how to stay focussed
Method 1Getting Organized
- Keep an organized space. Whether you're doing work in your office or studying at home, having a clean space can help you focus and get your work done with much more concentration. Remove anything that can distract you from your work and isn't relevant to the task. Clean off your desk to include only the things you need to work, leaving just a few photos or mementos to help you relax a bit.
- If you spend just ten minutes cleaning your space at the end of every day, you'll be able to maintain your new organized lifestyle.
- If you don't need your phone to do your work, put it away for a few hours. Don't let it clutter your space and distract you.
- Make a to-do list. Making a to-do list at the beginning of every day or week can make you feel more focused and motivated to continue your work. If you make a list of all the things you have to do, no matter how small, you will feel more accomplished when you check those items off your list and move on to the next task. This will also keep you focused on one task at a time.
- You can separate your to-do list into three lists: things to do that day, things to do the next day, and things to do that week. If you finish the tasks for that day but have some time left over, you can move on to the next set of tasks.
- Prioritize your tasks. Put the most important or hardest tasks first. It's better to save the easier or more manageable tasks for the end of the day, when you're more tired and less compelled to complete the hardest tasks. If you put off the hard tasks until the last minute, you'll be dreading getting them done all day.
- Include breaks in your to-do list. You can reward yourself with breaks. If you finish three tasks, you can have a small snack, or make a quick phone call to your friend, for example. This will make you even more focused on completing the tasks at hand.
- Manage your time. Managing your time goes hand in hand with making a to-do list. Next to each item on the list, write about how long it'll take you to accomplish each task. Be realistic about this estimate. Then, try to complete each task within the confines of each time limit. This will make you less likely to slack off or text your friend for an hour instead of actually getting anything done.
- You can break up more time-consuming tasks with shorter, easier tasks. That way you won't be overwhelming by too many tough tasks in a row. You can think of the shorter tasks as a mini-reward.
- Make time for breaks. Though it may sound counter-intuitive to plug relaxation into your daily schedule, this form of organization will actually help you stay focused. You should take at least a 5-10 minute break for every hour of work, or a 3-5 minute break for every half hour of work. This will help you get more motivated to finish the task, give you a break to rest your eyes, and will give you some time to transition your mind to the next task ahead.
- Choose an activity to do during your breaks. You can set a goal to read for thirty minutes over the course of three hours, for example. Taking a break to rest your eyes from the screen and finish the chapter of a book will make you more motivated to finish your tasks.
- Don't sit at your desk all day. Get up during some of your breaks. Look out the window, take a short walk outside, or just walk up five flights of stairs to get your blood pumping. These short breaks will make you more invigorated to return to work.
- You can even set a timer to go off after every half hour or hour of work, signaling that you should take a break. If you're really "in the zone" you can skip one of the breaks, but don't make it a habit.