Distractions! They are everywhere. Sometimes it’s hard to keep them at bay and stay focused on what really matters – especially when there is SO much to do! Today, I am going to share with you my 8 tips on how to stay focused so that you can get all your ‘ish done!
Let’s dive in!
Batching is my favorite! If I could turn back time, I would have started doing this a LOOOOONG time ago! When you batch “like” or similar tasks together you end up working faster and more efficiently freeing up your time and your brain space. I often use the analogy of a car. When you take off from a red light, you use a ton of fuel and power to get your car to the travel speed you desire. Once you are at the travel speed and you maintain the speed, your car begins to work more efficiently until…it hits the next red light. Then it has to start all over in order to get to that efficient state. Your brain is the same way. Once it is focused and working in a certain flow, it will maintain focus until you switch gears. Switching gears back and forth is tiring and causes you to work slower.
Work In Sprints
If batching is my favorite, working in sprints is my second favorite. Setting aside a half hour to get certain tasks completed keeps me hyper-focused. To me, it’s almost a game to see if a half hour is enough time for me to get the work done. Plus, I can do anything for a half hour, even the tasks I like least. Actually, I will use the sprint method to help me get through some of those types of tasks.
I use this A LOT. As a social media consultant, manager and trainer, my phone, laptop, and tablet are always alerting me to a new notification. Interruptions like these are productivity and focus killers. Turn off your notifications and work in airplane mode or turn on “Do Not Disturb” so that you can work uninterrupted. I like doing this in 30-minute increments so that I don’t miss anything too urgent.
Reward yourself, especially after a sprint. Take a walk, grab a cup of coffee, phone a friend, scroll social media – find something that removes you from your workspace for 10 minutes or so, so that you can return with a fresh and renewed energy.
Plan the Night Before
If you set up your day the night before, you are preparing yourself to get certain things accomplished. Have a plan in place and executing the plan in the order you have mapped it out will help you stay focused.
Clear the Clutter
A messy, unorganized workplace is a sure-fire way to lose focus. Imagine working on a desk or an environment covered in clutter. Each piece of clutter is an attention grabber, a distraction, or a reminder for you to complete a task that has nothing to do with what you are currently working on. Think about it, those sticky notes on your computer screen, the piles of unfiled documents, the bills that need to be paid are all little items that need to be done and are calling for your attention whether you realize it or not.
Eat Your Frogs First
If you haven’t read Brian Tracy’s “Eat That Frog,” I highly recommend it. It’s a quick, simple read but delivers a really strong message. In the book, Brian uses an example of 3 frogs that must be eaten. There is a big, slimy, ugly bullfrog, a medium-sized frog, and a little toad. He encourages the reader to eat the big frog first because everything after that will be so much easier. Same thing with your work. Tackle the BIGGEST, most uncomfortable task first and then the rest of the work for the day will be downhill.
Change Your Scenery
This is a big one for me! When I am working in a new environment with new energy around me, I tend to work better and stay more focused. When you can, switch up your work environment and see how your focus changes.
What strategies do you use to stay more focused during your workday? Share it with us in the comment section.
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