Being more focused leads to productivity. Yet, we’re in a world where instant gratification is treasured. You rarely have to watch more than a few moments of a sound bite. In this environment, it can be hard to stay focused and productive. However, being focused is necessary to be productive on the job.
If you’re struggling with focus, here are a few tips 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 minimize distractions. Have an office with a door? Shut it when you need to focus. If you’re in a cubicle, post a polite sign asking co-workers not to disturb or intrude.
In your home office or home workspace, make sure that your family and friends are aware when you’re working. And they need to respect that time and your space. Set up your home office in a room without family activities or events. That also will help minimize distractions.
Make a Daily Task List
It helps to get more done if you keep a to-do list where you can see it. You can posted this on your computer desktop, on a dry erase board, or kept on a notepad by your desk.
Try to have a list with no more than 12 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 your required tasks and assignments each day.
Make the Most of 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 computer apps that lock those down. Examples include SelfControl and ColdTurkey.
These programs will automatically block specific sites so that they can’t distract you. 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. However, 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. Being more focused leads to productivity improvement.
Dividing work into smaller chunks can keep it from feeling overwhelming and boring. It can also keep you from feeling like procrastinating on a big project that will be time consuming.
Do the Worst Tasks First
For some people it’s helpful to just get the worst tasks 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.