In a world where access to information is limitless, distractions are everywhere, and our brains are constantly firing on many different levels, it can be incredibly challenging to remain focused. A single push notification or the slightest ‘ding’ from a cell phone can immediately grab your attention and distract you for seconds, minutes, or hours on end.
Just like a muscle, with good habits, proper tools, and the right mindset, focus can be strengthened. It is time to stop blaming these distractions for your lack of productivity, and time to start taking control of your
When you can focus intensely on your work, you will get more done.
Here are four things you can implement today to improve your focus:
Set The Mood
Is your workplace set up in a way that is conducive to your productivity? Clear off your desk and rid it of distractions like paperwork, bills, or old cups of coffee. Turn on your desk lamp or open the window for extra light. Too much background noise can be distracting, however try turning on some light music; opt for instrumental music, like jazz or classical.
Time Block for Distractions
While we can minimize distractions by muting our phones, turning off notifications, or putting on headphones to avoid small talk with coworkers, these distractions will never truly go away. So rather than checking your phone or social media at any given point in the day, time block for them. You heard that right… time block your distractions! Give yourself five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the afternoon to check the news, respond to texts, or browse your social media.
Pro Tip: If your phone vibrates when in ‘Silent Mode’, try disabling your phone’s ‘vibrate’ function. You will be surprised how getting rid of that constant ‘buzz’ will help improve your concentration!
Contrary to popular belief, working nonstop throughout the day and running on endless amounts of caffeine is not the key to success. Similar to a good fitness routine, your brain needs time to recover and re-energize. Take breaks throughout the day; take a quick walk around the block or do a midday meditation. Taking your mind off of work for a few moments throughout the day will actually help you to be more productive.
Set Smaller (Daily) Goals
A long list of tasks can seem overwhelming or daunting, can actually cause you to be more unproductive, and often leads to procrastination or lack of focus. Each day, break down your list into small, achievable chunks. By doing so, you will feel more capable of completing tasks and will not be tempted to push them off.