“Where was I again?”, I often ask myself this question after getting distracted. My attention span is very short. I find it hard to focus on almost everything. It quite gets annoying when I am often troubled by distractions. The more I am interrupted, the more I lose concentration. And when I get back… I have no idea where I left off.
How do people manage to stay on track all day? We live in a world that is full of distractions. Like today, the stubborn me kicked in. Instead of working, I am doing rounds on my blog, trying to write my thoughts on how to focus. It is past 7 pm anyway.
How does someone like me, who has a limited span, focus? Here is how I do it.
Arrange My Workspace
Keeping our workspace tidy has a huge impact on keeping our focus. A cluttered desk is distracting most of the time. What I do, before I begin to work, I make sure that all is tidy and within my reach: my food and drinks. So I do not have to stand up to get a food/drink in case I get hungry/thirsty.
Create a Task List
It became my habit to make a to-do list before I start to work, clock out, and go to bed. I list it based on their importance and due dates. Every time I slash out a task, I get motivated to finish everything.
There are times I had to switch from one task to another. Switching tasks makes my brain stay alert sometimes. Oftentimes, it (multi-tasking) is not effective for me. More pending tasks are happening.
Play Some Music
Listening to music could calm my troubled mind and improve my performance. It even makes a boring task more fun.
I listen to the classics: cellos and violins when I am feeling troubled. I switch to rock music when I am bored. When you see me wearing my headphones, I am either trying to focus or I am bored.
To be able to stay focused and get my work done ahead of time, I limit the use of my phone. I normally put it aside and focus on work. Notifications easily diverted me away from what I am doing. Switching it on silent mode can also make a big difference.
Take Mental Breaks
The best thing to do when you cannot focus anymore is to take short breaks. Taking a short break allows our mind to refresh or reset. Our brain is not capable of working full 3 hours straight. Here is why I have my hourly alarm set even though I am at work. I am training myself to focus on a task for 45 -50 minutes then 10 minutes computer-free break.
When you see me stepping away from my desk stretching, I am taking my mental break seriously.
Distractions are everywhere. Staying focused is not an easy task. Following these can be daunting at first, but with determination and dedication, we will improve our focus.