Hi guys, new here - How to stay focused?
Hello everyone... signed up to this forum after a bit of procrastination which is just one of the few things I'd like to improve on.
Actually the biggest problem for me is concentrating on one task and working on it without getting distracted. Nowadays it's so easy to get distracted (self-employed) and do other things to procrastinate when I should be doing work. My biggest time waster is Internet forums, which is ironic since I just signed up for another one :o
Usually when I'm working, I'll do work and post on forums at the same time which really slows me down and distracts me. Also because I'm so used to this multi tasking, it's sometimes hard for me to focus when I really need to. Sometimes it just seems like I need to be doing multiple things at a time and when I'm not I think I subconsciously seek other things to do so it feels like I"m being productive when in reality it's just slowing me down.
Any tips or advice? Especially looking forward to hearing from people who are or were in the same position as me. I hope to stick around and spend more time on this forum rather than others, at least the info here is great and not just a general banter forum.
By the way, I think I have over 25,000 posts on all the various forums I post on :o
Neither one is a sign of more intelligence than the other but "visuals" almost need to multi task or be involved in something where there is plenty of action...
My wife is very "visual" and she can talk on the phone, listen to the TV and write something down simultaneously...
I am an "auditory" ...I can walk and chew gum at the same time but those are about the only two activities that I can successfully coordinate...
I believe that the difference in the two types of individuals is due to the fact that "visuals" have a rather short attention span... whereas the "auditories" can remain deeply focused on a subject for a much longer period of time...
That being said, I would suggest that the best way for you to be more productive would be to work on two constructive projects at the same time and alternating frequently between these two projects...
If you have been able to read this entire post without being distracted... you are doing pretty good... :D
The key to productivity is focus
Hi Forum Guy,
I'm totally new here. I'm in a similar situation as you, where I have to set my own direction and hold myself accountable for my progress.
I'm assuming you're doing intellectual work of some sort (writing, design, programming, studying) - for that type of work, the single key to productivity is "flow". Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has a whole theory around it, but it boils down to setting things up so that you feel an optimal level of challenge, not too hard, not too easy. Too hard, and you bail. Too easy, and you lose interest. And, most importantly - no distractions and interruptions.
The thing about flow is that it takes about 15-20 minutes to get into it, your brainwaves have to synchronize I guess, but losing your flow happens much more easily, like someone asking you an unrelated question, or a new email that pops up, etc.
So, you should stop multitasking, and every time the urge to do some insignificant side task comes up, you should remind yourself of what you really should be doing. If you don't have a clearly defined "next action" then you need to sit down and break down your amorphous tasks into discrete chunks that you can handle in 5-15 minutes.
If you're so automated in your forum checking habit, then cut your Internet connection or block the sites you frequently check. The failing connection will help you snap out of it. Or do some work away from the computer if you can. Also, force yourself to do some real work and use going on a forum binge as a reward for having done something real.
Also remind yourself of whether what you're doing right now will get you anywhere in the future, in terms of success or meaningful experience. Reading blogs/forums can be like eating junk food - a quick satisfying high, but over time it doesn't do you any good. :)
Also, don't think you should be working all day. It's amazing how much work you can get done in three hours of flow/complete focus.
Adjusting your diet, sleep patterns, and exercising can also help you focus better.
I hope this makes sense and is practical. If not, please elaborate why exactly you think you're procrastinating (not knowing what to do, not liking it, seeking immediate gratification, etc.).
Thanks for the replies guys. I was able to read both without taking a break lol, but I did take a break in between the two :o
Shamou, you are completly right. I am 'visual' and will try to do more constructive things at the same time instead of one constructive and a few irrelevant ones.
loopdo, unfortunately, the tasks I'm doing require the Internet, or I would have tried disconnecting myself a long time ago. It's also not very challenging, and a little boring which is why I also tend to lose focus easily.
I am trying a few things though. One is to surf/read this forum more than the others. So while I'm taking these little breaks, at least I'm reading something productive. Second thing I've tried is scheduling tasks in Outlook and trying to follow through with them with minimal distractions.
I'm sure things will get better as I actively work on it... baby steps :cool:
Thanks again guys and any further input is appreciated.
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages." -- William Shakespeare
Which means that we are all playing a role... it can be done with quiet excitement and burning passion... or we can be "marking time" and be bored out of our living skull... the choice is ours...
Find a greater purpose than you are and you get rid of all these problems at once and forever.
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