Tasks, technology and perceived lack of time are big contributors to lack of focus and some might even view it as a rare thing or something that’s hard to get, which is understandable considering the number of things begging for your attention these days.  With all of the things craving your attention, it’s easy to lose focus or to switch from one task to another before the first is complete.

There are ways of maintaining your focus throughout the day that will keep you on task and help you in the process of completing the tasks that you have on your agenda for any given day.  Having and maintaining focus starts with planning.  If you’re planning on a regular basis, then you know what you’re doing every day, so when you start your day, you know the tasks for that day, when you’re doing them and the priority for each.  Follow your schedule and the priorities, not the bright shiny objects that arise during the course of your day.  If a new task comes up, make a quick note about what it is and keep moving on the task at hand so that you can keep a steady pace.  Later in the day you can come back to the notes that you have and look to see where those new tasks fit or you can add them as you do your planning.  You may also have to keep a time log to help you see how you’re moving from task to task and whether you’re completing one before you move on to another.  It helps to write things down and to be able to go back and see what you’re focusing on.

In between tasks, or in the process of a larger, more involved task, take breaks.  Get away from what you’re doing and step outside and get some fresh air, walk to the kitchen to get a quick healthy snack, or do something else that will just take a few minutes to help break up your day.  Quick 10 minute breaks will give you a boost of energy to help you stay motivated and will actually increase your productivity and will also fuel your focus.

Technology can be the biggest challenge when it comes to maintaining your focus.  You have email, social media and the internet pulling you in.  Set specific times during the day, I recommend two times each day, to check your email.  Turn the email notification off and only check email at the designated times.  Don’t check it first thing in the morning.  Instead wait until 1.5-2 hours into your day to check it for the first time.  When it comes to social media, have a plan.  Know why you’re using it, when your target market is online, what you’re posting and when you’re posting it.  Include tools like Hoot Suite to make some posts for you so that they go up without you having to stop and make the post.  If you’re using the internet for research or other means, remember what you’re purpose is and stick to it. Additionally, use technology to support you in staying focused.  Incorporate reminders for task start and stop times as well as break times.

If you start using these tips to help you stay focused and stick to them by making them habits, each will support you in staying focused and feeding your productivity.