Why Focus is Your Competitive Advantage at Work (plus 19 ways to actually do it) - Deepstash

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Why Focus is Your Competitive Advantage at Work (plus 19 ways to actually do it)

doist.com

 44% of work distractions are self-inflicted and another 23% come from emails.

That means you have complete control to cut out (or at least drastically reduce) 67% of the productivity-killing distractions that derail your entire workday....

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  1. When you work on one thing at a time, you tend to work on the right things, because you have to plan your tasks.
  2. When you single-task you accomplish more in less time with less stress. Intentionally focusing on one task at a time has been proven the most efficient way t...

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  • Turn off notifications or at least turn on priority notifications.The time and mental focus lost in attention-switching even for a second adds up throughout the day.
  • Use two computers - one for doing work and productive things, the other to do unproductive work.

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Make a single-tasking plan

  • Keep a to-do list with focused, actionable items.
  • Visualize your to-do’s one at a time.
  • Schedule your daily to-do’s. Each task gets a specific time slot when you’ll only work on that one item on your list.
  • Create unrealistically short deadlines...

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Dealing with interruptions

  • Add interruptions to your to-do list to come back to later.
  • Keep a “read later” list. whenever you come across a tempting article.
  • Keep a “bright ideas” repository. Instead of following up on your ideas immediately, keep a running list of thoughts you wan...

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  • Trying to focus on more than one thing at a time reduces your productivity by as much as 40%. That’s the cognitive equivalent of pulling an all-nighter.
  • The average desk job employee loses 2.1 hours a day to distractions and interruptions. That adds up to over a full da...

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Getting back on track

There is always a temptation to multi-task that will interfere with your focus.

  • Take regular breaks throughout the day. Studies have shown that the longer we work without the breaks, the more prone to distraction we become.
  • Forgive yourself when your day doesn’t go as...

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When you single-task...

  • you tend to work on the right things. Effective single-tasking requires planning. Starting your day without a plan is just asking for distraction and inefficiency.
  • you accomplish more in less time with less stress: Intentionally focusing on one task at a t...

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4 essential components of effective single-tasking:

  1. Cutting out distractions.
  2. Make a single-tasking plan you’ll actually stick to.
  3. Dealing with unavoidable distractions.
  4. Getting back on track when you’ve fallen off the single-tasking band wagon.

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  • Use apps that block online distractions.
  • Turn off notifications and see the difference in your productivity.
  • Use two computers: one for the things that are distracting and one for the focused work.
  • Only keep one tab open at time.

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  • Keep a to-do list with focused, actionable items.
  • Visualize your to-do’s one at a time, by writing them on sticky notes.
  • Schedule your daily to-do’s.
  • Create unrealistically short deadlines: it for...

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  • Procrastinate on purpose: you can limit distractions' impact on your productivity by simply adding them to your to-do list to come back to later.
  • Keep a “read later” list for the helpful articles you come across.
  • Keep a “bright ideas” repository: keep a r...

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  • Take regular breaks throughout the day. Our brains simply did not evolve to focus on one thing for extended periods of time - the longer we work without the breaks, the more prone to distraction we become.
  • Forgive yourself when your day doesn’t go as planned. Ruminating...

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