In a world where instant gratification is valued and we seem satisfied by just a few moments of a sound bite, it can be hard to stay focused and productive. But being focused is necessary to be truly successful.
If you’re struggling with focus, here are a few tips from the Clarity Team to help you stay free from distractions and accomplish more.
Set Up A Physical Boundary
No matter what environment you work in, setting a physical boundary can help minimise distractions. If you have a space at home with a door, shut it when you need to focus. Make sure that your family and friends are aware that when you’re working they need to respect that space. If possible, set up your workspace in a room that isn’t used for other things.
When you eventually go back to working in your company's office, post a polite sign asking not to be disturbed.
Make a Daily Priority List
It helps to get more done throughout the day if you keep a list of the important stuff that needs to be done where you can see it. Post it on your desktop, on a whiteboard or write it in your notepad by your desk.
Try to have a list with no more than 10 things on it for each day. If you have larger tasks, keep the list shorter. You don’t want to become overwhelmed with what you need to do, but you do want a visual reminder of what needs to be done each day.
Use Time Management Apps
If you find yourself easily distracted by email, social media and other sites that are time wasters you may want to take advantage of the many apps that will help to lock those down. Examples include SelfControl and Cold Turkey.
These programs will automatically block specific sites so that you can’t be distracted by them. You can set a time limit and you can decide which ones to block or keep free.
Use a Timer
It’s impossible to be completely focused on a task for hours at a time. You may find it helpful to set a timer for 25 minutes that will allow you to stay focused for that time. Then give yourself a five-minute break to get a drink of water, walk around a bit or just take your mind off of work so that you can feel refreshed.
Dividing time into smaller chunks can keep it from feeling overwhelming and boring. It can also keep you from feeling like your procrastinating on a big project that will be time-consuming.
Do the Worst Stuff First
For some people, it’s helpful to just get the worst stuff over with before getting on with the rest of the day. This is a good solution for procrastination and leaves the rest of the day free for the tasks you enjoy.
There you have it.
We hope you find these tips useful and let us know what you use to keep focused.