Distractions abound, regardless of whether you work a 9-to-5 desk job or you are an entrepreneur looking for new business ideas. With entrepreneurs, however, giving into distractions can be costlier. Your business may suffer if you devote too much time checking your social media accounts or emails, or even responding to calls and messages. But what can you do to ignore the distractions?
Here are a few useful tips to help you focus and get as much work done during your work day.
1. Train yourself to focus
If you have difficulty devoting all of your attention to one task for long periods of time, then start with something small. Grab a timer and set it for 20 minutes. During those 20 minutes, do nothing but focus on the task at hand. Don’t read any texts or check your emails during this period. Tell yourself that it’s just 20 minutes – the equivalent of one TV show.
Get accustomed to ignoring all distractions for 20 minutes. Once you do, try moving the timer to 30 minutes. Eventually, you will get used to sticking to a task for longer periods of time until you no longer need a timer and staying focused has become a habit.
2. Avoid multitasking
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking does not make you more productive. Multitasking allows you to work on different tasks at the same time or to change tasks quickly.
In the past, multitaskers were praised for being flexible. Workers who could multitask were a commodity in teams as they could take on a variety of tasks when needed.
However, multitasking is not an innate skill. It is also an ineffective way of completing tasks. With multitasking, each time you try to do a different task, you have to go through the thought process again. You need to remember what you did last, what you need to do next, and how to accomplish the goal. Trying to get back to that state of thinking takes time.
On the other hand, when you devote all your attention towards completing a single task, you don’t have to keep reviewing the steps that you need to do.
3. Take breaks and power naps
When you are an entrepreneur, you sometimes forget to eat or take a break. If you do this long enough, your health may slowly deteriorate. Learn to rest. Even a 15-minute power nap can do wonders for your focus and productivity levels.
4. Write everything down
Multitasking can also make it more difficult to remember things that you need to do. It doesn’t allow you to focus on anything too closely for a long period of time. As a result, you’re not giving your brain enough time to process the information, so you tend to forget more.
If you have a problem with remembering tasks, make it a habit to write them down. Create a list of major tasks and a separate list for minor ones. Major tasks are those that require your utmost attention such as analyzing data or writing. Allocate your day to completing two to three of these major tasks.
5. Identify your peak hours
People have different periods when they’re most productive. Some work best after breakfast. There are those who prefer working in the afternoons while others may produce their best work late at night.
When you have identified your peak productivity times, you also need to determine when your low points happen. Try to accomplish your minor tasks during your low points. Doing it this way allows you to acknowledge your low points during the day while still being able to tick tasks off your checklist.
Each person has their own way of staying focused. These are only a few tips that entrepreneurs have used to keep their attention on the task at hand. Try each one to see which works best for you as you go about your day.