8 Tips for Working with More Focus and Less Distractions
Do you find it difficult to stay focused for more than a few minutes? Don’t consider yourself alone, because this is an issue that a lot of people struggle with today. Distractions have invaded our modern lives like never before. At the time of working, these distractions can creep up sneakily and take you away from the present moment. If you are tired of your mind becoming a constant victim of these distractions, then it’s time to do something about it. You can train your mind to resist the distractions and concentrate better. Here are some tips to start with:
List Out All the Things that Distract You
The number one tip is for you to figure out the things that often spoil your focus. Is it your habit to keep checking your social media every now and then? Do you get caught up in a long gossip session with a colleague at your workplace? Is it lack of interest in the work that you’re doing? Does your mind keep running back to the unfinished to-do list? The factors that distract you could be internal or external. Before you go any further in improving your ability to focus, you need to know what these internal and external distractions are for you.
Measure Your Current Ability to Remain Focused
How long can you work on a task with 100% concentration before feeling (or getting) distracted? The idea is to pinpoint when exactly your mind starts to wander off when you’re working. In trying to improve your focus, you’re trying to delay this for as long as possible. Whenever you are working on a task, remember to observe when and how many times you were distracted during the whole time you were on it. If you find yourself checking your phone within just 10 minutes of starting work, then you know exactly how hard you need to work to enhance your concentration ability.
Don’t Go Cold Turkey, It Won’t Last Long!
With so much information on hand, it might seem that the simplest solution is to give up all the distractions entirely at once. But for most people this is not a sustainable solution. Before long, they find themselves falling back to their old ways. You want to find a way to manage your distractions such that they don’t remain too disruptive, by cutting them back to a healthy amount. The way to do that is slowly and methodically, as explained in the below tips.
Set Goals for Staying Focused on Current Task
When you begin working on an assignment, set feasible goals for yourself for remaining focused. If currently you are able to focus for only 10 minutes at a stretch, tell yourself that I’ll try and increase this number up to 20. Make a promise to yourself that you will spend 20 minutes on work and work only, nothing else. Better yet, set a timer to 20 minutes and get to work. Then resolve to stay focused until the timer goes off. As and when you get better at working efficiently for 20 minutes straight, you can increase this time by another 10 minutes and then keep going like this.
Allow Yourself to be Distracted at Specific Times Only
In the above point, we saw how you can schedule your time for working with focus. Now it’s time to understand how to make a tight schedule for your distractions too! When you’ve finished working for 20 minutes with complete concentration, reward yourself with a 5-minute break. In these 5 minutes, check your phone briefly, say a quick hello to a colleague, or just step away from your desk and walk around a bit. When the 5 minutes are over, use all your willpower to come back to the work that you had been doing. Make sure that your 5-minute break doesn’t turn into a 10-minute break.
Turn Your Workspace into a Distraction-free Zone
Since distractions can be external too, you should try and minimize these at your workspace to make it conducive for working peacefully and productively. If your desk is unorganized and things are not in their right place, you will keep feeling disturbed as you try to get a hold of the things you need. Your focus will also keep breaking if you have colleagues coming to talk to you now and again or if it’s too noisy around where you work. Eliminating, or at the very least, reducing these external distractions could go a long way in helping your mind focus.
Use Work Related Goals to Concentrate Better
When you know that you have to finish a given number of assignments in a day before heading off to home, your mind will automatically be compelled to give all your attention solely to the work so that you can get it done in time. This is a good way to motivate yourself when you find unnecessary distractions disturbing you in the middle of work. With the goals for the day in mind, you will know everything, from how efficiently you need to work to how many breaks you can afford to take.
Don’t Confuse Yourself by Doing Too Many Things at a Time
Instead of working on multiple assignments all at the same time, why not finish one wholly before moving on to the other one? The more you divide your attention, the easier it becomes for you to get distracted. Because as soon as your mind gets used to working on one task, you cut in on its set momentum and force it to switch to something else. As you keep doing this, your mind is never able to steadily focus on one thing. You’d be much better off dedicating yourself mentally to one task only at any given time.