You receive three emails from a client in your inbox. Here is a talk from a colleague asking you for help with a project. Do you think you would handle your work effectively if your child is in the background, talking about going to the zoo? There’s no chance you’ll be able to work at your best if you’re constantly distracted by busy office chatter. Isn’t it becoming a little grating?
When other people fail to finish their tasks during the day, how are some people able to remain focused? The answer is in between much practice and a few clever tricks to get us through the day to improve focus and productivity.
We all know what focus does to our productivity. It is imperative to have good focus in order to have high productivity. The following section contains the answer to the question “How to Stay Focused?” Getting started with the 11 time-saving focus tips will help you finish your work faster and improve focus and productivity.
Tips to Improve Your Focus and Productivity
1. Make SMART Goals
If you’re having trouble focusing because you’re overwhelmed by a large project, break it down into smaller chunks and plug the smaller steps into the SMART formula.
The acronym SMART stands for:
Specific. What precisely must be accomplished?
Measurable. What method would you use to keep track of your progress?
Achievable. Is it feasible? Is it possible to complete it before the deadline?
Relevant. What role does it play in the overall strategy or larger goal?
Timely. When must it be completed?
You can improve your focus on specific tasks by breaking down a large, complex project into smaller, bite-sized tasks. This is because you end up setting goals that you believe you can achieve.
2. Choose the Ideal Location for Working
Making choices and concentrating both take a lot of willpower. We have a limited amount of mental resources, and both decision-making and willpower will deplete it, according to a phenomenon known as ego depletion.
To conserve resources for focus, supporters of the theory recommend eliminating extra variables that force you to make choices, such as where to work. When you need to focus, for example, try working from the same place. You won’t have to waste time on where to go when it’s time to get the job done.
3. Make Your Workstation more Organised
The objects before us or right next to us have a direct impact on our brains. If your workstation seems to have been hit by a tornado and everything is jumbled up, guess what? That’s just how you’d feel the rest of the day: disoriented and lost.
Your desk is supposed to be a product of your habits and personality. You may want to arrange it a little if it’s stacked high with files and other things. Maintaining a clean and organised workspace takes little time but can have a significant effect on maintaining your focus and increasing your productivity.
4. Make a List of Your Tasks and Order Them in Order of Importance
Most people are most active in the first hour of working. This is since all of one’s efforts have not yet been used.
During the first hour, schedule all the time-consuming, complicated, and demanding activities. After that, move on to the less urgent tasks, and then, to the dull routine tasks.
Such techniques allow you to remain focused at work while avoiding wasting time on activities you dislike. If you follow these measures, you will not be overwhelmed with essential projects.
5. Make Habits
Improving concentration is a system that operates in tandem with your tasks to improve your productivity while you’re working on them. This entails forming habits. You will have to remind yourself to function according to this method at first, but once you see the benefits, it will become second nature to you.
Put your phone away or turn it off. Some may find this unnecessary, whereas others may find it excessive. However, avoiding even looking at your phone or anticipating a text will help you stay focused. One useful tip we discovered is to lock your phone. This container is probably there to prevent you from eating another cookie, but why not use it to keep your phone locked while you focus on your job or studies?
Put your phone on aeroplane mode and place it in the bag, then set a timer for how long you want it to be locked (The Pomodoro Method would suggest setting it for 25 minutes). You would be free of distractions for at least 25 minutes if you do it this way.
6. Every Three Hours, Check Your Email
We’ve already discussed how important it is to turn off notifications. Giving up loud alerts, on the other hand, makes us more likely to check our email because we want to know when new messages arrive in our inbox.
According to a study published in the New York Times, checking email less often is beneficial to our well-being. According to the paper, attempting to bridge the gap between need and compulsion is well worth the effort.
Allow yourself to let go. Instead of checking your email every 15 minutes, check it every three hours. You will save hours per week by batching several emails and writing replies.
