If you often struggle to focus on you work and to knuckle down when you have to, then you may find that this is costing you time and money. Most of us are presented with far too many distractions online and in the real world to really focus on what we are doing, and this can often result in our minds wandering when we should be delivering high quality work.
Fortunately though, you’re not the only person to have every experienced this and there are hundreds of tips on the web and in books designed to help you increase your productivity and your focus. Here we will look at the top 10 productivity tips that can make all the difference to your output and ultimately your income.
10 Stimulate Yourself
If you’re struggling to focus and you’re feeling groggy or over tired, then chances are that you need a little waking up. One of the best ways to do this is with a cup of tea or strong coffee, or even a quick jog around the block. Alternatively, many people are now turning to other stimulants such as Aderall and Modafinil that claim to be like the ‘Limitless drug’ and turn you into a genius. Use at your own risk though.
9 Write a To-Do List
Often what prevents us from working is not an inability to concentrate so much as something known as ‘options paralysis’. This means that we simply have too many things to do such that we don’t know where to start or how best to progress. An itemised to-do list allows you to focus on one task at a time.
8 Do the Most Fun Tasks First
This might not sound like one of the top 10 productivity tips, but surprisingly organising your to-do list so that the first task is the one you want to do most can ultimately result in your working faster and better. This is because you won’t be putting off the work so much before you’ve started.
7 Make Work Fun
Better yet, try to find a way to make all your tasks more enjoyable. This is one of the best top 10 productivity tips because it means that you won’t think of the tasks as work at all and will find it easier to focus as a result.
6 Do a Little Bit
There is a phenomenon in the human brain that makes us want to finish what we’ve started. Once you’ve written even the first paragraph of an article for instance, you’ll find you’re much more compelled to finish the whole thing and will struggle to be distracted until you have. If you don’t feel like working, challenge yourself to do just a tiny bit and you’ll often find the rest flows out with no problem.
5 Use the Right Distractions
No one can maintain their attention on a dry task indefinitely, which is why eventually we need some kind of distraction. Rather than fighting this, embrace it by providing a distraction that won’t completely absorb you for more than a few minutes. This is why buying a desk toy such as a cat’s cradle is actually one of the top ten productivity tips.
4 Take Away Distractions, Change Your Environment
Other distractions however, such as the internet, are better off gotten rid of in many cases. If you really can’t focus, then go to a coffee shop with no WiFi and you’ll find that the change of scene also helps a lot.
3 Use a Rewards System
If the first thing you do when you sit down is to check your e-mail, then you’re really getting off on the wrong foot and you’re bound to find that this leads to further distractions. As such then, you should view checking your e-mail as a reward and only allow yourself to do it once you’ve done a certain amount of work. The same goes for further cups of tea. This way you won’t get distracted by other tasks and by the time you’ve had a cup of tea and checked your e-mail, you’ll be a long way down your to-do list.
2 Make Your Work Page Your Home Page
One of the quickest and easiest of these top ten productivity tips is to simply change your homepage to the page you need to start work. This way, the minute you turn on your computer you will be greeted by your work and this will make you less likely to go to Facebook or start reading the news.
1 Make Your Bed in the Morning
This might not sound like a productivity tip, but it can make all the difference. Productivity simply requires discipline and control of your will, so you should practice this kind of discipline any way you can. One easy way to do that is by making your bed every morning. By doing that even when you don’t feel like it, you learn to force yourself to do dull tasks and you’ll get better at doing it at work too.