When was the last time you were truly productive? I don’t mean when you were busy, not one of those eighteen hour days where you were exhausted, but had nothing to show for in the end. The last time when you were so involved in work that you forgot everything around you and your entire focus was on the work at hand, and the end results were extremely satisfying.
Productivity is possible only when you are focused on the task at hand. However, bringing yourself to concentrate on the task, especially if you hate the task is quite a challenge in itself. It requires a tremendous amount of willpower to keep yourself from distractions and loosing yourself in the rabbit hole of internet and social media networks. You can only do so much to stay away from checking your facebook or tweeting or checking out that article on buzzfeed. It is important to note that distractions don’t have to be external either, the human mind is more that capable of losing focus on its own. Losing focus is not only a natural process, but is also desirable in some cases. However, to get most work done, it is important that you don’t lose focus and concentrate on the task at hand.
Here are a few tips to increase your focus:
1) Work in short bursts: Research shows that the human mind can concentrate for about 20 to 25 minutes before the concentration begins to wean. This fat seems to be the basis for the Promodo technique, where you give your entire focus to one particular task for about 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break and return to the task. You get to take a longer break of 15 to 30 minute every two hours or so.
2) Deadlines are important: Parkinsons law states that The work fills the amount of time available to do it. Setting up strict deadlines will do wonders to your productivity. you should also give yourself realistic deadlines, and they also have to be concrete instead of vague.
3) Stop and think: Another way to increase your focus is by training yourself to be focused. Yes, one can train themselves to be focused. Multiple times a day, stop what you are doing and become aware of what you are thinking. Are you truly concentrating on the work that you are doing, or are you letting your mind wander.
4) Follow a healthy lifestyle: This is of utmost importance when it comes to personal development. Not only will this help you keep fit physically, it will also keep your mind free from distractions. Eat healthy and work out regularly. It helps keeps toxins at bay and increases blood flow to your brain. If your body functions efficiently, then the brain can concentrate on the mental aspects without much hindrance.
5) Tech sabbatical: Refrain from social media networks and unnecessary online activities for a while. At least for a week. It helps you to prioritize your needs and keeps your work in order. When you do return to it, make sure you use it sparingly and ensure that it doesn’t consume all your time.