How to work effectively and concentrate, when your mind is a playground for distractions?
When our minds roam around and focus is the only state they can't get to, our productivity is under serious threat. Research shows that an average desk job employee loses 2 hours per day to distractions. That's one workday in the week! 44% of times, distraction is our own doing, which luckily leaves us with enough power to reclaim our productivity narrative and get into the focused state of mind... with the help of the right tools! How to work effectively and concentrate, when your mind is a playground for distractions?
Here are 4 steps to lose the job of the professional procrastinator, and become the master of focus!
The right environment sets the tone for the entire work session. Declutter your desk, and put your phone away: what’s out of sight is out of mind. Harvard's study found that messy workspace negatively impacted people’s productivity and focus, as cluttered space is more likely to trigger coping and avoidance strategies. Creating a quiet, clean workspace is an effective way to improve focus and beat procrastination. Set yourself up for success, starting from your environment!
According to Microsoft research, human attention span decreased dramatically over the years: from 12 seconds in 2000 to just 8 seconds in 2018. The increasing number of distractions, from social media to streaming platforms, doesn’t help. There’s always new content to read, new notification to read, new video to watch, and before you know, a 5-minute break turns into the festival of procrastination. Focus is no fan of multitasking, so minimizing external distractions is a must. The first step would be to turn off notifications and block distracting websites when you work. Apps like Freedom help to get distractions out of your way, and create a focus-friendly environment. Minimize distractions to maximize productivity!
Sleep and focus are inseparable best friends, so without proper sleep, the best tool won’t help you focus. Fatigue leads to decreased focus and slower reaction time, significantly impacting your performance. Miracle solutions rarely exist, but sleep is truly the best medicine against an unfocused mind.
The journey from the professional procrastinator to the master of focus is long and filled with distractions, but once you break bad work habits, getting in the zone will be easier than ever. Prepare for the productivity battle, setting your environment for success, and use time-management techniques to your advantage to make the state of the focus your default work mode. Legends are not born - they are created! Fight your procrastination dragons, and your working days will get their happy endings.