Wheather in the open-plan office or currently responsibly at the home office (#staysafe) there are distractions grabbing your attention around every corner. A home office might be even worse if you are not used to it – with children running around and fridge full of snacks nearby it can be hard to find your working flow.
How to stay productive in the midst of it all?
Here are 5 tips on how to stay focused:
1. The Pomodoro technique
Decide on the task to be done. Set timer to 25 minutes. Work on the task until the timer rings and take a short 5-minute break. After four Pomodoros take a longer 15-30 minute break. This trains your brain to focus for short periods and helps you stay on top of deadlines or constantly-refilling inboxes. With time it can even help improve your attention span and concentration.
2. Eliminate distractions
Turn off the tv, put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode, distance yourself from other people, close your e-mail inbox. The fewer temptations you have in sight the better your chance of focusing on the task at hand. There is a general feeling that we need to be available all the time, but that might undermine your ability to focus and therefore your productivity.
3. Music might help
Some studies show that music is actually effective in raising efficiency in repetitive work. The best option seems to be sounds of nature or instrumental playlists, so your focus wouldn’t simply shift from the nearby conversation to the words in a song.
4. Use timeboxing
Jumping from one task to another, and – even worse – multitasking can work against your wish to focus and be productive. So set aside blocks of time to work on an important project, check e-mails, read relevant industry articles, write weekly reviews, and of course – plan your to-do list for the next day.
5. Plan your day
It is hard to be focused if you don’t know what you need to accomplish. Set clear goals for the day and map out the tasks that are necessary for achieving those goals. Preferably do that already the day before, so you can start your day with full focus.