Being distracted is the ‘’plague’’ of our time. Especially with our little friends, smartphones, it has become unavoidable. To add further salt to the wound, our smart watches, bluetooth earphones, Ipads, are all potential focus fatigue factors.
I am not being a Luddite and saying these are bad. On the contrary, they are awesome! But as in everything, moderation is the key.
Due to all these possibilities, there is a new golden skill in the market. Being able to do focused work. This has become a very precious muscle that most of us are losing (or never had it).
As a trainer, one of my main topics that I am focusing on is ‘’Productivity’’. And a big part of it comes from acquiring the skill to do focused work. After many years or reading, watching, speaking, trying (and most of the time, failing), I have put 5 suggestions that could potentially be useful for you on your path to focused work.
1: Divide the Elephant
A task by itself might seem too big to swallow. Therefore it is always a good idea to ‘’divide the elephant’’, which means to divide the task into smaller pieces. For example if you want to read a 300 page book, seeing the task as ‘’read 300 pages’’ might be a bit scary. But when you say ‘’read 30 pages per day’’, it sounds easy, it is easy and much more manageable.
Therefore, it is always a good idea to divide big tasks into smaller tasks, and celebrate each little achievement.
2: Get rid of all the distractions
It is extremely easy to get distracted in today’s world. Therefore we need to put extra effort to get rid of those distractions. Messages, notifications, reminders… They do come from everywhere. Therefore, the best way to do focused work for me is to put my laptop into do not disturb mode and put my phone away. Otherwise, I know that I will give in to the temptation and get distracted.
Once I get rid of the distraction, the problem is automatically solved.
3: Plan ahead
The time I spend planning saves me a lot of time. Using an online calendar, notepad and an app like Notion helps me to stay organized and makes me a lot more efficient. I know a lot of people think planning is ‘’taking too much time’’. To give an example, 1 hour of planning for me saves me around 10 hours, because I don’t waste time trying to figure out what I have to do and get lost in the process. I start, I do it, and I finish.
4: Benefit from digital tools
It is the technology era… Let’s use it! There is an app for everything, and if used correctly, these apps & digital tools will make your life much easier. Use Google Calendar, Evernote & Notion for time management. Use Grammarly to make sure you write correctly. Use Canva to do your designs. Use Trello to work efficiently with your team. Use Focustime to manage your social media usage.
These tools help you be more productive and do focused work, when used correctly.
5: Surround yourself with productive people
When you talk about productivity, with productive people, it positively affects your frequency. Even just a regular chat with such a person will help motivate you. Stay close to such people and put healthy boundaries with toxic people.