How to Stay Focused When There Are So Many Distractions 143

stay focused, eliminate distractions

In order to stay focused, one should first know what focus is and why we need it so much. In fact, without it we can’t see any progress in life or get anything done properly. But with it, we can create remarkable things and do productive work that matters.

Focus is basically our ability to concentrate on one thing at a time, to eliminate everything else (the distractions) and to let our mind work on the current task in front of us.

It can be a big project at work, a test at university, performing an exercise at the gym, or a conversation with a friend. Whatever that is, focus is a big part of it. It helps us make the most of this activity, experience it truly, be present and pay attention to one thing (be it a person, task, or else).

However, with all the distractions around us these days finding focus becomes a difficult task. But as with everything else, it’s smarter and easier to first eliminate what’s unnecessary, so that only the essential is left.

In this case, let’s remove distractions in order to be able to stay focused throughout the whole day. But first, we need to identify these so that we can be aware of them.

Here are the main distractions in our daily life that prevent us from staying focused, and what to do to eliminate each:

4 Distractions to Eliminate to Stay Focused and Get Things Done

1. People.

A common scenario is people entering the room/office or calling/texting you all the time while you’re trying to work.
They ask you stuff, want you to do something for them, want to see how you’re doing, to just chat, or to share something.

But in order to stay focused every day for at least a few hours, and to thus get closer to your goals in life all the time, you need to be ruthless with your most productive time.

So I say find when in the day you’re most productive, and be by yourself for that period without letting anyone distract you.

Stay focused by knowing no one would come or call you. The best solution is to simply tell them it’s important to you to work at that time. If they respect you and take you seriously, they won’t bother you.

If it’s urgent, then of course things would be different and you’ll react quickly. But most often people exaggerate and just need attention or simply to communicate with someone, although there’s not even anything essential to talk about.

Don’t let them waste your time and focus. Be ruthless with these two.

By the way, that’s also a pretty useful experiment. You’ll notice that some people may keep calling you or texting you all the time, or asking for favors, although it’s nothing important. That means they don’t really respect you or just don’t care at all. It’s a good thing to keep in mind.

2. Social media and email.

These come in one category. And it’s when you’re working on something online. Which almost anyone has to do daily.

You need to set some limits. Decide on a fixed time when you’ll check email (like twice a day – once in the morning, and once in the afternoon), and a certain part of the day when you’re allowed to indulge in social media (like after you’re done with your main work tasks).

3. Random thoughts.

Now that’s something we’re all familiar with.

When you really need to stay focused – regardless of the reasons and other factors – random thoughts start popping up in your mind and you can’t concentrate at all.

This is something you need to work on for some time. You need practice before you can be laser focused. But once you have it, you’ll get much more work done in less time. And that will save you so much time and worries in the future. So it’s worth the effort now to see such results.

One way to practice clearing your mind is meditation. All you need to do is stay still and try to focus on your breathing, or just on one thought (preferably a positive affirmation).

In the beginning you’ll find it hard to do even for a few minutes. But in a week or so you’ll see improvement.
Soon you’ll be able to empty your mind from past and future thoughts completely.

4. Procrastination.

Yep, procrastination itself can be called a distraction too.

It’s when we start overthinking, wondering what to do first, finding excuses not to work on that right now, fearing we might fail, being in doubt, and so on. All these are forms of procrastination.

How to beat it?

The simplest way is to start working on the first thing on your to-do list right after you get out of bed. Otherwise, you’ll start doing something else first, and from there on your focus will be lost.

To stay focused you need to first start something. And for that to happen, you need to be prepared too.

Creating a to-do list the night before is one way. Also, try to think of the possible distractions that may come in the way in advance. And do something about them.

So that’s how you find focus and do productive work in a world full of distractions. It’s all about clarity. And another useful thing you can do is get clear about your specific goals, both in the long- and short-term.

Once you know how each task and activity will help you get closer to something you truly want, you’ll be motivated to start working on it and will be concentrated as much as you can.

