Can’t manage your time? Improve your focus

You’ve probably heard the quote “work smarter, not harder”, it is arguably one of the best pieces of advice that someone can give you when you’re trying to complete an important task or goal. Many times, when people are having difficulties finishing a job, they make the mistake of simply increasing the amount of time which they work on it.  They believe lousy time management to be the primary cause of the problem. 

However, frequently time management is not the main reason for slow progress. Due to lack of focus people end up spending much more time on solving a task than they anticipated. To better understand whether your problem is time management or focus related you should track your work process. Are you stopping frequently to accomplish another task? Does your mind wander a lot? If so, the problem is most certainly lack of focus. Increasing the work time might even be damaging since it will overwhelm your mind and make it even more prone to wandering. Here are a couple of tips on what you can do to improve your focus and your working process:

Work in blocks. Your brain has a limited capability of focusing. According to Kelly Noel Rasmussen, a digital marketer, “Our brain focuses best in short spurts, so dedicating 25 minutes to one activity, taking a five-minute break, and then resuming that activity or switching to another activity for another 25 minutes will help.” Therefore, you might increase your productivity if you break down your work into pieces. This way you will give your mind a sense of accomplishment and escape when you feel you need to switch to something else. 

Choose the right time. Figure out when your mind is feeling most rested and able to concentrate in greater spans. Working when you are not productive will only leave you feeling more tired and anxious since you are unable to accomplish what you set out to do. 

To do list. A to-do list will help you organize your tasks. Make sure you place it in a visible place to serve as a reminder and a wake-up call. When you find your mind wandering look over your to-do list and remind yourself of everything you must get done. 

Exercise. No, you don’t have to run 5 miles before every work day but doing some simple stretches, jumping around to your favorite song or maybe even taking the stairs up to your office will wake up your body and put it in work mode.   

Overall, overworking is never right for you. You should try to find the balance between working and resting to be productive. 

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