07 Feb 4 Ways to Stay Focused at Work
The average North American has an attention span of 8.5 seconds and distractions are everywhere. In fact, we’re inviting distraction; 91% of adults have their smartphone within an arm’s reach. So with a shorter attention span and seemingly infinite information at our fingertips, how do we get anything done at work? Below, are the 4 things I swear by when it comes to staying focused at work.
1. Blocked Out Time In My Calendar
In Gary Keller’s book, The One Thing, he talks about cutting out interruptions for part of your day to enable deep thought and productive work. He recommends blocking out 1-2 hour parts of your calendar daily to work on your most important task. I’ve adopted this, and it definitely helps knowing I have a set amount of time to work on high priority tasks uninterrupted.
2. Clean Desk /Workspace
By having a clean workspace there isn’t much to focus on except work. With working long hours as a lawyer, breaks are necessary. If I need an escape, I’ll go to our conference room or leave the office for 20 minutes to decompress. This helps me keep my office associated with work and nothing else.
3. Phone Out of Reach
This is piggybacking off of the first paragraph of this article. Once I got over the separation anxiety of leaving my phone in my bag (not having it on my desk), I started getting more done. When my phone is on me, I get massive amounts of email that I feel a need to answer in a timely fashion. Giving myself, chunks of time where the phone was out of site (if anyone needed me they could reach me via the office phone) led to me getting more done.
4. Use The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is something I picked up a few years ago. It’s a technique where you work for 20-25 minutes uninterrupted and then take a 5-minute break. I don’t do this all day, but I’ve found it useful to do 3 or 4 of these daily.
If you’re finding it hard to focus at work, try implementing a few of these tactics that have helped me.
If you have any other tips to stay focused, please let me know down below:
This originally appeared on my personal website: Wes Mussio.