Maintaining Focus in a Busy Life
Do you find yourself using your phone many times throughout the workday just to check out Instagram, or what’s happening on Facebook and Twitter; or do you repeatedly read emails as they come? If you think that is being productive, then you are wrong. Actually, you are distracting yourself from the more significant tasks in your life. If you want to grow your business and improve your workflow, then it is important to eliminate daily distractions. Here are some of the tips to main your focus in a busy life.
The first and most obvious step to staying focused is to turn off notifications. You may be under the impression that notifications aren’t that distracting because these distractions last only 10 seconds tops. But, according to researchers, even though a notification seems to only momentarily distract us, it disrupts our thoughts for much longer, making it difficult to get back on track. Even if you don’t interact that much with your phone, this device can disrupt your attention.
Try setting aside a period of time in the morning to check your email and work on your social media presence and then another chunk at the end of your day. For the rest of the day, stay away from your phone and turn off notifications.
Establishing a daily routine is a great tactic to improve your focus. When you establish a daily routine, you’ll begin doing things automatically. You’ll no longer have to waste time thinking about what you have to do and when you should do it.
Mark Zuckerberg famously stated that he wears the same outfit every single day to focus his energy and improve his productivity; and entrepreneur and productivity guru Tim Ferriss recommends eating the same meal for lunch every day to stay focused.
Whether you're planning out your outfit, preparing your lunch or carving out time in your day to do important tasks, create a routine and stick to it. An easy and fun way to help you set up a daily routine is to use an app like Productive- Habit Tracker. By having a daily routine to follow, you’ll avoid wasting time on distractions and fit more into your day than you thought possible.
As a business owner, you have a staggering number of tasks to complete in a day. You may find it overwhelming and distracting to think about all you need to get done. But a great tactic for staying focused on the tasks at hand is to rank those tasks in order of importance.
In his bestselling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey recommended ranking tasks by important/not important and urgent/not urgent. Ranking your tasks will help you focus on what’s most crucial and avoid wasting time on menial chores.
A lot of people think they’re great at multitasking, but the truth is that most of the population can’t multitask at all, at least not as effectively as they think. In fact, MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller has stated that multitasking ruins productivity, causes mistakes and impedes creative thought. He said that to better understand how our brains delude us into thinking we can multitask, we should look at how we physically see the world.
We appear to perceive our surroundings through a video-camera lens, but in reality our eyes are actually darting around three-to-four times per second, taking in our surroundings in snippets. It’s the same with multitasking: When we’re working on multiple different things at once, our effort may seem seamless, but it’s not.
So, stop trying to multitask and start "single-tasking." When you focus on one thing at a time, you’re much more likely to get that one task done quickly, efficiently and correctly.
With your busy schedule, it’s hard to take time out for yourself, but regenerating ourselves is important to maintaining focus. When you feel your energy begin to fade, you'll find that your ability to focus will decrease along with it.
And, as you tire, you may find yourself succumbing to distractions like social media more often, making it more difficult to make decisions.
Consider how you can implement a few of these ideas to maintain focus and see if you feel more productive and less distracted. You will likely find that it is easier to remember what needs to be done and keep yourself on track.