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How to Stay On-Task…Every Day

Task List

Task List

Do you have trouble staying focused?

Whether you work for yourself or for an employer, spending hours surfing the net and updating your Facebook profile won’t get you any closer to your goals … yet you find it hard to keep on-task.

Even when you do try to concentrate, you might get to 5pm and feel like you’ve not accomplished anything.

Here’s how to stay focused and get more done – every day.

Minimize Interruptions

If you live alone and work from home, interruptions are unlikely to be a big problem. If you work in a busy office and your job involves a lot of reactive tasks, like answering phone calls or emails from clients, you might be getting interrupted every few minutes.

Your target isn’t to cut out interruptions altogether – that’s not realistic – but to get rid of as many as you can. Some good ways to start are:

Get Prepared

Some tasks need a lot of concentration – like writing a report, coming up with a plan, or analyzing some complex data. If you’re tackling one of those, you don’t want to be breaking off every few minutes to find the right file. You definitely don’t want to be re-opening your email program to search for a crucial bit of information.

Before you get started on a big task, take a few minutes to make sure:

Avoid Distractions

There are plenty of tools that can help you to avoid distractions, like software to block certain internet sites (for all the Twitter addicts out there), or programs that run full-screen so that you only see what you’re working on.

If you find a tool that helps you, then use it, but remember that distractions don’t just come from your environment – they also pop up in your mind.

You might be bored or struggling on a task, and get the urge to check your email or just idly surf the net. You might suddenly remember something that you need to take care of.

A couple of things that you might helpful are:

It’s hugely satisfying to finish your work day and feel a great sense of accomplishment. Cut out the interruptions and distractions that are knocking you off-task, and you’ll see how much more you can get done. What sort of work environment do you have, and what challenges do you face that make it tricky for you to stay on-task? How do you tackle them? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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