There are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on the never ending to do list. And the time sucking distractions aren’t helping any. Between the endless office meetings, email chains and social media feeds (yes we’re talking to you Mr. President) it’s a wonder we get anything done at all. If you’re really motivated to conquer the day, focus is the key. Concentration and focus are disciplines that require practice, especially in today’s frenetic, fast paced digital world. Follow these tips for staying on task and you’ll notice an uptick in creativity and productivity. Focus! Because there is nothing better than ending your day feeling accomplished.
Just get started. Procrastination happens to the best of us. When a project seems overwhelming avoiding it all together feels right in the moment. Wrong! Sure, you may work better under pressure, but you’ll get better results taking the time you need. Getting started on a project is usually the worse part. Instead of avoiding the task at hand, sit down and start tackling the work. You’ll be surprised how little bits of effort can turn into big progress.
Get rid of distractions. Get your desk organized. You don’t have to go so far as to color-coding your paperclips, just de-cluttering and cleaning a messy workspace can increase your productivity. Working at home or in an office with an open floor plan can also make it pretty hard to focus. If you’re easily side tracked by noisy coworkers and ringing phones, noise canceling headphones or listening to music can help.
Manage your time. To get the most out of your workday give time blocking a try. Log into your calendar and have a look at your day. Block out chunks of time to handle the tasks at hand, scheduling the jobs that require the most focus for your best hours of the day. Be realistic about just how long things take and stick to the plan and you’ll find you even have time to break for lunch.
Get moving. Your brain performs better on exercise. If you need a break or feel creatively stuck, hit the gym or take a walk. Yep, you can add improved concentration to the pile of health benefits that come along with physical activity. A good sweat session will send healthy chemicals to your brain, making you feel more alert, relaxed and happy. So long brain fog, hello focus.
Be smarter with your smart phone. Don’t fall down the social media rabbit hole. Use your phone for good instead of evil. Download a time management app like Be Focused that allows you to schedule tasks and breaks while tracking your progress for the week. Forest is another great app that can help harness your phone addiction. Plant a tree when you start a task and start building your forest. But careful, if you touch your phone to text or check Facebook your tree will die. Don’t kill your tree!