Distraction Journal: The First Step to reduce distractions while working
I finally stumbled upon a technique that can now help you procrastinate less by focusing on what makes you procrastinate in the first place. Quite confusing, but no worries I will explain. I came across this a few days ago in one of Thomas Frank’s YouTube video (by the way, don’t forget to check out his YT channel). The Distraction Journal.
Remember, the whole power of accountability thing I mentioned in an earlier post? Well that is exactly what we make use of here but in a different manner. Instead of writing down your commitments of certain tasks we are gonna write down about every distraction that we face — internal as well as external — in a journal/book! Incase you feel you can get distracted by using your smartphone, stick to a physical notebook. We will call this book our Distraction Journal.
What to write down in a Distraction Journal?
You will be writing down what got you distracted while working on your task/project and how much time you procrastinated. They can be both internal distractions like random thoughts resurfacing in your mind or external ones like notifications on your smartphone. Make a habit of wrtinging these down as regularly as possible. The more you are able to get down on paper, the more clearer your mind will become and be able to focus better on the tasks in front of you.
Don’t be ashamed of writing down your distractions. Be as honest as possible. This is just for you and your productivity. Once you get stuff down in your Distraction Journal, you can later analyze ways to reduce or eliminate those distractions for the next project or… even work on them later on (Yes, you might sometimes have a eureka moment out of the blue).
You can buy some really cool and cheap journals from Amazon. Here are my Top 3 recommendations:
- Factor Notes NoteBook
- Goldline Handcrafted Faux Leather Journal (similar to mine, as in the photo)
- Pranjals House Antique Handmade Leather Bound Diary
Takeaway: Maintaining a Distraction Journal (either Physical or Digital) can help you stay focused on your current job and give you an opportunity to get back to your distractions later on and compromise on neither productivity nor your distracting thoughts.