You work too hard and for too long but can’t get much done? No, you are not an idiot! You just can’t focus; like me. Recently, I have had trouble focusing and being super productive like I used to be. Over the last few months I have worked on a lot and have noticed significant changes. Thought I should share it with y’all.
First step to solve any problem is to find the cause of the problem and work towards nipping it! Here are a few possible reasons you are losing focus
1. Are you a social (media) butterfly?
How often do you check the social media websites? Facebook, twitter, blog etc. If your answer is – few times every hour. You are an addict!
Solution: LOG OUT. Really. Just log out of all social networking sites and remove them from favorites.
2. E-mail addict?
Do you feel the need to look at every e-mail you receive as soon as it hits the inbox? Yes? Well, don’t consider that work; it’s just a distraction.
Solution: If your work is anything like mine, you are probably required to be up to date with e-mails. But hey, it still does not require responding to or looking at every e-mail as soon as you get it. Check your e-mail every two hours or so. This will give you time between e-mails to focus on things that need to be done.
3. Your Phone
Most of us have this urge to answer the phone every single time it rings. No matter what time of the day it is. Call on the cell phone rarely goes unanswered.
Solution: Shut it! You don’t always have to answer your phone. That’s why we have caller IDs and voicemails. When you are trying to get the task at hand done, just put your phone on silent mode. Let it go to voicemail. Really, I mean get real. You are not all that important. I am sure the world can live without you for a couple of hours.
4. Multitasking – Suck it!
If you think you are a pro at that, just think again and be honest to yourself. There is research to prove that multitasking can do you more harm than good. It takes longer to finish tasks, and the quality of work drastically reduces.
Solution: It’s one thing when you multitask for things like walking, thinking and chewing gum at the same time or doing dishes while watching TV. But when you need to get an important project done, try to handle chore at hand before taking up new ones.
When you feel like you have too much on your plate, it can be hard to focus on individual tasks. You feel overwhelmed and it seems difficult to get anything done.
Solution: This might sound clichéd, but meditation helps. One of the best ways to deal with stress is to meditate regularly. Another way to deal with overwhelm is to break down each task in smaller tasks and tackle them one by one. Striking each task on the list will make the next task easier and keep you motivated. Working out and eating healthy are other ways to take control of life and feel at your best day after day.
A few other things I that come in handy:
- Write things down. Use a planner (I personally like UnCalendar or MS OneNote). This helps structuring your schedule and gives you a fair idea of how your day looks like. Small things don’t fall through the cracks. It also keeps you motivated to get things done.
- Take breaks. I like to work as much as I can during my peak attention span and then take a mental break before I start with my next attention sprint.
- Don’t work all the time.
- Start your day well.
- Seek help when needed. Don’t try to conquer the world by yourself. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it. But hey, don’t forget to return the favor.
- Don’t sweat. It’s just work. Do your best, but don’t make it stressful.
- Get a good night’s sleep.