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Why You Can’t Stay Focused | Part 1/3: Eliminating Distractions

So, you have trouble staying focused? I can’t say I haven’t been there, as I’m sure that most of the people in the world can relate to it as well. It’s a tricky situation sometimes; you know that you have work to do or a task to accomplish yet you just can’t seem to focus long enough, or even at all, to get it done.

Lucky for you, there are a few ways you can help regain the focus you may feel you have lost, and hopefully, it will help you to accomplish more in less time. To make it easier for you to focus in on each area, I’ve divided these tips into three parts. Today, we are going to talk all about how to eliminate distractions, so let’s get into it.

Our whole lives are surrounded by distractions. Everything from phone notifications to people talking to you while you should be working on something else. It’s easy to give into these distractions, so I’ve come up with a couple of tips to actually eliminate your exposure to some distractions as to, with any luck, give you a chance to stay focused.

1. The first step to staying focused by eliminating distractions is to simply turn off your phone.

Whether you want to do this by scheduling in a period of time where you trigger the “Do Not Disturb” feature, or even just turning off your ringer while you work. This is going to give you the chance to not think about what’s going on in your phone or social life, so if you can, shut off your phone, turn off the ringer, and set it aside for after you’re done.

If you don’t trust yourself and think you’ll end up giving into the endless scrolling of Instagram or anything of the sort, take it a step further and place your phone in another room. Notifying your friends, family, and co-workers that you will be away from your phone for a set period of time is also a great way to allow the communication to take place before or after your “no-phone time” (which really helps if you need your phone for work-related measures as well.)

2. If you have a pair of headphones or earbuds, wear them while your working!

People are far less likely to talk to someone if they see that they are both engaged in their work and wearing headphones at the same time.

When I first did this, it did feel a bit rude and like I was shutting out the world for that time. But, sometimes that’s exactly what you need and deserve. The conversations can wait, plug in some headphones and let people know you’re working. You aren’t being rude, you are prioritizing your time, your work, and yourself!

3. Try brain-dumping.

If you’ve never heard of this tactic before, let me break it down for a little bit more. Brain-dumping is essentially when you take a piece of paper and start writing down all of your thoughts to gain a clearer head.

Often times, some of the distractions we face are in our own head, so getting all of these ideas and thoughts out of your head and onto paper is a great place to start in ridding your mind of distractions.

The bonus to this: you actually come up with great ideas at the same time! I’ve had countless ideas from my brain-dumping sessions, and my mind felt sharper afterward as well. Take the time each morning before you start work to get your thoughts out onto paper, it really does make a difference in how long you can stay focused.

I hope that these tips help you to get your focus back! Distractions are tricky and working to eliminate them wherever possible can be even trickier. Start small with the areas of your life and distractions that you can control - then go from there. Come back next week for Part 2 of this small series on Why You Can’t Stay Focused!

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