4 Common Reasons You Can’t Focus On Your Work (And How To Destroy Each One) - Deepstash

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4 Common Reasons You Can’t Focus On Your Work (And How To Destroy Each One)

https://blog.trello.com/why-you-cant-focus-on-anything-plus-how-to-fix-it

blog.trello.com

4 Common Reasons You Can’t Focus On Your Work (And How To Destroy Each One)
Feel like you can't focus on anything? Learn from these scientific findings that suggest there might be an underlying reason why you can't concentrate on any of your tasks at hand.

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Quick Fixes For Fatigue Don't Work In The Long Run

Quick Fixes For Fatigue Don't Work In The Long Run

If you feel foggy, yawning at your desk, or drinking too much coffee, you're probably overtired, and it is interfering with your ability to concentrate. Scientists hypothesize that a continued lack of sleep might destroy your brain cells.

A quick fix is to go for a walk outside or to drink a glass of water. But these fixes are no replacement for regularly getting a full night's rest.

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Getting Distracted By News

When big and exciting things are happening outside the office - good or bad - it can become challenging to set it aside and focus on your work. Negative news can severely impact your mood. Good news can increase your adrenaline, and when you are too excited, can cause anxiety.

Acknowledge exactly what is distracting you; then suppress it by focusing on something like your breathing. It should slightly alter your mood and help you to work with renewed concentration.

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When You're Juggling Too Many Things

When your focus feels depleted, it could be because you are juggling too many tasks.

What you can do about it:

  • Start by controlling your environment. Put your phone in another room. Close your email tab. Put headphones in so you don't hear distracting noises in the office.
  • Make a list of your top three priorities for the day.
  • Try breaking your day into smaller chunks, using the Pomodoro Technique or the 52 minutes of work followed by a 17-minute break.

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When You Hate What You’re Working On

When you aren't at all excited about what you need to be doing, taking action can inspire a certain amount of pain and cause you to procrastinate.

Buckle down and get that thing done first, before anything else on your list. Then you know the worst is behind you, causing you to feel more focused for the rest of the day.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

William Penn

"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst".

William Penn

Time anxiety

Time anxiety is the feeling that you have not done enough to meet your goals or that you're not using the time you do have effectively.

Time anxiety is more than feeling overwhelmed at times - it haunts your days and causes you to procrastinate on essential tasks.

Your relationship with time changes

The irony is the more we focus on the limited time we do have, the more restricted our time feels.

Time had little impact on us as children. We used to spend our days with mostly unstructured games and learning. As we became teenagers, time started to gain importance. As adults, time becomes an essential and scarce resource that we have to attempt to control.

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The urgency bias

The urgency bias

We usually give priority to unimportant tasks when there is a sense of urgency around them.

We’re actually psychologically wired to put aside important tasks in favor of ta...

Why it’s hard to ignore urgent tasks

A few explanations as to why it’s so hard to reject urgent tasks:

  • The completion bias. Our brains crave the reward we get from checking off small to-dos from our list.
  • Tunnel vision: When we get overwhelmed by the things we have to do, we choose to act on those most available to us; these are usually emails, calls, meetings, and other low-friction tasks.

Urgency puts us into reactive mode

The problem is that we’re continually bombarded with urgent work: emails, meetings, calls, and instead of being in control of our time and attention, we respond and act on someone else’s priorities.

Fighting For Our Focus

Fighting For Our Focus

Scheduling of work falls into two broad categories: Makers and Managers. Most of us are either managing people and projects or making something, like documents, apps or other creat...

Different Jobs See Time Differently

  • Managers can work in time blocks of 30 or 60 minutes, scheduling meetings or sending emails.
  • Makers need almost half a day to get down and create something, requiring an uninterrupted focus mode that is nearly impossible.

What complicates matters is that many managers who are managing the makers think of time as short blocks and try to break the focused time of the makers, requesting them to juggle work or multitask, which kills any productivity or quality with the unending context switching.

Schedules And Productivity

None of us can get creative in short 15-minute bursts of work sandwiched between a mandatory meeting and a sales team call. It is also a myth that people work for 8 to 10 hours a day.

Most people are productive in sporadic periods of time, like 15 minutes, followed by an interruption, then for 20 minutes, followed by a commitment/obligation/meeting and so on.

We need to align our schedules with our goals and create a strategy that helps us focus on deep work.