"Focused, hard work is the real key to success. Keep your eyes on the goal, and just keep taking the next step towards completing it. If you aren't sure which way to do something, do it both ways and see which works better.” – John Carmack
When You Need to Focus
It's so easy to get distracted (especially when you work from home). Here's how we refocus our efforts to make the most of our day:
Schedule mini breaks throughout your day. We like to give ourselves a little 5 minute break every couple of hours. We get up, walk around, stretch a bit, or maybe even play a short meditation to refocus our attention in the coming hour on our next task. If you have an Apple watch, use those reminders to get up and get moving. A study out of the University of Illinois found that "when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!"
Set a small goal. See how much of your task you can finish in 25 minutes and actually set your timer. This works well for tasks that are always there, such as checking and responding to emails. If you spend 25 minutes clearing your inbox, you won't get stuck constantly responding to emails throughout the day because that time has passed. When working on big tasks, mute your notifications and check your email again for 25 minutes near the end of your day. Knowing that there is an end to the amount of time you'll spend on that task can make it go by quicker and allow you to focus your energy on other things after you've "completed" that task.
Prioritize. We say this all the time at Hello Workwell because it's so important. Choose what's important to you and do those things – the rest are just distractions. They may seem harmless to switch back and forth between, but if you're focusing your energy on those tasks, you're not using it for the important things that will actually have you feeling accomplished by day's end.