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8 Ways to Stay Focused and Minimize Distractions

Throughout the day, everything's fighting for your attention, so here's how to focus on what really matters.

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Do you feel like everything is playing tug-of-war for your attention? You might work on one task then jump to another. At the end of the day, you don’t feel like you have accomplished much. 

Your productivity suffers if you running in between various tasks. How do you bring focus to your day and keep it? Improving your productivity is key to accomplishing your tasks. Here are some tips to help. 

Set Boundaries

Decide on your priorities for the day. Ask yourself, what are the most important tasks for the day? What would make you feel like your day was profitable? Focus your energy on accomplishing those tasks. 

You might have tasks that are secondary priorities but remember what’s important for the day. Of course, emergencies might arise, but don’t allow anything else to come up that will divert your attention from what’s really important. 

Visualize

Run through your tasks and your schedule in your head. When you visualize your day, it helps you to focus on what’s important. You realize that you need to accomplish certain things and this helps you to filter out distractions.

Even if distractions do arise, you’ll be more prepared to respond effectively instead of letting the tide of distraction sweep you away.

Remove Distractions

Set specific times to check email and texts, and avoid social media except in your downtime. It can be tempting to respond immediately to any messages, but it’s easy to get lost in a rabbit hole with those kinds of distractions. Next thing you know, you’ve spent an hour or two on just responding to messages. 

How about other environmental factors? Find a location where you don’t have to deal with glare or the sunshine blinding you. Are you able to operate with the noise level? Keep your surroundings organized so you aren’t distracted by clutter.

The Answer Isn’t Always “Yes”

People always have needs. In the working world or in your personal life, if others recognize you as dependable, as one who’s capable of getting things done, they’ll ask for your help. 

Accepting every ask can be detrimental to your productivity. Don’t be afraid to politely turn down requests. This will help you stay focused on what you need to accomplish. 

Then, as you have the time, you can take on more tasks.

Set a Timer and Take Breaks

It’s difficult to work nonstop for eight hours a day and stay productive. Use a time management system such as the Pomodoro Technique, which limits a working session while preventing burn-out. 

Set a timer for 25 minutes, and work until the timer goes off. Then, take a five-minute break and repeat three more times. After the four cycles, take a 15 to 30-minute break and start over. 

Short afternoon power naps can also help you renew your focus to get more done. 

Leave Work at Work

Don’t check work email after the workday has ended. Coming home and being able to spend your time taking care of your loved ones and yourself will give you more fulfillment. 

You’ll be able to start the next day ready to work. It’s important to detach yourself from work and unwind. Maintain your work-life balance. 

Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Control

The truth is you can’t control many things in your life. If something’s out of your power, there’s no sense in spending energy worrying about it. This will only distract you and keep you from accomplishing your tasks. 

Determine what you can control. How can you respond in a productive manner? How can you solve any problems that arise?

Get Quality Sleep

When you are well-rested, you maintain your focus and work more efficiently. According to the National Institutes of Health, most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep. 

Blue light from electronic interfere with your natural circadian rhythm and makes it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Avoid watching TV, checking text messages or social media, and any online or video games at least an hour before bed.  

Your body needs the restorative stages of deep sleep. This will provide you with energy to maintain focus during the day.

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