Have you ever left your job after an 8-hour shift, unable to remember what you did that day? You know that you got work done, but the specifics…well, they just kind of elude you. If you’re finding that you’re just “going through the motions,” and you’re not maximizing the hours in your day, you may need to refocus.
Here are four tips to help you stay focused, and be at your most productive:
- Stop multi-tasking! This one may sound counter-intuitive, but we’re serious! Our society has been so conditioned to believe we should multi-task all the time, that we cannot focus on the task at hand. Our minds are constantly thinking about the next task, or what else we could and should be doing. But ultimately, this frame of mind is a productivity-killer, and can make it difficult to devote your attention to one single task.
- Block off your time. This doesn’t have to be an absolute, but try blocking out your day with a rough timeline of the tasks at hand. While there is some room for flexibility, blocking off your time can help you ensure all your primary tasks for the day are completed. And it can help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by your task list.
- Avoid calls. Well, not completely, but try letting some calls go to voicemail. Ever try to focus on something, but the phone rings every five minutes? You may tell yourself, “This will be quick,” but every time you stop what you’re doing to take a call, you force yourself to restart the original task. Pretty soon, a good chunk of time has passed, and you’ve yet to accomplish anything!
- Define what needs to be done. Prioritize tasks on your list, so you know what tasks must be completed that day. Then, focus your attention on those tasks. Move onto the next once one has been completed, and use this as a guide for your day (using the time blocks noted above). You’ll stay focused on the essential tasks of your day, and you can leave feeling a sense of accomplishment at the tasks you’ve completed.
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