All of us who currently live our adulthood cannot deny that today more than ever, our days can be full of distractions that often do not allow us to be as productive as we could be, limiting our chances of success.
Sometimes it is fatigue, or it may be a lack of motivation, or perhaps it may be something that we cannot decipher, but the fact is that there are times when we are not able to focus entirely.
The reality is that to stay focused, we need to get rid of all distractors, and we also have to take care of our physical and mental well-being.
Our digital connectivity positively impacts our lives, but it has also become one of our daily routines’ biggest distractions. Since the beginning of humankind, survival has depended on generally focusing on what’s moving, which is a skill we’ve always had, and now it has just transferred online.
The so-called “fear of missing out” and the fact that our brain is always seeking out what’s new and what’s next makes it more complex to keep our focus on something for a long time.
So, for all the above, we must be aware that to focus on our work tasks and not on what is moving, we must change our mindset and use specific tools to set up an environment that fosters focus. Here are some easy ways to eliminate distractions to pay full attention to what you need to do in your work schedule.
Your Well-Being Comes First
Physical self-care can help improve your mental wellness, and exercising can be beneficial to stay focused since physical exercise it’s linked to motivation.
Activities like hiking, running, swimming, and weight lifting promotes brain health, essential for concentration and memory capacity. Taking time to exercise also allows us to take a break from work and boost our energy to thrive during our working hours.
Another way to take care of our mental well-being and a sure way to promote focus is to meditate because it is a practice that requires high levels of concentration. According to studies, those who meditated daily were less likely to indulge in “mind-wandering” and were generally happy.
Having a good night’s sleep after a busy day can make a difference in keeping us focused on our tasks the next day. Although it is essential to try to sleep between 7 and 9 hours, studies suggest that this is the time that an average adult needs to rest.
Make a To-Do List with Just One Task
Nowadays, many of us have to work from home or under the hybrid model, and we have all faced today more than before the productivity problem.
For those who work remotely from home, it is undeniable that we are more exposed to different distractors that prevent us from staying focused.
We spend all day busy, yet we do not progress in the most relevant tasks of our work. Then, finally, we come to the end of work hours, and we wonder why we finished so little work if I was working all day?
This question made me feel the need to find a way to be more productive that would help me keep my focus on the critical work tasks.
And that’s when I found the “one thing” method. I found a simple strategy to become more productive in a great Harvard Business Review article written by Peter Bergman.
The principle of this strategy is really easy. First, consider keeping your to-do list for reference only, not as a whole to work on. Then choose a task from that list, write it down on a Post It, and put it in a place where you can see it. Now you must hide your entire list and start focusing on finishing the only task you wrote down.
So keep working on the “one thing” list, and the moment you finish, you can now tear the Post-it off and mark off the task of your list.
This tactic has worked for me, helping me stay focus and the number of completed tasks per day.
Try Social Media Blockers
Today’s adults have witnessed how social media have become a great distraction from our daily lives. And for many people, it has already become an addiction being on their social media.
We can use social media blockers for those who feel that this has already affected our productivity. In addition, we might want to think about installing an app or a browser plug-in to limit our time on sites that impede our work. Some tools like these are Freedom (app), RescueTime (app and browser plug-in), and StayFocusd (free browser extension).