14. helmikuuta 2017

How to stay focused

I work mainly from home. Alone. I write my thesis, I blog, I do YouTube videos, I'm building my own freelance business as well as the website for that.. As I have always a million and one things to get done I need to know how to get myself focused on the tasks at hand and more importantly how to stay focused and not get distracted.

Learning to do this has been a long journey. To be honest I'm still not completely there. But I have started to realize what helps me to stay focused and what are the things that destroy that focus. I wanted to share with you some of the things I've learned so far. Maybe if you're anything like me you might find some tips and tricks here that will work for you as well.

How to stay focused

Do a "brain dump" before you start working

For me hands down the most distracting thing in the world are those million thoughts and tasks that are constantly running around in my head. They keep me distracted because they usually are something I need to remember to do or check. I like to keep a notepad next to me and just jot down everything that's running around in my head. This way I can leave those thoughts alone since there is no more fear of forgetting them.

Create a work space that inspires you

After years of using our dining table as my work desk I've come to realize just how important it is to have a designated works space where you ENJOY spending time. A beautiful work space makes you WANT to sit down and get to work and it can give you so much more drive to get stuff done. Plus you will be so much more focused on your work.

Turn off all distractions

Now if you're one of those people who work well when there is a slight background noise then you can leave the TV on for that effect. Just make sure there's nothing on that you would want to watch. It's important to turn off anything that might distract you from your work. I feel like the most important things to turn off are your phone, social media and email as they have the power to destroy your focus real fast.

Listen to calming music

I noticed once when I was trying to write my thesis that the house was too quite. I couldn't focus. So I found some relaxing spa type music on Spotify and put that to play softly in the background. Suddenly I fell into this trance. I just wrote, wrote and wrote for hours on end until I realized what had happened. So far this has been the most powerful tool that I've found and I highly recommend you try this at least once.

Improve motivation

Sometimes it can be difficult to focus our energy into things that we don't consider beneficial to us. Things that we feel like we just HAVE TO do. What helps me is to sit down and think about my "why". WHY am I doing this? What's in it for me? Is this something that will take me closer to where I want to go? Most of the time the answer has been yes. This has helped me to gain motivation to do some tasks that many times I would have just considered useless.

Do only one thing at a time

When we try to do several things at once we just end up splitting our focus into small pieces. It always takes some time to shift our focus when we're shifting from one task to another. It takes a while to get that momentum going so if you're shifting your focus every half an hour you'll never get that momentum going. If you need to get three big tasks done in one day, choose one and give it your 100% focus until it's done. Only after completing the task move on to the next one. This will give you more drive to go deeper into your task.

Take small steps

Sometimes we face larger tasks that are difficult to start due to their size. I've noticed that if I chop that large task into smaller steps it's a lot easier to start. After I've done the first few steps I've already gained that momentum to keep me going. This is why I would suggest listing every small step you need to take in order to get your larger task done and then have a goal of completing just the first step. I guarantee that after completing the first step it's going to be so much easier to continue to the next step. And so on.

Hope you found these tips helpful. Let me know in the comments below if you have any tips that you've found to be beneficial to improving your focus. I would love to learn more!



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