Technology is great in so many ways, but it can also limit your productivity. How many times have you been distracted by an email or Facebook notification? When you’re trying to study or work, those little pings can kill off your focus and memory retention. It takes up to 15 minutes per distraction to regain your focus and sometimes that is time you just don’t have!
If you’re switching between tasks of even school subjects consistently, you could be losing up to 40% of your overall productivity. That directly reflects on the amount of data your brain can contain! Instead of losing this information, here are a few ideas that will help you retain your focus so you can get your next project completed or an A on that mid-term exam.
#1. Mute Your Notifications
One of the easiest ways to eliminate the distraction of an email or social media notification is to mute the sound on your computer or mobile device. Without the sounds bothering you, it’s a lot easier to knuckle down and focus! You’ll just need to have the discipline to resist the temptation to check your networks or email after a period of time.
#2. Block Your Social Media
There are a number of excellent ways to block social media from interrupting your life. Install one and you won’t believe how busier you can be without all the distractions! If the thought of blocking your social media just terrifies you or is akin to torture, then consider turning off your phone/computer/technology until you can come back to it instead.
#3. Use Nature Sounds
Music is one of the few things that engages the entire mind at the same time, which means you get a natural focus point when you’re listening to some of your favorite sounds. If you incorporate nature sounds into classical music, however, that focus becomes even greater. Why? Because there aren’t lyrics for your mind to focus upon or repetitive beats that can become distracting.
Want to try something unique? Try incorporating Noisli for background noise. As a unique feature, it will also change the background colors to help your focus even more.
#4. You Can Think About 1 Thing Only
At best, about 2% of the human population has the ability to do multiple things at the same time without losing productivity. 100% of humans, however, fool themselves into believing that they can do multiple things and think about multiple things at once. Unfortunately the human mind doesn’t work like that. You can think about 1 thing at a time. Make the most of that fact by staying on target so you don’t experience productivity losses.
It’s easy to become distracted when you’ve got multiple apps all running at the same time on your device. Consider using an app like KillBackground to help limit the distractions so you can stay focused on that 1 thing you need to get done.
#5. Schedule Your Day
Instead of leaving all of your browser windows open all the time to see the numbers of emails you have or new tweets to read, keep only the windows open that you need to work. Use specific times during the day instead that are scheduled in advance to check on your social networks and email and then limit your time to what you’ve scheduled so you don’t get sucked into something that will kill your time.
If you don’t have a daily calendar you use or an app to help you stay organized, then try Planner Plus. This way you can plan your day much more effectively!
#6. Give Yourself a Break
You only have a certain amount of energy every day. Every task that you even attempt to complete is going to rob you of this energy in some way. Even getting up to get coffee or a Rockstar is going to sap your body of productivity! The more you work for an extended period of time, the less focus you’re going to have as well. Instead of forcing your studying times or your professional responsibilities, schedule breaks into your day when nothing needs to happen. This will give your brain a break, let you rest for a bit, and keep some extra energy in those reserve tanks.
If you have trouble remembering to schedule a break for yourself, then consider using StretchClock. Not only will it encourage you to take some time for yourself, you’ll also get some unique desk exercise instructions that can help you stretch out the tension in your neck and work out some of that built-up stress.
#7. Limit Your Time
It can be difficult to quit all of the distractions cold turkey. In many ways, the internet is an addiction and it can even create withdrawal symptoms! If you’re finding that focus is hard to come by because you just can’t stop checking your different sites, then StayFocusd is the extension in Chrome that you’re going to want to get. It limits the amount of time that you can spend on those sites that are robbing you of your productivity so you can shift gears and get back to work.
Slowly reduce the amount of time you allow yourself to spend on these sites week by week and you’ll soon build-up a resistance to the distraction addiction.
What do you use to stay focused? Please feel free to share your favorite tools or apps to keep your productivity levels up with us below!