11 Hacks To Work Without Getting Distracted — And Be Laser-Focused Instead
As Alexander Graham Bell said, “The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” Yet, that’s precisely what most people struggle with nowadays. They have goals, ambitions, and to-dos, but fail to make any meaningful impact because they have a hard time staying focused and avoiding distractions.
Here are some worrying statistics about how much we struggle with distractions nowadays:
- A study led by Harvard showed that the average knowledge worker spends 47% of his or her day in a state of (semi)distraction.
- RescueTime has researched that the average knowledge worker checks email 55 times per day (on average every 8.5 minutes in an 8-hour workday)
- And instant messaging apps about 77 times per day (on average every 6 minutes taking in an 8-hour workday)
- A study by Gloria Mark showed that, on average, each knowledge worker in the study spent only 11 minutes on any given project before being interrupted
All in all, these studies form proof of that what we already intuitively know: most of us are terrible at focusing uninterruptedly for longer periods of time — and it’s hurting our productivity.
To combat this, check out these 11 ways to fight off distractions and to work with laser-focus instead.
#1: Identify Your Top 3 Priorities
Identifying your daily priorities is critical for your focus and productivity. Often, people get distracted by lesser important tasks — email, social media, phone calls — because they haven’t identified what’s truly important. Despite working hard, they still aren’t really productive because they failed to tackle their most important tasks.
As soon as you’ve identified what’s truly important, however, it’s much easier to say no to tasks that might hijack your time and attention.
#2: Stop Multitasking
Research has shown that multitasking doesn’t work (at least not with cognitively demanding tasks). In fact, every time you switch tasks, it takes on average 25 minutes before your focus is fully available for your task at hand again.