How to Focus on Work in the Age of Distractions

This is a guest post from Stephanie Lynch. Stephanie is a freelance writer who has dedicated the past few years to helping people find out what unknown things cost in life.

Think about this scenario for a second: You grab your coffee, sit down at your desk and you’re ready to work for the day, but as you sit down and start to log in, you slowly realize an hour has passed because you were reading about some crime story in Houston on Facebook – a city you don’t even live in!

Sadly, distractions on the Internet and in life have taken away probably thousands of hours that could have been productive. So how do you become productive and kick these silly distractions to the curb? Easy, if you follow these tips:

#1 Keep your goals in mind

The first thing you will want to think about is why you want to focus.

Do you want to finish a report for the day? Do you want to finish the first chapter of your book by the end of the week?

Think about these goals for a second and write them down.

Doing so will help you stay focused and allow you to feel good when you complete these goals at the end of the day. Setting goals and seeing them visually is an easy way to keep focusing throughout the day.

#2 What is your problem?

Why do you feel you don’t get a lot accomplished throughout the day? Do you have a Twitter or Facebook addiction? Or maybe you love checking your fantasy scores every hour, even though it isn’t changing because it isn’t game day.

Just like an addiction in real life, you first have to accept it and take the steps necessary to kick this habit to the curb. Yes, getting rid of these habits can be hard, but with enough determination and focus, it really can be done, I promise!

#3 Watch what you eat

Studies have actually shown that you can focus better if you eat the right foods in the morning because it can help with your attention span and concentration. Instead of waking up and heading straight to the office, consider eating some food that can jump start your metabolism.

#4 Dump the Internet

Most disruptions happen on the Internet, and once you get distracted, it can take you up to 30 minutes to come back to where you started.

Think about that one for a second.

If your work can be done without the Internet, heavily consider doing so as this will limit the chances of being distracted with Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook.

#5 Limit your focusing

Don’t focus on 10 things per day because this can get overwhelming pretty fast. Instead, try to one task and do one thing at a time. If you have a never-ending list of tasks, it can seem like a daunting task because it more than likely is!We’re all human and you can’t expect to do a list of 20 things in eight

We’re all human and you can’t expect to do a list of 20 things in eight hours, when in reality it’s going to take 40.

Taking the slow approach at first can allow you to see what you can accomplish and not make you feel so stressed out at the end of the day.

#6 Set a schedule

Similar to writing down your tasks, it may be a good idea to write down your schedule for the day as well. This could be something such as checking e-mails at 2 p.m. only or making phone calls at 1 p.m.E-mail can be a large distraction, and if you’re the type that checks your inbox every 10 minutes, this can really put a damper on your day.

E-mail can be a large distraction, and if you’re the type that checks your inbox every 10 minutes, this can really put a damper on your day.

#7 Consider apps

Kicking all of those fun websites can be really hard, but it doesn’t have to be if you install the right extensions. Certain apps and extensions can block websites so you won’t be able to view them during certain hours.Depending on the app and/or extension you install, it can do everything from recording the amount of time you spend on a website to blocking all of the fun websites on the web.

Depending on the app and/or extension you install, it can do everything from recording the amount of time you spend on a website to blocking all of the fun websites on the web.

#8 Wear headphones

If you work in a noisy environment, consider wearing noise-canceling headphones to drown out the sound around you.The great thing about headphones, even if you’re not listening to music, is that they can make the room appear quieter and people around you may not bug you as much because many assume you’re busy when you’re headphones are on.

The great thing about headphones, even if you’re not listening to music, is that they can make the room appear quieter and people around you may not bug you as much because many assume you’re busy when you’re headphones are on.

#9 Consider quitting social media

LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook will be your primary distraction; there’s no secret about that one.

While I’m not saying you have to deactivate these accounts, consider not logging in for 30 days to see how much you can really accomplish. If you look back after these 30 days and think, “Wow! I really was able to get a lot done”, then you may want to consider kicking them out of your life.

Social media, as you probably know, doesn’t really contribute much in life.

Do you really need to know what people think about our new president? Or about the new cat breed in New Zealand? Our grandparents survived life just fine without social media and so can you.

#10 Turn off all notifications

Except for phone calls, turn off every notification on your computer and your phone.

That way, when someone tags you on Facebook or mentions you on Twitter, you won’t have to stop what you’re doing to check your phone to see what it’s all about.

YOUR TURN

How do you keep your focus?

Share your experience with us!

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Simone Barbero

Simone Barbero

Italian performance marketer and media buyer. Affiliate marketing is my bread and butter. Productivity and self-improvement are my passions. I created Hustle Mode ON to help fellow Side Hustlers be more productive and smash their goals.

2 Comments

  • I’m, like you, a big fan of wearing headphones when working. I recently bought big Sony headphones so I can be sure no outside noise will reach my ear membranes 😀 Also, what I did is to unfollow everyone on Social media. Now, when I open Facebook, for example, there is nothing. I tried quitting social media several times but it never worked. Unfollowing everyone helped a lot.

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