Do you need help staying focused on a project at work, home, or school?
Are you looking for some practical tips to help you be more productive?
Staying focused while working on a project or assignment can sure be tricky.
You want to get things done, but there are so many distractions that can easily lead you astray.
In this post, I offer three simple ways to help you stay focused and keep your mind on track.
Remember, when it comes to increasing your productivity, you don’t necessarily have to work quickly.
Focus and persistence play a big role too!
Stop comparing yourself to others.
Do you ever wonder how your productivity levels stack up against those of others? It’s all-too tempting to compare how many to-dos you’ve crossed of your list versus that of your office colleague …
Unfortunately, comparing yourself to others doesn’t help you in the least bit, especially if you want to get things done! There’s absolutely no way for you to know what’s going on in the lives of others; we all have different skills, talents, challenges, and situations.
When it all comes down to it, you’re the one who is doing your work. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, or could be doing.
So, instead of playing the comparison game, put yourself first. Focus on your work and the ways in which you could improve your skills and talents. For example, could you learn how to delegate work, upgrade your work tools, ask yourself pointed questions about your productivity habits, or come clean when it comes to your busy schedule?
Identify troublesome and time-consuming tasks.
Looking to solve many, if not all, of your productivity woes? You should definitely consider those tasks that give you the most trouble or cause you the most grief. These troublesome tasks cause you to waste a lot of time; not only do you procrastinate, but when you finally get to work on a task, it takes much longer to complete than it should.
Isn’t it about time you were honest with yourself and owned up to those tasks which give you trouble? Do you despise filing papers? Can’t stand basic housework? Have trouble arriving on time to meetings and appointments?
It takes a bit of bravery to be honest with yourself, but you’ll be so much better off once you do. Once you can identify the pain points in your routine, you can practical ways to finally deal with them, and get them off of your daily to-do list.
So, instead of filing papers yourself, perhaps you can delegate the work to an assistant, hire someone to clean your house, or sit down and learn some basic time management skills.
Create a positive work environment for yourself.
While a well-organized desk or workstation is a nice thing to have, a work space infused with meaning, encouragement, or motivation is even better! Try incorporating small, personal, and meaningful touches to your work area.
This could be anything from a list of inspirational quotes, to a large calendar with a series of deadlines circled in red marker, to beautiful office supplies and notebooks that you know you will love to use. Maybe you’re motivated by thoughtful thank you notes, commendations, or small gifts or mementos from a satisfactorily completed project.
Think for a couple of moments about what motivates you to work, and work well. Your inspiration is just waiting to be discovered and incorporated into your daily routine…
How about you? What do you need to focus on when it comes to your productivity? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!
A version of this post appeared on the blog in 2014.