Getting and Staying Focused at Work

No one wants to admit that they might be a little scatter-brained. Whether you’re a young professional, distracted by your friends being crazy on Facebook, or a parent, distracted by your children being crazy on Facebook, keeping focused can be more of a struggle than it should be. As a computer science student, web designer, and social media marketer, I find myself constantly in front of a computer or on my phone for work related purposes. But when my work resembles what I do in my free time, sometimes I have to steer myself back onto the right path, and remind myself that as fun as it might be to check out the celebrity articles on Huffington Post, I need to focus on more work appropriate content for my clients. From having to keep myself on track, I’ve developed a few tips on how I keep myself focused, that will hopefully help you as well.

Pick a (doable!) major goal or project, and work on that until it is done. Ignore the small things that pop up and power through until the main endeavor is finished. When at work, if I’m writing the copy for a particularly wordy webpage and see that the CSS is a little wonky, I make a quick note and continue on. Stopping and addressing every little thing that comes up will distract you from your main goals and will end up taking more time than it would have if you just finished the main project and fixed the little problems later. This advice may seem basic, but the key is having to remind yourself to keep on track.

Keep a ticker of what you need to get down, and cross things out as you complete them. This works in two ways–the first being that if you can visualize all of the things that need to be done on a given day, and the rate at which you are completing them, you know when you are falling behind and wasting time. But it is also a nice pick-me-up when you’re able to cross things off of your list, and see all of the tasks you’ve accomplished.

Pick something constructive to do when you feel yourself getting distracted. If you find your mind wandering, instead of logging on to Reddit, checking Facebook, or doodling, get up and grab some water, take a quick walk, or use a bit of time to assess the latest project that you finished or are currently working on. Sometimes, you just need a different activity for a small amount of time to get you back on track, so pick an activity that will allow you to still be productive.

Hopefully these help!

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