Every time you get distracted, it takes roughly 23 minutes for your brain to re-focus. This means spending a few seconds to read a text message you receive while working is actually a major drain in your productivity.
To achieve greater focus, try these strategies to help you:
1. Remember the “Why”
When you are performing certain tasks at work that don’t completely interest you, it is easy to let your mind wander. Bring it back by reminding yourself why you are doing the task in the first place. When you feel your motivation or focus dwindling, try to think of what you are really accomplishing with that task.
2. Identify Your Productivity-Killers
A way to identify your productivity-killers is by working as you normally do. Every time you end up “down a rabbit hole”, write down what distracted you and what you were originally working on. After two or three days, review your list for the tasks that show up the most. Once you have identified the tasks, organize your schedule so you are not doing those tasks for an extended period of time. Being conscious of what distracts you will make it easier to recognize when you are about to get sidetracked.
3. Take Focus-Boosting Breaks
Every two hours take a Stop, Look, Listen and Smell break. Simply pause what you are doing and look around. The purpose of this is to take a time out and refocus. This allows you to stop reacting to the external stimuli, be mindful of your environment, and focus on what really matters.
4. Use a “Work” Browser
Chose two separate Internet browsers: One for work and one for home. This split will subconsciously help you concentrate, since you will immediately go into “work mode” when you open the work window. You can also block access to your most distracting sites on your work browser.
5. Look at Your Future Self
It is important to remember what you are working towards. Set goals that you want to achieve in your work life 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years down the road. Focus on what you want to achieve by looking back at your goals and crossing them off. Once you complete one goal, move on to the next. This will help you to remain focused on your current tasks until completion so you can move on to your next one.
I hope this helps you to stay focused at work and remember why you are working towards your goals.