We all have trouble staying focused. A co-worker interruption, phone calls, texts, emails and the next minute you know you’ve lost focus and not getting your work done. Learning to focus takes effort and a plan.
Try these 8 tips to stay focused:
- Get started – the act of getting started and beginning a task is the first step to focus.
- Create a “To Do” list – list the 4-5 most important things you need to accomplish for the day – add any action that needs to get done. Note: Pick your number one task and do it first.
- Time blocks – time blocks can be as short as 5 minutes to as much as an hour. But the idea of blocked time to focus on a selected task or project can do wonders. Another choice is scheduling. Use your calendar to schedule specific 30 or 60 minutes time slots to complete tasks.
- Turn off distractions – stop notifications for email and social media apps. Your phone can be a distraction, for optimal focus time, consider muting it or putting in your drawer or somewhere out of sight. I know scary but the results will be worth it.
- Limit email time – check email every 2-3 hours instead of every few minutes. This small act will save you time and making focusing on your work easier.
- Stop multitasking – trying to do two or three things at the same time is the opposite of focus. Complete one task, project or assignment and then move onto the next one.
- Deadlines – they suck but they force you to focus on getting the task done and stopping you from procrastinating.
- Take a break – you are more effective if you take breaks in between tasks. So let’s say you’re doing a 45 minute block, take a 15 minute break. Walk around, stretch, chat over a cup of tea or coffee whatever and then get back to it. The break will help you recharge.
Being more focused helps you get more done. But it takes practice. Create a system that works for you and get started being more productive.