Working from home with a disrupted routine and added distractions, these three tips will help you get focused fast.
At the time I’m writing this post, life all over the world has changed. COVID-19 has impacted life everywhere.
Many workplaces have closed their offices. Employees are working from home. People are stressed, worried, and trying to work under different circumstances.
It can be hard.
If you’re in that situation, you may find that you have to maintain productivity and focus even in very different surroundings. You may have distractions with kids, pets, and other things around the house.
My daughter is doing her school work from home. She shared this is a challenge for her. We had a talk about ways to get focused fast. It’s a relevant topic for the whole family now.
And I imagine it’s relevant for you at times, too.
And even when routines are normal, no matter where you’re working, the world is full of distractions.
If you find you need to get focused fast, here are three quick approaches that can help.
For best results, remove as much external stimuli as you can. Make sure you’re in a place free of as many distractions as you can control.
- Turn off cell phone and IM notifications.
- Make sure there are no TVs or other types of entertainment.
- Let others around know that you’d like to work undisturbed.
Then give these three tactics below a try!
It might be that you have so many things you need to do and simply can’t get focused.
Target that one thing you want to accomplish. Be specific about what you want to get done. You might have a long list you need to tackle, and that can cause you to feel scattered and lose focus.
So instead, pick one thing from that list, and that’s the only thing you’re going to work on.
Here’s what it looks like:
Get very clear on the one thing you’re going to accomplish in the next block of time.
If it helps, write it down on a Post-It note or wherever you can see it. This is the thing you’re going to focus on. This is what you’re going to get done right now.
Now do it.
Accountability parters can be helpful. Even if they don’t know they’re going to be in that role.
Just by making the commitment to someone and saying you’re going to finish something by a certain time, you’re increasing the likelihood that you’ll get it done.
Here’s what it can look like:
Tell your spouse, roommate, peer, or friend that you’re going to accomplish a certain task by a certain time. You can let them know that your statement is simply to help you get focused.
Then do that thing.
Bonus points if you circle back when it’s done and tell them you succeeded!
Setting a timer can help you zoom in your focus since you’re now working against the clock. Some people work well under pressure. Working against the clock to get something done in a set amount of time can be the push you need to get focused fast.
Here’s what it looks like:
Once you’ve identified what you’re going to work on, decide how much time you want to devote to it. Set a timer. And Go!
If you’re creating a PowerPoint for a presentation, you may set a timer for one hour for fully focused time. Even if the presentation will take longer, setting the timer will keep you focused for that time block.
If you’re scheduling a project meeting, setting a 10 minute timer will keep you from getting distracted and reading other emails while you’re working on that task.
Even when you setting back into your routine, you may have challenges with focus. These tactics can help.
These tactics may not work so well for creative work. It’s more for honing intense focus.
If you want even more approaches, check out this related post: