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How to Find Focus When Swamped with Work

The following post is from Prerna of The Mom Writes:

source: Cliff

Have you been struggling to focus and finish a task, even though your plate is overflowing with work?

Are multiple deadlines looming ahead, stressing you out?

Is lack of focus a major cause of overwhelm and anxiety in your life?

Well, you’re not alone.

Most of us find it difficult to focus when we need to do it the most. We get pulled in a million directions and we don’t know which ones to follow or complete.

Here are some simple ways to find focus when you’re dealing with multiple responsibilities, to-dos and deadlines:

1. Use a To-Do List

Yes, whether you use a paper-and-pen list or an application on your smartphone, use a to-do list. Jotting down your to-dos the evening before or even early in the morning will help you ‘see’ everything that needs to be done on that particular day.

2. Tackle the Biggies

Next, put a star or sort the list so that the most important tasks or ‘big rocks’ are right at the top. Skim through the list to identify tasks that can be outsourced or delegated to others easily and painlessly. Also, identify tasks and activities that really aren’t a priority for the day. This exercise will clean up your to-do list and give you exactly what you need to focus on.

3. Work in Shifts

I am a big believer in working at a stretch for short durations and then, taking a break. But when I work, I put my head down and work. hard.

Shut off distractions, resist the urge to check email or Facebook and simply, knock off a 30 to 45-minute chunk of ‘work’ from your list. Then, take a break for 10 minutes or so. Get up, stretch your legs, drink a glass of water, and come back refreshed.

Working in ‘shifts’, as I like to call it, helps me do more easily and without killing myself. Really, I have tried working 2 hours at a go. Trust me, it does not do anything for your productivity and focus.

 4. Practice Laser Focus in Small Doses

If focusing on tasks for 45 minutes at a stretch seems too much for you, try 15 to 20 minutes to begin with. Just pick a task and work on it for 20 minutes. No faffing around, no whiling away looking into the distance, no excuses. Just put your head down and work at that project for 20 minutes. Use a timer if you need to.

Keep extending these laser focus sessions by 5 minutes every day or every other day and you will be a pro at focusing by the end of the month.

 5. More Tips to Help You Focus Right Now

The archives here are home to more such useful tips on boosting and building focus. Here’s where to go if you need more tips:

What tips do you have for staying focused when life is hectic and hurried?

Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in being postively productive, parenting with love and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her journey and experiences with productivity and parenting at The Mom Writes.