Staying productive is all about limiting your distractions. But you can’t keep within your limits until you define them for yourself. That’s where an attention charter comes in.
Photo by Rennett Stowe.
The only one that keep you from constantly being distracted is you, so you need to create a reasonable rule set for yourself. On his blog, Cal Newport recommends you filter your numerous distractions through an attention charter:
An attention charter is a document that lists the general reasons that you’ll allow for someone or something to lay claim to your time and attention. For each reason, it then describes under what conditions and for what quantities you’ll permit this commitment.
For example, you might write that you’ll only respond to text messages during work hours from a few select people (or just one person) unless it’s an emergency. Or you might write that you’re only allowed to check a certain selection of web sites during work hours, and only during certain times of the day. The key is to remove as many distractions as possible while keeping it realistic. Once you have your charter finished, place it somewhere you can see it while you work.
Write an Attention Charter [Cal Newport]