Distractions when you are working are a part of life but if you can grab a solid thirty minutes of focussed uninterrupted time, you might be surprised at how much you can get done.
Try the following tips (in no particular order) to stop the scattered brain feeling and get that important task done.
- Minimise physical disturbances -turn off your phone (unless you are working on it) – silence email notifications, close all other browsers. Close your door etc
- Setting a timer is very motivating especially if you are competitive, see if you can beat the clock. 5 minutes can get you going!
- Start at the end, if its helps, write out the finished result in a sentence. Sound stupid? Working back from the end will show you the steps needed and get your brain working. Visualisation of a completed task or optimum performance is a very popular technique used in team coaching and sporting excellence.
- Clear your desk, prepare resources, find a quiet spot- but don’t take too long, procrastination is the thief of time.
- Choose one thing – you can only do one thing at a time so don’t try and multi task.
- Do what you fear most first – or as it has been catch-phrased ‘Eat That Frog’! Choosing your most unpleasant task first can give you huge momentum but if that’s what you can’t face, pick something small and achievable and build from there.
- Mind maps can be really useful to organise your thoughts. Here are some online tools to try it out Five Best Mind-mapping Tools or use good old fashioned paper and pen.
When you just can’t get things done…
Being able to focus is something you can get better at! Honestly! Start small with 5 minutes and just add another minute. Concentrating on something like reading for that amount of time will help practice focussing and you can build up your stamina from there.
If you find you have trouble focussing and wonder where the day went, try and reflect why that day got away with you so you can identify where you got distracted and avoid it tomorrow!
Did you waste an hour talking with someone? Set an alarm on your phone when you know you are likely to get caught up so you can remind yourself you have work to do.
Try using a calendar instead of a To Do List so you can schedule in WHEN you are going to do something so it doesn’t just sit there.