In this post, I’m going to be sharing three tips that will help you to focus, especially if you’re easily distracted.
Have you ever seen the movie up? Well, if you haven’t, I’ll just give you a brief description of one of the characters in that movie. It’s a dog, who wears a collar that helps him to speak. I really relate to this character because he is so easily distracted. In fact, it’s an ongoing humorous theme throughout the movie.
He could be digging a hole somewhere, minding his own business, when – SQUIRREL! – out of his peripheral vision, he just sees a squirrel shooting past. And he’s completely forgotten about his hole. He’s just looking for wherever that squirrel went.
Maybe you can relate to this character too. If you’re trying to do something, it can be really frustrating when you constantly get distracted. Maybe it’s your phone that keeps pinging, maybe the kids just keep coming up to you and asking you for things which they can help themselves to, or whatever it is.
We are often easily distracted as we go about our day. So what’s a girl to do? In this post, I wanted to share with you three tips that will help you to stay focused.
1. If possible, change your environment
If you know that you are constantly getting distracted in a particular area, try and remove yourself from that area. This might not be possible if you are a stay at home mom, and you’ve got kids and your kids are distracting you and you want to get stuff done, and you just can’t move your kids away.
But if you can get a babysitter to come over or if you can get somebody else to entertain your kids for a while that would help. Think of ways that you can change your environment so that the usual distractions aren’t there for you anymore.
I remember when I was doing a lot of writing. I decided that I needed to remove myself from my house because I couldn’t concentrate or do the amount of writing that I needed to do when I was at home.
So my husband stayed at home, while I went out really early in the morning to a cafe. I went out at 5:30 in the morning, just for a couple of hours. And I’d be home by maybe about 7:30/8 o’clock before school.
So I used that time in the morning to do a lot of writing. And it was a really great period for me because the cafe was a distraction-free zone. For me, I was pretty much left alone, the cafe was also quiet at 5:30 in the morning. So I was able to get a lot done. And it didn’t hinder too much of my husband’s day. So it wasn’t like I was putting him out for the whole day. I just kind of got creative and thought of that workaround during that period of time.
Depending on your circumstances, I don’t know what it’s like for you. But if you can change your environment, or remove yourself from your environment, so those same distractions aren’t there, you’re gonna be less distracted. So that’s number one.
2. Use old-fashioned tools
Just a pen and a piece of paper are all you need for great focus and productivity. If you can do whatever task or job it is that you’re doing without a screen, you’re going to be less distracted just because screens have a way of pinging up notifications.
Even if you’ve gotten notifications turned off. The temptation is real, you want to pick your phone up and see what’s happening just because your mind starts to wander.
But if you use old-fashioned tools, like a piece of paper and a pencil or a pen, you don’t have that same issue. And you can really knuckle down and focus a lot more when you’re using old-fashioned tools.
3. Take regular breaks.
Now you might be wondering, why would I want to take regular breaks? I mean, the whole point is that I can’t focus and I’m always breaking and not working. I want to focus more so that I can work.
But it could be that you’re constantly distracted because your mind is just plain exhausted. And it just needs a rest. So if you build in rest times for your mind, you’ll find that you can focus a lot better in the times when you want to work.
There have been studies done that have shown that the most productive people take breaks every 52 minutes. That’s pretty regular. So it might be worth setting a timer to go off every 50 minutes when you start working so that you can take a break.
Then you can get up, you can refresh your mind, you can just switch off from the work for a moment and do something that relaxes your brain. So that when you come back to working again, you will be able to focus and with a lot more energy than before.
I use this daily planner from Paper Me Pretty (our stationery club).
On the daily pages, you have a space for your priorities, so you can know what it is that are the big things that you want to achieve that day. You’ve got a space for a schedule, so you can block off time to achieve certain things. And you’ve got a place to put other to-do’s because sometimes I know it’s not just three things that we have to do – it’s a lot of things! So this area is here so that you can categorize your to-do lists; ‘things that you really must do’, ‘things you’d like to do’, and ‘if you have the time’. And the bottom section is a space for jotting notes or ideas and things like that.
I’ve found that using this tool has really helped me to focus and to get a lot more done because I’m not using my phone. I’m not distracted by a screen, I can just look at this sheet and I know exactly what I’ve got to do. And there’s nothing else distracting me from my tasks.
The Daily Planner is free to download below. But if you join our stationery club, Paper Me Pretty, the Daily Planner in each month’s bundle gets updated with beautiful new designs!