Whether you're suffering from ADD/ADHD, or are just completely unable to keep your eye on your work without your hands reaching for your smartphone to check your Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat for longer than two minutes, these quick focus fixes will help.
If you're anything like me — and keep reaching for your phone whilst working to check social media feeds that you already checked a few minutes ago, because you have a desperate need to stay connected to the world wide web — you probably need some help with improving your focus.
Stemming The Social Media Tide
If you need the internet for work and can't just switch it off at the wall, use a site-blocking software to block your access to the sites that your concentration wanders away to the most. Switch your phone off. Or, schedule social media breaks, wherein you work for a set period of time, then browse the internet for five or 10 minutes. Once those 10 minutes are up, right back to work you go.
Cleaning Out Your Inbox
It can be tempting to read emails the very second they drop into your inbox. What if they're from your boss? What if they're from an irate customer? What if they're from your favorite clothing brand announcing a flash sale? I know, I know how you feel. But dropping everything and hopping straight on over to your email as soon as you get a (1) bubble can massively derail your focus. Instead, set aside five minutes every hour to read emails. If nothing has popped up, then you get an extra five minutes on social media. Yay!
Talking At The Office
Do you really need to take that call? Do you really, really need to read that text? I know you want to. I know you really, really want to. But if you do, once you get back to the computer, or back to your TV program, or back to hanging out with your friends, your focus will be shot. If you're in the middle of something important, and by important I mean a conversation with someone you care about, or something that will further your career, or something that is important to your job, think about how disrupting taking that call will be. Unless it's someone calling you when you know they shouldn't be — like your mom calling you at work when she never, ever calls you at work for example — let it go to voicemail and call them back later.
Heaven forbid, whoever is calling might even just send you a text with the information you need, which'll be far quicker and less disruptive for you to answer.
So you're good at multitasking — which makes you a bit of a ninja, right? Well, although it does mean that you can get more done in less time, it also means that you're not actually properly focusing on any one thing for long enough to do the job properly. Set aside a certain amount of time for each task and dedicate all of your attention to each individual task. You'll get each one done well, and in all honesty, it probably won't take you any longer than if you'd done everything at the same time. If you really must multitask, do it when the outcome of the task doesn't really matter.