Staying focused on your entrepreneurship journey is vital to performing and executing your best. In a world full of distractions: emails, social media, phone calls, text messages, even your favorite Netflix series, staying focused long enough to get things done can seem like an impossible task. And that’s just external distractions, we haven’t even considered the internal distractions like the constant and never-ending brain chatter!

Our brains love to fixate on a variety of things seemingly all at once. Controlling them is vital to getting “stuff” done.

But how do you stop the chatter and alleviate the internal and external noise pulling you from whatever task is at hand?

We’re going to reveal 5 tricks that you can use to combat these distractions and keep you more focused so that you can be more productive and produce outstanding work in the most efficient way possible.

Tons of people claim that they have great multitasking skills and can do multiple things at once. The research shows that this is actually not true. You may be able to do multiple things at once but you aren’t producing or creating the type of work that would be possible by locking in one specific thing at a time. You may feel like you’re killing it by multitasking, but you are actually severely limiting your brain’s potential.

Our brains are like supercomputers, they can produce amazing things but we have to feed it one thing at a time for it to work effectively. Imagine your brain as your phone, if you have one app running, it can handle it with ease, but the more apps you open up and the more things you throw at it, the less efficient and least powerful it becomes. It might slow down, lag, or it might shut off completely!

Use these 5 tips and I guarantee you will produce better, more creative work.

 

Tip #1: Create a to-do-list

 

Before you get started working you should create a list of what you plan to accomplish. This will give your brain a structured plan of attack and also help you to feel less overwhelmed and least likely to get distracted. Take out a sheet of paper and jot down what you plan to work on. Make sure you prioritize your list based on the importance and mental energy needed to complete the task.

 

Tip #2: Get rid of potential distractions

This one may sound like a no brainer, however, it is the most overlooked. As much as I would love to watch Netflix while doing work, I simply cannot. Close unnecessary websites, log out of Instagram, and if you must, put your phone out of arm’s length. Keep only the things you need to get your work done and eliminate EVERYTHING else! Trust me, doing this alone will improve your productivity 10 fold. Cut the TV off as well!

 

Tip #3: Put your creative work first

Usually, we like to tackle the easier more mindless tasks first and save the hard brain intensive tasks for last. This is counterproductive to the way the brain works. By the time you get to your more intensive tasks, you are much more likely to be mentally drained and ready to call it quits. As you work, your brain’s mental capacity begins to fade and just gets tired. In order to produce a greater quality of work and get more done, reverse the order and tackle those intensive tasks first! You can save the small things for later.

 

Tip #4: Music

Research has shown that listening to certain types of music actually increases the activity in the brain. Not only does music ramp up your brain’s activity, but it also helps you to focus on the task at hand. I cannot recommend a specific type of music because everyone is different. Some prefer instrumentals (music without words) and some prefer music with words. Experiment with various types to see what works best for you!

Your favorite music can also act as a trigger to signal to your brain that its time to work!

 

Tip #5: Use Pomodoro’s

What’s a Pomodoro?

The Pomodoro Technique was invented in the early 1990s by the developer, entrepreneur, and author Francesco Cirillo. Cirillo named the system “Pomodoro” after the tomato-shaped timer he used to track his work as a university student.

Using this technique is relatively simple. When you are working on a large task or a series of tasks, break the work down and focus on your work at specific time intervals. Each time period or “Pomodoro” is followed by a short break, after four Pomodoro’s you will have a longer break. Rinse and repeat. The most commonly used interval is:

Session 1:
Work – 25 Minutes
Break – 5 Minutes
Session 2:
Work – 25 Minutes
Break – 5 Minutes
Session 3:
Work – 25 Minutes
Break – 5 Minutes
Session 4:
Work – 25 Minutes
Break – 15 – 30 Minutes

Then repeat.

This technique helps you to break up seemingly large tasks into small work periods followed by a period of time where you can get distracted. How does this help you stay more focused?

By having set times for distractions your brain knows that it will get a chance to switch focus at a specific time, making it easier for you to stay intensely focused during your work session.

If you get distracted during your work session, you must either pause your work session or start over again. Hold yourself accountable!

There are several apps available on your phone to help you keep track of your work and break sessions. Focus Timer (iOS) is a very popular feature-rich app available for iPhones. There are also several great versions for android as well.

Give it a try and see how it works for you! I do plan on going into more depth on the “Pomodoro” technique in a coming post so stay tuned!

Hopefully, these 5 tips will help you get more done and execute at greater levels. If you have another tip or trick that you use to stay focused, feel free to drop it in the comments below!

Until next time!