Increase your focus by setting goals - Deepstash

Increase your focus by setting goals

Whenever you have issues focusing, try setting goals. The most important tip anybody could give you at this point is that the smaller the goal, the better the result. Therefore, try focusing on one task for 15 minutes, then increase the time to 30 minutes and so on. You will certainly end up surprised by the result.

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Organizing your tasks according to their difficulty level has only positive effects on your work. You will not only keep track of what has been done and what remains to be done, but you will also make sure that both difficult and easy tasks are being performed.

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Carefully scheduling your daily program enables you to reach a better focus. As you plan your day, you should take care of dividing your tasks according to the available time. This way you will know from the beginning of the day what and when needs to be done, which will reduce considerably the time to make decisions, which is one of the main distractions when thinking to start a new task. Furthermore, including breaks in your schedule is almost essential, as these allow you to  recharge your batteries and, therefore, work more efficiently afterwards.

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In order to improve your focus, you should actually try focusing on one task and one only. Therefore, make sure all possible distractions are being blocked, so you can devote yourself to only one task at a time. And, very important, make a habit out of it. Otherwise, it might not work in the long run.

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When trying to reach your maximum focus, you might want to consider building up your environment in such a way that it triggers your brain to start focusing. Playing your favourite music, sitting in a certain spot or position, these are all factors that have an effect on your focus. Moreover, remember that tracking your hours can make a huge difference, as it enables you to see exactly how much time each task and distraction takes. Use this in your favour and you will become able to work more efficiently in less hours.

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In The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains , Nicholas Carr explains how our brain, through neuroplasticity, adapts in response to changes in our environment, like technology innovations, which means we gain and lose certain skills. Social media, email, and team communications tools stimulate our very human desire to want to connect with people and access novel information but diminish the focus and processing skills that our literacy culture of books and newspapers built up. As Carr writes :

“[E]ach interruption brings us a valuable piece of information… And so we ask the Internet to keep interrupting us, in ever more and different ways. We willingly accept the loss of concentration and focus, the division of our attention and the fragmentation of our thoughts, in return for the wealth of compelling or at least diverting information we receive.”

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 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.

The number one skill that will set you apart from 99% of the world’s highly distractible knowledge workers is the ability to ruthlessly single-task. 

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