How do you stay focused? What are the distractions you have to deal with all the time?

See also:

5 Steps to Finding Your Focus
An 18-Minute Daily Plan for Finding Focus

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How I Finally Managed to Focus and Got to Work without Putting It Off 26

How I Finally Managed to Focus and Got to Work without Putting It Off

Here are the things that helped me find focus and finally get to work:

Tip #1 Write it down.

When I say write it down I mean that whatever you want to do on the day or even the night before for the following day. Simply write exactly down what you want to do/achieve. This simple tip alone is almost like flicking a switch in your brain to do it.

Simply writing down your goals and your plans not only makes you think about the goals and the steps that you need to do to achieve them. Sometimes this can be a great way to realize exactly what you want and get you thinking of things you perhaps hadn’t thought of prior.

Not only this but there have been countless studies done showing that writing something down with greatly improve the chances of it coming to fruition than not writing it down at all.

The great thing about this is that it can be literally applied to many areas of like. You can write down your long-term goals or you can write down what you plan to do for the next day.

I, personally, do it every night after I am long finished with my work for that day. I set aside 5-10 minutes for writing down what I want to do tomorrow. The act itself cements it in your brain.

This is also a great way to help with procrastination. It’s almost like holding yourself accountable for it which I will get into more in my next point.

Tip #2 Hold yourself accountable.

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Holding yourself accountable to an overall goal or target can be an excellent way to actually push yourself to that point where you get to work consistently.

For example, let’s say I want to lose some weight and be on a particular diet to achieve that goal. Telling your friends and family that you are doing it makes you more accountable than doing it alone.

Your friends/family will often follow up with you about your progress. This is a constant kick up your ass to keep working towards your goal. Also, doing things like posting it on Facebook or somewhere where people can engage with you and follow your progress is great.

Ideally, having an accountability partner would be the best option for this.

An accountability partner and you would usually be moving towards the same goal and would constantly encourage each other to get to work. Most importantly, you two will be accountable for your actions!

A great way to find such like-minded people is through social media. For example when I work on my blog FlipFlopsandAppleSauce, I have a artner that is also running a blog. We both set goals on how often we publish content to hold each other accountable. It works extremely well.

Tip #3 Don’t be focused on results.

Don’t put pressure on yourself if you aren’t achieving your goals as quickly as you want.

Let’s say you have an online business and you want to make $1000 a month in profit. Instead of focusing on how much money you are currently making, look at what steps you need to take to get to that $1000. The more of these you take, the sooner you will get there.

Tip #4 Concentrate on today.

 

Some people are always thinking of long-term objectives. That’s not a problem, but you should always try to break down your goals into smaller, easier steps. Then, dedicate each day to working towards completing these steps.

Not only does that make things simpler and easier to manage, but it also puts less stress and pressure on you in the long run and will undoubtedly save you lots of time.

Tip #5 Let it become a habit.

Once you get into a routine, doing some of the more tedious things won’t be as much of a problem. Because at the beginning, you had to make a more conscious effort to make them happen. But once something becomes a habit through use of constant repetition, it becomes 10 times easier to do it.

After doing something consistently for 20 days in a row, it will start to become a habit.

So, if you are doing something that you don’t enjoy 100% to work towards your goal, it would be a great idea to challenge yourself for 3 weeks. Make it a habit, because, beyond that initial 3 weeks, things should only become easier.

#Tip 6 Think goals, not hours.

Some people say ‘I want to work 5 hours on this today’. In my opinion, this is not a solid mentality to have.

People who work with that in mind tend to draw out what they are working out to achieve that time target, which usually isn’t helpful at all. Not only that, but it lowers overall productivity.

I like to set steps that I want to do on that exact day. I have a clearer target that isn’t limited or restricted by time in this case.

Also, once you have finished what you set out to do for that day, you feel a great sense of accomplishment. Which for me, is an amazing feeling that keeps me coming back for more!

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David Gray is an entrepreneur that loves marketing. This “career” path allows him the freedom that he truly craves in his life.