It’s not about maintaining focus – it’s about removing distractions. Make that a daily habit and your productivity will soar!
For most of us, being able to maintain focus on a task isn’t the problem. Be given a deadline of 2 hours or you won’t be paid and it’s amazing how quickly you’ll wrap things up. Jump on an opportunity to make $1,000 by meeting a 2-day deadline and you’re on it like a bee on honey. Nothing gets in your way to get it done.
Without that incentive, we allow distractions to get our attention. Every distraction takes time that we want to use elsewhere. Distractions cost us money, keep us from finishing an important task or project, stop us from learning a new skill, stop us from success in life and in business.
It’s easier to identify and eliminate distractions than to maintain a high level of urgency to get something done. Here are some things you can try now:
Distraction: Smartphone notifications. You hear the sound and immediately stop what you’re doing to check your phone.
Distraction Elimination: Mute the phone. Mute it unless you are expecting an important call from family or clients. You can check your phone for messages and social media notifications 2x/day – one time at lunch and one-time mid-afternoon.
Distraction: Unnecessary or used tabs and programs on your computer.
Distraction Elimination: Close all that you’re not using at the moment. Use only the program you need. If you’re writing, open only the word processor. If you’re creating graphics, use only the program you need.
Distraction: Checking email every 15 minutes.
Distraction Elimination: Check email at the same time you check your phone for text and voice messages.
If you find that you’re unable to stay Distraction Free for more than 30 minutes at a time, and want to experience a structured work environment while not being in someone else’s office, there is the option of joining a group that hosts virtual work sessions. Focus & Succeed Group is one that does this. Members gather in a virtual room via webcam and mic. The leader sets a timer and tells everyone to mute and get to work. After a set time has passed, the leader gets everyone’s attention with a gentle “time’s up”. Everyone walks away from their computer or phone for about 5 minutes, then returns for another work session. This works for a variety of reasons that will be explained later. Suffice it to say: it works, and it works well for many people.