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10 In-Depth Strategies to Improve Your Focus and Produce High-Quality Work

Practice Slow Work

When we react to every little thing that comes up at work, we lose focus and attention.

Counter this by scheduling extra time to complete a task, engaging in single-tasking, and setting reasonable expectations for yourself and for others on how much you are able to produce in a given day.

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10 In-Depth Strategies to Improve Your Focus and Produce High-Quality Work

10 In-Depth Strategies to Improve Your Focus and Produce High-Quality Work

https://medium.com/swlh/10-in-depth-strategies-to-improve-your-focus-and-produce-high-quality-work-b0fbf40de655

medium.com

10

Key Ideas

Develop a Stress Management System

Stress is unavoidable, but we can create systems to decrease its influence over our capacity to work. These systems vary from person to person but they often include meditation, aerobic exercise (i.e. running, cycling, walking), surrounding yourself in nature, and eating healthfully.

When you know an upcoming project will generate stress, anticipate scheduling periods into your work plan to participate in the stress management activities that work for you.

Seek To Explain

Memorization doesn’t necessarily mean learning. The test for whether you understand a subject or not is the capacity you have to explain your subject or argument. 

Improve Your Creativity.

Implementing activities into your daily life such as reading fiction, writing in different tones and styles, and even participating in arts and crafts can foster creativity.
Creativity can be determined by how effectively the brain uses its, often independent, internal networks.

Use It Or Lose It

You need to feed your brain proper stimuli in order to counter degeneration. An active cognitive lifestyle requires continually feeding your brain activities that are intensive, repetitive, and progressively challenging.

Some example activities are: doing a jigsaw puzzle, learning a new instrument, participating in sports activities that require hand-eye coordination responses, and various brain exercises.

Intense Work In Frequent Bursts

Set up a system where you focus on a specific project intensely for 25 minutes at a time, followed by a 5 minute break. Repeat this process 3–4 times and then take an extended break for about 10–15 minutes.

However, while you are on a break do not suddenly shift to multi-tasking, do just one thing at a time. Preferably, give your eyes a break from the screen or do something that requires movement.

Set Several Deadlines

To manage stress from whatever you’re working on, set specific deadlines for each step of your project. This will create a system for your project, which will deal with some of the common uncertainties that are associated with doing something hard or outside of your comfort zone.

Meditate On Your Task

Writing your ideas and meditating on them is important so you don’t commit to a flawed idea for lack of thought. It’s also good to give yourself some time and do other things as our brains often come up with alternative solutions when we are working in unrelated tests.

Make a Daily Or Weekly Work Plan

Schedule ahead of time your day and revise it accordingly as unexpected tasks pop-up.

It’s less about how much gets done and more about establishing a vision as to how your work day will unfold.

Single-Task

Unless the task requires, keep only one or two windows open simultaneously. Don’t keep them minimized either, close them and reopen only if you are taking a break or the task at hand is finished.

By minimizing the sources of distraction you will have an easier time diving into cognitively demanding work.

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Where Your Focus Needs To Be

Take the time to identify what deserves your focus for the year, for the month, for the week, and for the day. Then look at your calendar and block time dedicated to focus.

Unplug For 30 Minutes

If you need to focus, log out of email and social media. Log out for 30 minutes either at the beginning of the day or for a period in the afternoon. You won’t believe how much you can get done when you’re not always interrupting yourself to return emails.

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Shockingly Unproductive
  • Studies show that employees spend more than five hours per day reading and replying to emailsWhile it may seem like urgent work, email is not the best kind of work.
Facilitate Deep Work

A few smart strategies that can be deployed:

  1. Installing pods for deep work while having common areas for collaborative work.
  2. Wearing headphones that are easily seen to signal that you are not to be disturbed.
  3. Turning your office into a library, following the same culture of quietness where everyone is hushed and respectful.
Email is not Real Work

Real work, by definition, should be rare, valuable and cognitively demanding.

Email does not check any of these boxes, and is, therefore, a pseudo work.

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Mindfulness is no longer considered a “soft skill,” but an essential part of overall health care.

Meditation helps you navigate stress, both acute and chronic

Mindful breathing can interrupt our stress and fight-or-flight reactions—meditation may “quiet” the amygdala, the area of the brain that responds to stress.

Regular mindfulness practice improves mental focus

 When we multitask, our concentration levels deplete But the simple act of returning to the breath, over and over again, builds the “muscle” of attention, helping you both stay on task and recognize distractions. 

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