Stay Focused On The Job In Hand

concentration, staying focused

We live in an era of information overload. We are bombarded 

with media, technology, entertainment, and notifications every 

day. It seems there are hundreds of people and things competing 

for your attention at any given time. There is no wonder why in 

the last few years, our attention spans have become shorter and 

our ability to focus has decreased. 

Your time is valuable. Not being able to focus can have a negative 

effect on how successful we are at work and in our personal lives. 

Focus is a skill that we develop by training and practice. 

Productivity requires intention and strategy to help make your 

time work for you! 

Let’s begin by examining time killers that make us less productive. 

We will discuss tips and techniques to help improve your focus. 

Indentify Focus Killers 

Time killers are activities that distract us from what we really need 

to do. They don’t contribute to helping us achieve our goals. 

Time killing activities are “noise”. They are distractions that kill 

our ability to focus. Laser focus requires to limit them as much as 

possible while you are working. 

The key to focus is to choose one task to do and get rid of the 

rest. Anything that is not essential for completing that task is a 

distraction. 

To help you get started on your journey on maximising 

productivity, let’s identify those things that are distracting you 

from completing your work. 

Tomorrow morning when you start work, try taking a written (or 

mental) note of every time you stop from what you are currently 

working on to do something, then come back to your work. Keep 

a tally. 

Once they are identified, let’s write those activities down to put in 

our plan later. We will look for ways to set boundaries to prevent 

it from happening in the future. Here are a few examples of the 

most common distractions and how they affect our ability to stay 

focused. 

Your Mobile Device/Phone 

It is with you when you wake up, while you are driving, in 

meetings, at dinner, and by your bedside at night. Our mobile 

devices have become another appendage to our bodies. Some 

people find it difficult to be away from their phones, even for a 

few minutes. Constant notifications from apps and texts can 

quickly distract you, causing a delay in getting your attention 

focused back on the task at hand. 

To help us be more aware of our phone usage, some mobile 

devices (like the iPhone) will track home many times you pick up 

your phone a day. This can be a scary number to see. Once you 

are aware of how many times you pick up your phone to check 

notifications, you can start making some adjustments to how 

often you pick up your phone. 

Multi-Tasking 

Some people use multi-tasking as a badge of honor to feel 

accomplished. That person may feel that the busier they are, the 

more things they are getting done. The truth is we can work on 

more than one thing at a time, just not as well. 

When we can focus on one task at a time, we can give it our full 

focus. It takes time for our brains to switch between tasks which 

results in time wasted. Focus on the completion of tasks rather 

than getting many tasks done quickly. How often are you multi- 

tasking? Write down if you feel multi-tasking helps you feel 

accomplished. 

Social Media Traps 

Have you ever fallen into the rabbit hole of YouTube or become 

so engaged with Instagram that you found yourself there for 

hours? It happens often. The chemical rewards we get from our 

brain when we get likes and comments on our posts keep us 

engaged. 

As consumers, we enjoy viewing the millions of videos and 

content posted every day. However, if we are working this is a 

hindrance to our productivity. The best way to stop this time killer 

is to set boundaries for social media. 

Put time on your calendar for checking/posting social media. 

maybe in the evening an hour before bedtime. 

Use the time limit features on the apps to set daily time 

limits. This will help you realize when you are past your limit. 

Turn off your social media notifications. Only check your 

social media during your scheduled time. 

Putting Too Much on Your Calendar 

Do you ever feel the need to fill up every time slot on your 

calendar? There is no reward in having a calendar full of events. 

Too much of a schedule can hinder your ability to complete the 

most important things to get done for the day. 

To limit distractions, make sure only essential events are placed 

on your calendar. A final product review with your team or doctor 

appointments are examples of events that are essential to attend. 

Most of us know the events we must attend. Allow the rest of the 

time to work toward your goals. This gives you the flexibility to be 

able to complete your tasks in however long it takes. This brings 

us to the next big time killer! 

Not Learning How to Say No 

Many people struggle with approval addiction or have a difficult 

time telling people no. This leads to having more things to put on 

your schedule than you need or want. To start taking back your 

time, it means having to turn down invitations from people you 

care about. Sometimes it means turning down meeting requests. 

Your time and energy are valuable. If you don’t respect it, then 

other people will not either. The best thing to do is, to be honest 

with them. Let me know you are working on an important project 

and will get back in touch with them later. 

It is hard to say no; however, it is a necessity when you need to 

focus. Find ways to collaborate with others using methods like 

email, online conferencing or conference calls in place of 

traditional meetings. 

Do you have a time-waster not listed here? Make sure you jot 

those down in your plan so that you are mindful of them. Let’s 

create barriers around those distractions to help you stay focused 

on completing the important tasks of the day.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *