Lack of concentration can cause serious problems with our ability to get work done and, more importantly, how well we do our work. If we are constantly unfocused, distracted, and interrupted, the quantity and quality of our work falls. Here are 5 tips to help you focus.
Set Blocks of Time
Creative work requires uninterrupted blocks of time. Schedule specific times when you know you won’t be interrupted. Dedicate that time to focus on one project or task. Never multi-task on work that requires concentration.
Some people swear by using timers to keep them focused. If you tend to drift from your priorities, set your phone’s or computer’s alarm to remind you every hour or half-hour to stay on track. If you’ve drifted, this reminds you to refocus.
It’s easy to feel unfocused when you feel overwhelmed. Take a good look at your to-do list. Is it full of unimportant or obsolete tasks? Finish or officially abandon old unfinished projects to simplify your to-do list, improve focus, and reduce overwhelm.
Your mental state affects your ability to focus. To improve productivity, address whatever’s stressing you. If something is bothering and distracting you, set aside some time to deal with that problem so that you can move on to more important work.
Remember the Benefit
Remind yourself of the purpose of completing the project or task. What are you working toward? What benefits will you receive immediately upon finishing it? If the real goal is too distant to be immediately motivating, promise yourself a short-term reward to create an artificial immediate benefit and make the task more enjoyable.