If there’s one thing we could all probably use a lot more of, it’s the ability to focus. But telling yourself to stay focused on a task, no matter how big or small is often a lot easier said than done.
Whether it’s fatigue, distractions, lack of motivation, or something else entirely, our inability to focus digs a hole in our productivity and limits our chances of success.
Lack of focus is one of the greatest enemies of productivity. It was in the office era (meetings, colleagues who are constantly interrupting, phone calls) and it is now in the working remote era (social media, food, what is my cat doing, and so on).
So, let’s explore some ideas on how to keep the focus on these flashy and very virtual days.
1. Get rid of distractions
Distractions are THE ENEMY.
First things first: You need to eliminate distractions. While you can’t do away with everything, you can make an effort to reduce or get rid of as many distractions as possible.
The best part is that you choose what and when to get out of sight and stay focused.
Other things you can do while you’re working at home, are:
- Moving to a quiet area.
- Keep a don’t disturb sign or just tell those around you not to distract you for a while.
- Block working time in your calendar so no one can book a call or meeting at that time.
2. One-task Commitment
Multi-tasking can reduce productivity by about 40 per cent (reported by American Psychological Association).
Multitaskers might seem superhuman, but they pay a big price, according to a 2009 Stanford study. The test examined attention spans, memory capacity, and ability to switch from one task to the next — and the multitaskers performed more poorly on each test.
So, how to avoid getting into the trap of multitasking?
Easy. Just committed to doing one task AT THE TIME.
You know you will do everything you want but one thing AFTER another.
3. Make a to-do list
To-do lists not only help you prioritize what tasks you need to get done first, but they can also serve as a record of the loose ends.
Moreover, incomplete work could eat away your concentration. Researchers explored this Zeigarnik effect in a 2011 study which found that participants who could plan their work and complete tasks one by one were more likely to stay focused than those participants who were made to go from task to task without completing them.
StudiesTrusted Source shows that having a written plan of action can increase productivity.
The thing is the items on a to-do list can add up quickly. And, it can be challenging to find the motivation to accomplish everything you set out to do.
There are plenty of apps that can help you manage your to-do list. Here is a list of some of them (that you can easily integrate with Rambox): Any.do, Columns, Amazing Marvin, Microsoft To-Do, Todoist and Wunderlist.
Important: the solution is to select AND prioritize.
After you make your list, choose two or three key tasks and put them at the top. Then rank the rest of the items in order of importance. This allows you to tackle urgent tasks when your brain is fresh and your energy levels are high.
An idea to try on, aggregate your task based on similarity -this helps you keep the momentum from one task to another and increase velocity on the accomplishment.
4. Take care of yourself
Our brain is part of our body so to succeed in your everyday busy working life it is super important to take care of yourself.
5. Take breaks/Naps/Offline moments
Plan in your daily moments where you can move around, observe nature (that include plants and play around with your cat) and power naps!
Whether it’s watching cat videos, taking a walk, or a brief nap, it is critical to take the occasional break from work. And it makes you come back with more energy and mental clarity.
It can be as easy to just do a TikTok dance but to shake your body, stretch, go for a walk or do some yoga position helps to realign your column, increase energy and get you ready to finish the day.
7. Drink water
You’re supposed to drink eight glasses a day. But it is not necessary. Water helps you keep hydrated and make your brain more alert.
If you find any trouble incorporating water into your daily routine, you can try some of these apps to use as a good reminder:
Aloe Bud lets users track virtually every aspect of self-care including water 😉
Drink Water Reminder’s primary purpose is to nudge you at a set interval so you’re drinking water throughout the day
Aqualert also takes in a lot of info about you to customize itself for your use. As you log more and more days meeting your water drinking goals
Try it and see what works best for you.
8. Break the day
The Pomodoro method is one of the most known ways to organize your working day into small and productive parts. What is this about? It is a method that is a time-blocking technique that can help compartmentalize your tasks into manageable 25-minute intervals.
To use the pomodoro method work for 25 minutes, taking five minutes breaks in between 25 minute intervals. After four of these intervals, you can take a longer 15–30 minute break. If you haven’t tried the pomodoro technique here are some apps (Rambox-friendly) that can help you do it: Pomofocus, Pomotodo, Focus booster and PomoDoneApp.
It is easy and it helps you when you feel overwhelmed about tasks and due dates.
9. Find your peak hours
I think this is crucial to increase your productivity. The idea is to experiment with different work hours every day and see at what time you are more productive. Are you a morning person? The best moment is during the afternoon or just nighttime?
A lot of people find early midnight the best part of the day as the mind is very calm and relaxed. Others prefer the quietness of the night.
If you want to find your most productive hours or the “peak hours” — you can start to actively experiment and measure your productivity during various times of the day and night. Pay attention to your thought process, mood, how you get distracted while experimenting with different work hours.
This way you will eventually find the most productive time for you when you can stay focused more than any other time of the day or night.
Lack of focus is something that every worker experiences, so you are not alone in this crusade. And in Rambox we are so committed that we have a special feature designed to keep you out of notifications and any other type of interruptions.
Hope these ideas help you get through the day and achieve your goals.
Put them into practice and let us know how it goes 😁