While there are lots of different things that can kill your focus, there are three major causes. We’ll take a look at these focus killers one by one, and then discuss what you can do to avoid them or remedy them as they pop up. I hope these ideas are helpful and allow you to find your way back to working with focus and concentration, getting back to getting things done.
Lack Of Information
Nothing stops you in your track faster than lack of information. Having to go hunt down a file, or earn about specifics of a project can stop you in your tracks. This is particularly annoying when you were highly focused and in your groove, trucking along, and making progress.
While you can’t always avoid this, the key here is to do your homework and get everything you think you need together before you sit down to work on a task. Yes, there are times when we don’t know what we don’t know and missing information is unavoidable. That’s ok, there isn’t much you can do about it. Simply do your best and be as prepared as you can be. You’ll be able to keep your focus most of the time.
Too Little Sleep and Too Much Stress
Not getting enough sleep and feeling stressed out will kill your focus faster than anything else. The solution is simple. Get a good night sleep, live well, and get a little exercise to help with stress.
Taking time to take care of yourself, finding a hobby, or just relaxing at the end of a long day will go a long way in reducing stress, helping you sleep better, and as a direct result getting more done when it’s time to get to work. Don’t feel bad about taking some “me” time and just chilling out. It pays off in the long run.
And then of course there are distractions. No matter how sharp you feel when you sit down at your desk, and no matter how much information you have in front of you, if you keep getting interrupted and distracted, you won’t be able to focus.
Removing distractions is a two-step process. The first is to find and recognize the distraction. You may not think about it, but if your smartphone keeps alerting you every time you get an email or a social media post that can be a big distraction that disrupts your focus. Multiplied by dozens of alerts per day (or even per hour), this can be costly and have a huge negative impact on your productivity. Find out what’s distracting you by paying attention and then do whatever you need to do to stop those distractions, no matter how small or innocent they seem.
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