How to Focus: 4 Simple Productivity Tips
Tips to help you be more productive from the Queen of Procrastination, and why you do not have A.D.D.
Here is a list of the things I decided I must do right now:
write a non-hubpages article
text message my brother and my friend
check both e-mail accounts
write a hubpages article
read the news
turn on the radio and pick a station
maybe some online shoe shopping
This non-hubpages article should take me about 15 minutes. However, I sat down to do it ten minutes ago and have not gotten past the first two lines. It is not necessarily first on my to-do list, but I must get it finished today.
...and I can hardly stand it that my phone is lighting up and that I heard the text message noise... oh one text was a test from me from when I decided to reboot my phone... and my phone did and update and I realized that my text and phone functions look different now - how cool! I want to look at all of them.
Does this sound like you? You text, talk, e-mail, doodle, and oh yeah, do work, all at the same time? I am a major player in the procrastination game, and I am no longer proud of it. Sometimes I think I have excuses: "Oh, I have so much going on! Oh, it is so hard for me to concentrate!" But do I have so much going on? Do I have A.D.D.? Not technically, not any more than anyone else. And you probably don't either.
Everyone has distractions, but the most productive people are those who do not give in to them. Simply because you get distracted does not mean you have A.D.D. The mind is not made to focus on something when there is something else more interesting going on. So stop making excuses and telling your friends "Oh my god, I'm so sorry, I'm so A.D.D." It's not cute and it is rather irreverent to those who actually suffer from the disorder. You CAN control yourself, and it is your fault if you do not. Here are some things I learned from a little practice called "Mindfulness".
- Do one thing at a time and focus on that one thing. To get out of my whirlwind listed above, I decided to write this hubpages article, and only this hubpages article. I flipped over my phones (I have two) so I could not see them light up, did not allow myself to open another tab, closed Microsoft Word, and opened this Capsule.
- Put away distractions. Oh, but you don't understand! I have a very important e-mail coming in! Oh, but I do understand. I also understand that that e-mail will be there still in five minutes after you finish what you are doing now. If you really had to sit and wait for that e-mail, sit and wait for that e-mail, don't do anything else.
- Remember that the other person is doing stuff too. Your boyfriend's life does not depend on the reply to his text message. If it does, maybe you should not be at work. He is not sitting there looking at his phone for your response. He is doing other things, just like you. So chill out and put the "You were so cute last night" text on hold. He'll still appreciate it during your lunch break.
- Breathe. Breathing is so important that my mindfulness coach sends me text messages to remind me to do it. When you feel a distraction coming on, whether it be in the form of a "ding" telling you you have an e-mail or that your coffee is reheated, take a breath and finish your thought. Get to a place where you can easily pick up and go again before giving in to that distraction.
That's all for now. I have stuff to do.
- NPR reinforces my advice
This story tells you why you are not being as productive as you think you are by "multitasking", and also preaches about putting away your damn phone.