My blog is my baby. I’m constantly thinking about it, nurturing it and growing it.
However, my blog is not my entire life. I work a full time job and I’m a devoted wife, sister, daughter and friend.
Because of this, the limited time that I do get to spend on my blog HAS to be productive or else I’d never get anywhere.
Unfortunately, it seems like every time I sit down to write a new post, I spend half the time redirecting my wandering mind.
I start out creating an outline and the next thing I know, I’m wondering if I need to add anything to the grocery list. Once I realize I’ve drifted, I snap myself back into focus.
Another 15 minutes later, I find myself thinking about how I didn’t return so-and-so’s phone call.
It’s annoying! And it takes me so much longer to complete whatever I’m working on.
It’s not just limited to my blogging time either. It happened when I was in school. It happens when I’m writing patient notes at work. I’m sure it’s happened to you!
Thankfully, with time, I’ve developed a few tricks to minimize the mental distractions and stay focused on the task at hand.
1. Drown Those Thoughts with Music
This is my most effective tip.
I find that I can get rid of distracting thoughts by simply putting in earphones and turning on some music. It’s a bit ironic, isn’t it? You would think the music would just add to the chaos.
But it doesn’t. It’s as if the music gives my brain something to fixate on so that it has less of an opportunity to bring up new, irrelevant, thoughts. (Sort of like letting your toddler watch TV so that they can calm down and stop jumping around all over the place!)
If you want to try this tip, there are two things to keep in mind:
– The first is that music will only help you depending on what type of work you are doing. You may find it helpful while you fill out paperwork or organize but find it distracting while you read a book, for example.
– The second is that the music genre you choose can make a big difference. Some can only work with classical music (like my husband) while others, like myself, likes faster paced music. Try it out and see what works for you!
2. Keep a Running List
Sometimes the things that pop into your mind are actually important…but not urgent.
You don’t want to forget things like scheduling a yearly check-up or creating your monthly blog post schedule. However, you shouldn’t drop what you’re doing to pay attention to every little task that pops into your mind.
Here’s an easy fix: keep a notepad nearby and quickly jot down items as they pop into your mind. When you write them down, you can get peace from knowing that you won’t forget about them. Also, it leaves your mind, allowing you to stay focused on the task at hand.
3. Start A Timer
There’s something about having only a short amount of time to do something that makes us work faster, harder and with more concentration.
In college, I used to write the most brilliant essays when I was uncomfortably close to the deadline. In those moments, NOTHING could derail me from hitting those books and writing that paper; not a text, not hunger, not a natural disaster….okay maybe a natural disaster.
Point is – there is a goal oriented side of us that wants to win any race.
Use it to your advantage!
Tell yourself that you will work undistracted for 15 minutes and then start the timer. The adrenaline will start pumping and it will maintain your focus for the set amount of time (and possibly longer)!
If you do this over and over, you will surprise yourself with how much you end up achieving.
4. Change Your Environment
Over-familiarity of your environment can cause you to be too relaxed, ultimately resulting in a low level of concentration.
If you change it up, you might find yourself to be more alert and focused.
It doesn’t have to be huge. If you usually go to the same cafe to work, try going to a different one or just simply sitting in another seat in the same one. If you work at home, try another room or maybe work outside on the porch!
Right now, I’m working in our basement (which I don’t usually do) and let me tell you, I feel truly inspired and focused right now.
5. Block Your Time
Do you get paralyzed by the fear that you won’t have time to do everything you need to do? You can get around that by designating strict time blocks for each category of your to-do list.
Blocking off time for different tasks is a great way to plan your day and to get rid of the anxiety you may feel about an extensive to-do list.
Implementing each of these tools at different times has helped me to stay on task and create content that I am proud of.
I hope they inspire you to make some changes to your routine and take your productivity to the next level.
About the author:
A healthcare professional married to a physician, she blogs about personal development, wellness, marriage, family, travel & home management.
Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.
This page titled Productivity Hacks: 5 Simple Tips To Focus A Wandering MindPick the Brain and more fantastic content can be found at this website. It was originally published on 2019-06-03 02:52:58.