Staying focused is one of the harder parts of being proactive with your daily tasks. There are so many distractions all around us. Many people find themselves trying to multitask which is not productive and may diminish the quality of their work. These tips are sure to help get you on track and keep you there.
Develop a routine
Having a regular routine helps your productivity tremendously. It sets the tone for being productive and helps with a lack of motivation. This daily routine can be as simple as pouring your first cup of coffee or a quick meditation.
List your tasks
If you’re going into the day with a handful of tasks you wish to tackle the first and most helpful step is to list out your goals. With this, you can make a list of the order of importance. What is most important for you today, and start there. Remember, it doesn’t matter where your list starts or what the task is if you want to achieve it by writing it down. It’s also better to write your list down the night before. Going into a new day with your list already made sets you up for success.
Here’s the tricky part, begin your first task but do your absolute best to not deviate from it. If you find yourself straying away, recognize it, stop and bring your attention back to the current task. Once you’ve completed your initial goal check the completed box and move forward. When thinking of the goals you put in your list, set achievable deadlines. No one knows you, better than you. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Your goal deadline should be a representation of what you know you can achieve.
Learn from your mistakes! Some of us may struggle on the road to productivity but you are allowed to learn what works for you and what doesn’t. You may get distracted more or can’t seem to focus. However, another trick we have up our sleeves is called a “Distraction List”. A distraction list is for those moments when you’re mid-task and you suddenly remember, “Did I add milk to the grocery list?” and your attention gets pulled from what you’re doing. Keep a sticky note nearby to jot these kinds of things down. Your distraction list can be started once you’ve completed your original task list.
Another great tip for staying productive is to actually take breaks. While that may sound counterproductive, as long as you limit your break to 5-10 minutes, you can start by setting a timer for 25-30 minutes. When the timer goes off, take a break. Doing this will help with getting distracted and is a perfect time to check your phone, use the restroom, or stretch your legs.
If you’re trying to become more productive but find you don’t have the motivation or are consistently distracted, incorporating these tips into your day will help you begin to grow a foundation of productivity, quit multitasking, and actually make the progress you desire.
Dr. Steffanie Stecker a licensed psychologist and the owner and clinical director of Mountain Vista Psychology, PLLC.
In addition, she is a board certified neurotherapist (BCN E5669) and board certified in QEEG (QEEG-D). Less than 100 people world wide are board certified in QEEG, which indicates competency in reading QEEGs and choosing neurofeedback protocols. Dr. Stecker is passionate about brain based effective therapy and creating a safe relationship for her clients to create change. She loves what she gets to do each day!