In the earlier times when there was no internet and other hi-tech gadgets people would remain focused on their task naturally. They would get done more in less time and achieve their desired goals in the stipulated time period.
Today, with the advent of so many gadgets and gizmos it is becoming more difficult to remain focused on the tasks that we need to get done and which will move us forward towards our goals and dreams.
The attention span of people today has reduced drastically when compared to the previous years. People are finding it difficult to stick to a single task until it is accomplished satisfactorily. They have more on their plate than they can chew and this is leading to lower levels of productivity and overall performance.
If you are working on the internet then it is apparent that you get distracted from one or the other thing which is trying to steal your attention. It is not wrong for any web property to get your attention as it is their first step to get visitors and turn them into customers. Most web properties will try their best to earn revenue from their visitors.
But, it is harmful to you when you are wasting away your time reading or watching unrelated content. Most websites today create content and deliver to their visitors in such a way that the visitor does not have to do anything to move to the next one. Next one is automatically served as soon as one completes.
If you look at the trending websites like Youtube and Facebook, you will find that you are served content one after the other without you having to do anything or click anywhere. If you take Youtube for example, you will find that the next video will start playing automatically after the first one has completed. Facebook delivers content with an unlimited scrolling feature. The newsfeed never ends.
Although these are some of the best features that the websites have come up with, it sure is a terrible waste of time if they are not related to your work. Unless you are a social media expert, your time spent there is probably not so productive.
If you ask any successful entrepreneur about his level of productivity and the ability of getting things done, you will often hear some drastic measures which they had to implement in the beginning while they were getting started on their dream. Even if their work was mainly on the internet many successful internet marketers have confessed that they had to shut down the internet and get the things done before making them live on the internet.
You may not have to go to such extremes to get the things done which are important to you. If you have the discipline to stick to your task then you can keep any number of your social media notifications on and still get the task done on time and with accuracy. But, this sure requires a lot of self-control as it is often times more tempting to check on the newest story on our newsfeed or the email which has just arrived.
Understanding the Repercussions of Your Actions
When you get distracted by something and stop doing the work which you have to do you have to understand that this important task will be left pending and will probably lead to a not-so favorable remark on your productivity and your overall credibility.
You will also have to know that anything that arrives in your inbox is not so important after all. The newsfeed can be checked leisurely after the task has been completed or the email can be check after you finish a major chunk of your work for the day.
Most of the times nothing is more important than the task you want to complete. If there is any urgency people will usually call you and not email or text you. Nobody’s life is filled with emergencies all the time. Although, you have to be flexible enough to accommodate any important and urgent matter, you will seldom find something which is really an emergency.
Therefore, it is good to stick to your task and let the false emergency fade away as time passes. If something is really important and someone wants you to know about it they will make sure that you get the information. Until then you can focus on your task and get the things done quickly and completely.
On the other hand, if you start making these trivial things your priority, you will quickly get into the habit of delaying your most important tasks for the day and accomplish hardly anything. This habit of procrastination is nothing more than inability to prioritize the tasks. Most people work in a haphazard manner and cram all their important tasks for the last minute.
Some people say that as the deadline nears their productivity increases and they get more done in less time. This can be true for some people but it comes with a huge stress as a byproduct. Moreover, there are also chances of erring at the most important things in the work and creating a mess which will have to be corrected. This results in wasted man-hours and thereby loss of revenue.
Building The Ability To Stay Focused
Staying focused on your task until it is accomplished is like a muscle, the more you use it the better it will be in shape and form. You have to train yourself into being 100% focused on the task without letting your mind wander towards anything else.
In the beginning, this can be a difficult experience for you. Your mind, which has never known to keep its focus on something more than a few moments, will perceive itself to be caged by these invisible walls of self-discipline and abstinence. But this is essential for your overall success and a fulfilling life. You will feel grateful towards yourself for keeping yourself away from the temptations and got the things done which were important to you.
Techniques To Help You Stay Focused and Avoid Overwhelm
There are a variety of techniques which can aid you in staying focused. Some are simple and can be applied within a few minutes of understanding them and some require your greater understanding of mind and psychology of the humans.
Regardless of the simplicity of the technique you have to know that the technique works if you want to work. You can have the best of techniques and tools at your disposal but you are the final decision maker. If the decision maker fails at it then the tools will be useless.
There is a productivity technique called Pomodoro Technique. This lets you to decide on a particular task for a time period of 25 minutes and work on it until that time is up. You have to set the timer for 25 minutes and do a chunk of the task that you have planned for the day. Once the timer rings, you get up and do something else for 5 minutes. This technique lets you to stay totally focused on the task and get it done.
High levels of focus cannot be maintained for a larger amount of time. But they can definitely help you accomplish greater things if used properly. Therefore, this technique helps you do just that while taking care that you do not burnout with high focus levels for a longer duration.
You can use and modify this technique according to your requirements. Some people find that shorter intervals work best for them. Some people find that they can work on a task for longer period and a 25 minute session can break their flow. Whatever is comfortable to you, you can use that as a pomodoro session but do not forget to add in a short break period where you can get up and do something to rejuvenate.
At the end of the day you can check how many sessions of this technique you accomplished and reward yourself for completing the number of sessions that you had aimed for. You can also have quick rewards for every completed pomodoro session.
The Google Play Store has many apps which are aimed at providing you with all the features that this technique exhibits. You can simply download the app on your smart phone and run it. You will find that it is easier to keep track of your goals and how you are performing over the days. You will also uncover some deeper insights of the times when you slack off or the days when you are most or least productive.
When this technique becomes an integrated part of your work life you will make amazing progress in your business or career, while keeping all the distractions at bay. You can treat the frolicking side of your mind later by spending time on the social media.
Once you get into this habit you will feel more confident and the guilt of not completing the task which you are supposed to starts subsiding. This will very quickly build your self-worth and you will start accomplishing more things in life which you had never dreamed of.