Today, I wanted to talk to you about staying focused even when you’re easily distracted. I even sat down. Got comfortable with my laptop and a cup of coffee. And wrote the first few sentences.
But then my three-month-old husky pup had an amazing idea. If we’re talking distractions, then she’d give me what to talk about!
It took her a moment to dash out of my line of sight and catch herself a sock. A second before I got to her, she already swallowed her pray.
This day, I planned to write several articles. Thanks to my little friend’s diversion, I lost about three hours that I spent on contacting a vet, seeking out help and then, letting all the stress pump down.
I was going to tell you about my ways to stay focused. But sometimes, it’s impossible. You drop everything and go with the flow. Accidents happen.
But still – let’s talk about less extreme situations today. Shall we dive in?
Working from home gets difficult at times. We get lazy and postpone tasks. Things as simple as piled up laundry can become an annoying, buzzing fly. Family members and pets can play their part as well.
My trick for staying focused when you’re working from home is to work around those things.
Here’s an example. I know my pup will be a hyperactive little monster until we take her out for her morning walk. Ever since I don’t even start working before I tire her out.
I also know my weak times. I know I’ve got to wrap things up by late afternoon. I don’t even try working in the evenings. All because I know how weak my focus is at that time.
I agree this is a little bit of a trial and error. But it does wonders for me. Luckily, remote work comes with flexibility. I can work only at the best times when nothing disturbs my flow.
There’s this one quote around the internet.
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”, supposedly said by Einstein.
Well, if he indeed said that, then I’m feeling bad about disagreeing with a genius.
Staying focused is nearly impossible for me if there’s more on my desk than a monitor, a notepad, a flower pot and a cup of coffee.
Removing distractions ahead works for me and I’m pretty sure it’s going to work for you as well. But it’s not about your desk only. Here are several things I do on a regular basis before I sit down to my tasks:
Don’t get me wrong – obviously, I don’t put cleaning windows before working. But I hope you get the idea. Sometimes if the action is quick and easy, I prefer to get it off my system so I can focus on my tasks better.
One of the reasons I’ve got into this whole productivity thing was my poor focus. I’ve been prone to brain fogs and I struggled to concentrate on a task for longer periods.
I realised I needed to make the most of the times when I actually can focus. And somehow make those times longer.
These several practices and techniques helped me to deal with my short focus span:
If you’re a short-focused person, then I do recommend you try this approach. First, try to squeeze out most of your short focus times and then work to expand them.
But how to expand it – that’s a story for another time.
So there you have it – my tips for staying focused when you’ve got issues keeping your eyes on your tasks. The most important thing here is to learn what’s your public enemy. And then – work around it or remove it beforehand.
With trial and error, you’ll get there. And if you’ve got your own ideas for staying on your work, hop in the comments and let me know!