3 Ways To Better Focus At Work

typing

To all of you entrepreneurs, small business owners, or aspiring freelancers: here are some thoughts on how to focus on your work. It’s not always easy to focus on one thing at one time, especially when we are constantly bombarded by media 24/7. How does one obtain the maximum amount of focus and become an efficient, working machine? The answers are not always apparent. Over the past few years I’ve had to learn how to fine tune my focus abilities so that I can get more done in less time. Believe me, I’m far from perfect, but I think I’ve caught on to a few key principles that we all can follow.

Consider your environment.

Messy? Cluttered? Barren? Clean?

What type of adjectives would you use to describe your workspace? If you’re a writer like myself, you may find papers pile up on your desk or documents multiply (seemingly out of nowhere) on your computer desktop. Or perhaps you work outside! Your focus isn’t distracted by papers and file folders, but by people! You receive too many phone calls to count and you’re not sure how to tell people “no” every once in a while.

Your environment has a huge effect on how well you can focus at work. Take some time to consider how you might change your environment for the better, and eliminate all distractions possible.

Write things to do down – every time.

One of the best tips I’ve found is to write things down. Not just the super important things, but even the things in your life that are small and minuscule. These tasks can often pop into our minds and distract us from the task at hand.

Writing things down gets these “to do” items out of our heads and onto paper. That way, we won’t have to worry about remembering something, and we can purely focus on our work.

But make sure that these written notes – whether electronic or on paper – get put in a place where you can revisit the task at a later time. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself still thinking about the things you have to do . . . ensuring that you lose focus in the process.

Practice “pure work.”

Multitasking is sometimes glorified in our society. But why? And moreover, are we truly benefiting ourselves while we are multitasking? Focused intensity can go a long way. There is great power in focusing all your thoughts on one single goal, checking it off your list, and moving onto the next project.

The idea of “pure work” I’m promoting here is the concept that you should strip away any distracting elements in your life so that you can garner your energies toward one goal. One might argue that having one goal is impossible in larger projects – because they are comprised of several tasks. While this may be true, it’s important to focus on that one “pure” task that doesn’t have any other elements to it and then move on to the next.

Think of it like this: every project is comprised of many tasks. Your goal is to focus on one of those tasks in the larger project. Identify each task within your project before you start, and you’ll get to a place where you can “purely” focus on one thing at a time.

Practice makes close to perfect. The more practice you have, the better you’ll become and eventually you’ll be that efficient working machine you desire. You’ll make more money, accomplish lifelong ambitions, and be on the road to a brighter future. But remember, it starts with you. God has given you unique abilities, and he desires that you use them for his glory.

What are some tips you have that help you better focus on your work? Let us know in the comments!

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8 Comments
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  1. I use the same methods you do. Writing things down as I think of them is especially helpful. I also take a few minutes each day to organize and prioritize the things I plan to accomplish.

  2. Thanks John, appreciate your perspective. Your “pure work” time, is my “quiet time”. Task related productivity definitely improves…I just need to apply this sequentially to get everything done.

  3. Some good advice. There are a lot of times where I do not write things down and then they end up on the backburner or get forgotten. I have recently started writing down more of the things that I need to get done and find that it helps me get more done.

    Now, I just need to take my own advice and yours and improve my environment. I do some work at home and need to move into the office and get away from the TV.

  4. For me, it’s go time when I shut off email and the music. I get so much more done when I can think clearly without distractions. Sometimes it’s hard working in the construction industry…

  5. John

    If I were to create a mission statement for the way I work, these three things would be on it. First, I’m extremely picky about the way my desk looks at work. In fact, people think I have OCD. Second, I don’t know how people get through the day without making a to-do list and I love the satisfaction that comes with crossing things off that list. And third, I work from oldest task to newest task on my to-do list. If the oldest task just isn’t completable at the time, I move on to the next. Once I make it through the list, I start back at the top and do it again.

    I think you really hit it on the head. Great work!

    Thanks,
    Eric

  6. An important thing to consider: SLEEP
    Did you get enough? Do you need more? You get the idea.
    Not getting enough sleep, being physically ill (and not staying home to take care of yourself), and other well-being problems will severely impact your ability to focus–on anything but the five o’clock bell!

  7. Thanks for the good advise. The “pure work” idea would probably help a lot of students. We talk several classes a semester often only vaguely related. It’s sometimes difficult not to get distracted by other classes while doing one assignment, not to mention all the other distractions like roommates and the internet.

  8. Thanks for the tips, those are helpful for us that needs to focus on what we are doing, I am also a writer and messy table is common to me but what distracts me is my phone, those who are calling me even though it is not important. Need to focus.

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