There’s no denying it–we live in a world full of distractions. We have access to unlimited information at our fingertips to fill our time. However, this gets tricky when we actually need to focus and be productive.
If you’re anything like me, you get easily distracted and have to spend a lot of time getting back on task. Studies suggest it can take up to 25 minutes to get back on track after a distraction. In addition to being a time-suck, constantly having to overcome distraction takes valuable energy that could be used in a more purposeful way. Here are five simple ways to increase focus and overcome distraction.
Turn off notifications
Do you really need a pop-up notification for every email, Facebook message, or Instagram like? If you’re trying to minimize distraction and stay focused, you don’t. Instead of getting thrown off track by every interaction, silence notifications and stay up to date during scheduled breaks to help protect your focus.
Work in time blocks
Marathon working sessions can be daunting, and can leave you looking for distraction to take your mind off the tasks at hand. If the idea of a mile-long to-do list sends you looking for time-wasters because you’re unsure where to start, try time blocking. Set a timer for 25-50 minutes of focused work followed by a short break. Working in smaller blocks of time helps you stay focused and is less intimidating than trying to tackle everything at once.
Keep your phone out of arm’s reach
Having your phone within sight can encourage you to pick it up and start scrolling unnecessarily. Keep your phone in another room or far enough away that you would have to get up to go get it. Out of sight, out of mind.
Clear your space
There are few things more distracting than clutter. Before sitting down to focus, make a conscious effort to clear your workspace so you aren’t distracted by odds and ends laying around.
Have some tasks to work on that don’t require being online? Go internet-free while you complete them. Go offline to tackle tasks like writing or making to-do lists. Staying focused is much easier when you aren’t tempted to open tabs and start browsing.