Staying Focussed

Distracted Bunny
Image via Wikipedia

I don’t have much trouble staying focussed. Given a task, I will often dive in and get it done, ignoring many other things happening around me. There have been many times at work where I’ve been engrossed in a task and someone comes in, says hello and I jump because I was not expecting them.

How do I do it? Two main things:

  1. Remove distractions, and
  2. Set mini goals for larger tasks

Removing the distractions is the big one. Remove everything that could distract you from your task – internet, twitter, tv, radio etc. If there’s something else happening your focus will be split and not working effectively.

Setting mini goals allows you to acknowledge that your brain wants to be distracted. So say my task was to write 5 blog posts. I would set myself a mini goal of a single blog post, and once that was completed I would take a short break. Or if I was designing a website, I would split up the different areas and when one area was complete then I’d allow myself to get distracted before getting focussed again.

What tips do you have for staying focussed?

Postaday2011 links:

(PS: It surprised me looking through the posts on this topic that have been posted already, the amount of posts from people who say they can’t stay focussed. Is this reflective of a generation with a short attention span, a world with too many distractions, an over-reliance on drugs for ADHD, or are bloggers just generally the type of people who can’t stay focussed?)

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Author: Ben Clapton

I'm an Officer in The Salvation Army, currently appointed with my wife as Corps Officers at the Rochester Corps in country Victoria (20 minutes out of Echuca). I play violin and guitar, amongst many others, and love golf and running.

3 thoughts on “Staying Focussed”

  1. Great post, focus being my “word of the year”. I liked #2, setting smaller goals to check off towards a bigger one. For me, that’s how I stay on track, too, being intentional about it.

  2. As you know, I am an incorrigibly unfocussed person. There are many things vying for the primary cause, but that’s not my point.

    Breaking large tasks into minitasks is nearly the worst thing I could do. Large tasks are great, because there’s only “1”, but minitasks only serve to multiply the amount of work I think I have to do, and overwhelm me as a result.

    Generally the less I think I have to do, the longer I can achieve single-minded focus. With exactly one priority I can go 10 hours without breaks, often without food… This can obviously be detrimental to one’s health so I’m trying to cut down, but the way I have to manage this is by breaking up time instead of tasks.

    So: consolidate tasks as much as possible, take breaks after periods of time rather than after tasks.

    Perhaps that can help someone.

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