm on election night were able to get the same news as those who stayed up until 2 am. However, those who went to bed at 2 am were probably groggy and unproductive the following day.

  1. Follow the right news outlets.

While it’s important to unplug, you don’t want to stay disconnected. It’s still good to know what’s going on in the world. A healthy dose of news updates will allow you to stay abreast, informed and aware. You want to be in a position where you can be more proactive instead of reactive. After all, news outlets also include weather reports and traffic reports. Create a system where you can spend a few minutes catching up on what’s going on. In the mornings, you might want to turn on the local news to get a good traffic report and update on the weather. On your lunch break, you could open up your laptop and scan all the articles in the newspaper outlets like The Washingon Post and The New York Times. Following this routine will keep you aware, but not consumed.

  1. Stay off alerts.

Many of the television news stations have online portals and will send alerts and notifications to your phone. Make it a point to turn those off. You don’t want to become consumed every time your phone goes off. For many people, it’s hard enough to avoid jumping into social media every few minutes. If your phone is constantly buzzing with new updates from Fox and CNN, this will distract you. Every time you’re distracted, this directly impacts your ability to stay in a flow and produce quality work. Create a distraction-free zone by putting your phone away. Give an office number to family members so they can reach you in the case of an emergency. Otherwise, keep your cell phone and your laptop free of any automatic updates.

  1. Focus on what’s important.

Try to get to work 20 minutes early. This will allow you a chance to use the bathroom, get your coffee or tea, use the bathroom and get settled. It’ll also give you ample time to plan out your day and decide what’s important for you to complete. Create a list of priorities. Once you’re clear on your marching orders for the day, work on one task until it’s done. For some people, there’s a great temptation to surf the web and get distracted. There are lots of internet web browsers that will lock your internet access for a specific time. Start with focusing on an assignment for twenty minutes. Build up that discipline until you can go the entire day without checking the news outlets. It’s not easy for most people with internet access. However, it is possible and will allow you to produce so much more during the workday.

These four productivity tips still allow you to get some new information in, but they set you up to do a great job during the work day. Some people say you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Well, in this case, you can watch some news and still get your work done. It’s all about prioritizing, eliminating distractions and sticking to a schedule. It may be easier said than done, but over time, it’ll become your natural routine.

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