As a time management coach one of the questions I’m asked is “How can I keep my focus?”. In a world of distractions and overwhelm learning how to stay focused is an essential capability for every entrepreneur and leader.
The distractions that surround us aren’t going anywhere. Learning how to overcome distractions and staying focused on your most important work is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
If you need help staying focused, this article shares 10 tips on how to stay focused. These tips will help you focus and avoid feeling stressed, distracted, or overwhelmed at work.
When you can enhance focus you can manage time better, be more productive and get more of your important work done. If you have trouble staying focused, learning how to stay focused at work will boost your attention span, confidence and results.
How to stay focused and overcome distractions
If you need help staying focused, here are 10 tips to improve your focus.
1. Eliminate distractions
Your ability to stay focused is an essential capability to cultivate. Getting your most important work done is essential, and staying focused is the key to getting things done.
To stay focused at work it’s important to eliminate distractions so you can focus without interruptions. When you are distracted by people, emails, social media notifications and phone calls it’s hard to maintain focus.
To eliminate distractions look at both internal and external factors to pinpoint the cause of distractions. Your inability to focus might be through lack of sleep or not planning your day effectively.
You may struggle to stay focused because of a lack of time management skills, a cluttered office or by being constantly interrupted.
When you can identify the cause, you can fix it.
2. Set up your day the night before
To learn how to stay focused at work set up your day the night before. Productive planning in the evening will ensure you start every morning feeling focused and productive.
Use an evening routine to identify your most important tasks (MITs) for the following day. Having an effective evening routine will help you get clear on your most important activities each day. This will ensure you are focused in the morning and ready to take on your most important work.
By being intentional about where to focus your time, you eliminate distractions and busy work.
3. Get enough sleep
They key to staying focused at work is to have a good night’s sleep every night. A lack of sleep can reduce your energy, concentration and focus.
If you don’t get enough sleep it’s easy to feel tired and exhausted all the time. Not getting enough sleep will lower your productivity levels and cause higher levels of stress and burnout.
It can also affect your memory, as well as your ability to concentrate and focus for a sustained period. The recommended amount of sleep is 7 to 8 hours per night. If you want to stay focused for longer, ensure you optimise your sleep.
Read also: How to sleep better at night
4. Set daily goals
If your lack of focus is a result of having too much going on it’s easy to feel distracted and overwhelmed. To stay focused at work it’s important to set a small number of daily goals.
When you have less, more important things to focus on you can boost your ability to concentrate and stay focused. if you have important goals that you want to accomplish it’s easier to avoid distractions and stay focused.
Keeping your daily goals list short also improves your ability to prioritise. It ensures you stay focused and productive throughout the day.
5. Stop multi-tasking
Despite what you may think, multi-tasking is not more effective or productive. If anything, multi-tasking will reduce focus and productivity. If you’re struggling with staying focused avoid multi-tasking.
Multi-tasking reduces productivity as it takes up to 20 minutes to regain focus on your most important work if you constantly switch between tasks.
Instead, decide on your three or four most important tasks. Then pick your most important task and focus your time and energy on that task until complete.
Read also: How to prioritise and stay focused
6. Take breaks
To stay focused all day at work, it’s important to take regular breaks. Taking regular breaks ensures you stay energised and motivated. it also boosts concentration and focus.
If you don’t take breaks it’s easy to feel tired, exhausted or fatigued. When you go for a long period without taking breaks you could be at risk of burnout.
It’s easy to start the day feeling energised and productive. However, your energy and focus can drop if you don’t take regular breaks. Try taking regular breaks to boost mental and physical energy.
Whatever your break involves it’s essential to take them if you want to boost focus and productivity at work.
Read also: How to be more productive at work
7. Do the most important thing first
You can increase your focus by identifying, and tackling, your most important task first. When you set your priorities for the day you can focus on that task before anything else.
You are often at your most focused, energised and productive first thing in the morning. So, start the day with your most important and productive work.
If you start working on something first that you dread or that bores you, it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus. When you’re distracted you waste valuable time and things take longer to complete.
Stay focused on your most productive work first to produce bigger and better results.
8. Create an optimal work environment
Creating an environment that helps you stay focused and removes clutter and distractions will instantly boost your productivity. When you have physical and mental clutter it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus.
To stay focused at work make sure your desk is tidy and remove anything that might distract you. To increase focus, find a space that is calming and allows you to focus longer.
If your mind is cluttered and you can’t focus take time to write everything down to clear your mind. Alternatively, meditate to regain your attention and focus.
9. Avoid procrastination
If you want to stay focused it’s essential to stop procrastinating. Procrastination takes away your focus from your most important activities.
Procrastination often happens when you know you should do something, or when you know you shouldn’t do something but carry on anyway.
When you procrastinate, you lose focus. It also causes you to waste time and energy.
Learn how to stop procrastinating by identifying the activities you are procrastinating on.
Then make a decision to take action on the biggest one.
10. Increase your energy
You can lose focus when you feel tired or fatigued. To boost focus and attention, find ways to increase your energy levels. When your energy levels are high, it is simpler to stay focused.
To stay focused and boost energy during the day take a walk, get some exercise, do some stretching or take a nap.
Find something that works for you that maintains your focus throughout the day. When you take a break from work, you come back to your task with renewed focus and energy.
When you have too much going on you may not be able to focus on your most important work. This inability to focus causes distraction, procrastination and overwhelm.
Learning how to stay focused is an essential capability to develop. If you want to be more productive and learn how to stay focused on your goals use these tips to focus on the things that really matter.
Knowing how to stay focused will ensure you stay on track with your biggest priorities every day.
Now I’d love to hear from you
What’s your best tip that helps you stay focused?
Let me know in the comments.
About the Author
Mark Pettit is a time management coach based in Colchester, Essex, UK. He is the Founder of time management coaching company Lucemi Consulting. Mark provides time management coaching programs to business owners and entrepreneurs in Essex, Suffolk, London and across the UK.
Get more articles, tips and tools to help you increase your focus and be more productive on the blog.
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