We live in a busy world. Endless amounts of data are being presented to us, and all of them are fighting for a small piece of our attention. If you are like me and spend a decent amount of time online, it’s easy to find yourself distracted by constant interruptions. Not only interruptions, but I am discovering that I am always wanting to do more “things”. These things might be hobbies, building a new web app, discovering something to do in the area, or just spending time with my wife.
I find myself looking back at a day, wondering where the heck did the time go? If I am honest with myself, I find that this time creep comes in when I am highly unfocused during my day. So how do we become more focused? How do we build habits that keep us focused on our jobs, our families, and our activities?
Focus = Productivity
Building focus into our work day provides us with the ability to get more things done. I have started to break my days into chunks of time where the focus is 100% on the tasks I need to get done. I setup time blocks in about 1 hour chunks, which have a very specific goal. It could be getting a website uploaded to the server, or having the homepage design completed.
Focus also means blocking out all those distracting things I do throughout the day. Checking Facebook, checking Twitter, opening email, re-checking Twitter. Nothing kills focus more than social media.
I also un-installed Growl notifications because I realized that application on my Mac wanted to distract me for some abstract reason. And like I really need to know that Dropbox downloaded another file.
So what tools do you use to stay focused?
8 Tools to Stay Focused
- Anti-Social – (For Mac) Blocks social websites for a period of time.
- Think – (For Mac) Brings focus to only one app at a time.
- Focus Booster – (For Mac) Focuses you on a single task for 25 minutes at a time.
- Self Control – (For Mac) Blocks distracting websites and email.
- Freedom – (Mac and Windows) – Blocks access to the internet so you can get things done.
- Cold Turkey – (Windows) – Blocks out distracting websites, social media, and games.
- Concentrate – (For Mac) – Runs a set of actions to keep you focused on tasks.