How To Remain Focused On Your Goals
In an ideal world, everyone would want to learn how to remain focused on your goals and the office would be a Zen zone where you could get your best work done, but the reality is it’s more like a minefield of distractions. From chatty colleagues to email notifications, intrusions lurk around every corner, threatening to derail your productivity. Every time we get distracted, we pay the price in wasted time.
So how can we block interruptions and better manage our time? Here are some tips to avoid distractions and stay focused on your goals.
- Though we live in technologically advanced age, the old-fashioned to-do list hasn’t gone out of style. Studies show that you’re more productive when you have a written plan of action and your brain is less burdened.
- Remembering your most important goal for the day will ensure you make the most of your time. And research has shown that you’re more likely to stay committed and succeed when you focus on one goal instead of many.
- Science has repeatedly shown that trying to do multiple things at once hurts productivity, and it turns out it harms our ability to focus too.
- It’s not enough to put your phone on vibrate because just hearing your phone buzz distracts you and hurts your performance. There’s even a phenomenon known as Phantom Vibration Syndrome, where keeping your phone in your pocket will trick your brain into thinking you felt it vibrate, especially when you’re anxious or anticipating a call. To block distractions, put your phone on silent and leave it out of sight.
- Technology isn’t always a bad thing for focus; in fact, some apps can help you block distractions.
- It’s debatable whether listening to music improves performance, but if you’re in a noisy work environment with chatter or traffic noise, sometimes it’s better than nothing.
- Listening to white noise while working might be even better than music. Studies have found that white noise (as opposed to silence) improves new word learning, recognition memory, and the speed of calculations.
- Think about it: the purpose of push notifications is to interrupt whatever you’re doing and draw your attention to something else. That’s the very definition of a distraction! Because of this, turn off all desktop notifications, so they don’t distract you from your work.
- Email is one of the biggest time drains in the workplace. One study found that a task interrupted by email takes one-third longer than a task not interrupted by email. So what can you do about it? Create an email schedule. By carving out specific parts of your day for checking email, you take advantage of time batching and minimize the task-switching that drains brain power and wastes time.
- If you want to improve focus, try working in bursts of 20, 25, or 30 minutes. A popular way of doing this is called the Pomodoro Technique, and it’s one of my favorite productivity hacks.
- No matter how good you are at staying focused, distracting thoughts are bound to pop up. It’s just how the brain works. Keep a pen and paper at your desk to prevent these thoughts from derailing your productivity. Whenever you think of something that you need to add to your to-do list or an idea you’d like to pursue, jot it down on the notepad. You can revisit it later.
Interruptions are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you have to face them unprepared. Keep these tips in mind and be more focused.
If your goals are more holistic, then you may consider setting goals in the areas of Mind, Body, Spirit, Social, and Cash.
One easy and all-inclusive way to do this is by learning more about the Wellness Wheel.
It is a simple way to set life goals and remain focused on them, both short-term and long-term. You can learn more about the Wellness Wheel here.