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Focus Series - Create a Focus Haven
The more distractions that go on around you, the easier it is to forgo your work to look at them. Your brain hears a ding or sees a notification about an email or a missed message, and it assumes that the information is important, and needs answered right away. Of course, this is usually not the case and is just an easy way to distract yourself.
If you want to improve your focus, then you need to create a focus haven around where you plan to work. Cut out the noise and any distractions that often get in the way. Not sure what those distractions are? Take note for a few days and see what items and sounds tend to pull your attention away when you are supposed to be working.
An area that is void of all those distractions can make a big difference in how much work you get done. When you do not constantly hear your phone beep or vibrate, you will be amazed at how much you are able to get done during the day. You may even be able to get the work done early without the stress!
Some of the ways that you can create your focus haven includes:
Turn Off Social Media and Email
The first thing that you need to do when setting up your focus haven is turn off the emails and the social media. Social media is one of the biggest time wasters out there and it will not help you get anything done that you need. You should just turn it off as soon as you are ready to get some work done. If you need to, set up something on your emails to let anyone who sends you something know that you are working and can respond to them later. They can always come knock on your door if the matter is urgent.
Turn Off Your Phone
Our phones are connected to so many different things that it is a constant barrage of information and things that can distract us. From social media alerts, emails, phone calls, and texts, our phones are going off all the time. If possible, it is best to turn the phone off when you have some work to do. When you are all caught up, then you can turn the phone back on and look at some of the important emails and other parts.
If you have a job that you can’t completely turn off the phone, be a little creative. Have it set to only ring or send a message when it is someone important, and do not have it do this when any other message comes up.
Close the Door
When you leave your door open, you are inviting a lot of distractions to come in. You can easily hear all the noise and
other commotion that goes on in other offices and down the hall and it does not take much before you notice something that gets you away from your work. Then there is always the chance that someone will see the open door and stop by to talk. A quick question can easily turn into socialization that eats up all your time.
When you need to get something done at the office, close the door. If possible, make it look like you are not even there. A closed door helps to muffle all the sounds that are around you in the office and makes it less likely that someone will knock on the door to talk. This can-do wonders for helping you get some of your work done.
Turn on Some Classical Music
Classical music is the best for this. It is something that can help fill in the empty silence around you or cut out the noise that may easily distract you, without being a distraction itself. Do not be tempted to add in some of your own music. While it can be fun to listen to your favorite band, it does not take long before that favorite song will get you distracted as you sing along. Plus, classical music has been shown to help improve focus! Use classical music to give just enough music and sound behind you to avoid more distractions in the workplace.
You may need to get a little bit of planning down to help with this one. Organization can prevent distractions and may stop you from having to search around the area to find the things that you need. When you must stop and ask someone about a project or you need to search to find the items that you need, it can add a lot of time to a project and slows you down.
Being organized and ensuring that each thing has its own place will make a big difference in how productive you can be. And it eliminates any chances that your focus will go to something else when you should be working. You will know exactly where every item is and can just reach for it.
There are a few ways that you can work on this one. To start, take some time to organize your whole work area. Have items put close together that you often use with one another. Put them away and throw out anything that gets in the way or is trash that you no longer need to use. Then at night, when you try to create your to-do list, grab the items that you will need for the project and put them together in one area for each project you want to complete. You can then grab the items and use them as needed without as much searching around.
When you can make the space around you more tranquil and distraction free while you need to get stuff done, you can minimize the distractions and keep yourself hard at work. By turning off the phone and email and making it harder for others to know you are even there so they won’t stop by, you will find that it is easier to relax and focus.