7. Caffeine in Small Doses is a Good Idea
Grab a cup of coffee or another caffeinated beverage if you’re feeling tired. Caffeine can help to improve focus moderate doses, according to studies, particularly in those of us who are tired.
Don’t overdo it on the coffee or you’ll get the caffeine jitters, which can make it difficult to focus. You should also try a cup of tea, which, unlike coffee, would provide you with energy for a longer period due to the L-theanine chemicals in it, which our bodies metabolise during the day.
8. Look for Motivation
What motivates you to complete this task? Is it either because your boss said so, or because it would help you advance in your career?
When we operate without a reason, we prefer to procrastinate. That is why it is important to be enthusiastic about any mission you undertake. Being continually inspired in your work will boost your trust in the result, making it easier to remain focused during the day.
Consider what would be better after you’ve accomplished a challenging task before you begin. Perhaps you should simply cut down on your workload and stop worrying about the job. Or maybe there are far-reaching advantages to completing the mission.
9. Reduce the Number of Electronic Distractions in Your Life
You won’t be able to improve your concentration if you’re constantly checking your screen. Remove it from sight or switch off the alerts. Switching your focus from one job to another isn’t good for you, even if you’re just monitoring work emails or your boss’s Slack feed.
When you do something else while working on a mission, the brain’s focus is jumbled. It’s thinking about the job you were doing before, rather than focusing on what you’re doing now.
This phenomenon is known as “attention residue,” according to Sophie Leroy, a professor at the University of Washington Bothell School of Business. Unfortunately, understanding isn’t the same as doing, particularly if you’re a knowledge worker who spends the majority of his or her time working on a laptop connected to WiFi.
Install website or app blockers on your laptop or phone if the Pomodoro Technique isn’t enough to keep you focused on your mission. Freedom, Cold Turkey, Self Control, and Offtime are some of the options.
10. Spend a Few Minutes Staring at a Distant Object
Many of us spend the majority of our waking hours gazing at a computer screen, which can strain our eyes and make it difficult to focus on and process what we’re seeing. Simply look at a distant object for a few minutes to refocus the eyes.
This is how it goes: Take 20 seconds every 20 minutes to look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
The 20-20-20 rule is based on the premise that the eye is a muscle that, like all muscles, benefits from exercise. Staring at one object causes your eyes to feel achy and stiff in the same way as sitting in one position for a long time causes your muscles to feel achy and stiff. Your vision can become distorted or blurred after work if you don’t refocus regularly.
Blue light glasses, which block out the blue light emitted by displays, have become a common way to alleviate screen fatigue. They will not, however, relieve eye pressure, but they will improve your sleep quality.
11. Shut Out the Background Noise
This is the last one on our list of tips to improve focus and productivity. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone in the office to function in total silence. It’s only normal for people to need to talk about important issues with one another. However, all of this babbling can easily become tedious.
Listening to background noise is the simplest way to filter out distracting sounds. Noisli, for example, has a great selection of natural sounds that you can listen to when concentrating. You may also listen to music, but this can become another source of diversion.
We are easily distracted as humans. Distractions are unfortunately abundant and readily accessible in today’s world. It may be a phone or device notification, a social networking site with endless scrolling that is a “time sucker,” or simply our normal habits or limited attention spans.
The truth is that attention is a fragile commodity that can be quickly misplaced. There are many things we can do to increase our productivity and remain focused when working or studying.
Small changes, such as putting our phones on aeroplane mode or putting them away when we work, can make a big difference. It’s also important to establish a routine and develop habits.
For our new behaviors to take hold and focus to be genuinely possible, we must learn to trust the “method” we create.
It’s not easy to stay focused and to your improve focus and productivity, but with a little effort, it’s possible. Our advice is to incorporate our suggestions gradually rather than immediately. Choose small steps to take to improve focus and productivity, such as organizing your workspace and purchasing a good pair of headphones, to signal to others that you are focused and do not want to be disturbed.