1. Establish “Do Not Disturb” Cues
My children are my biggest distractions. Good thing I can close my office door. They know that a closed door means do not disturb, and they should be quiet. I do this only for a few hours on some days, not all days. This lets me work in bursts, to focus on the hardest and most important tasks. An alternative is hearing protection headsets like the ones used on flights and industrial environments.
2. Templates & Checklists
While demonstrating WPSalesletter, Armand said he created the plugin so he didn’t have to think about it; he just follows the steps. That’s exactly why templates and checklists work.
Sometimes, the more you think things out, the more time you waste and the more overwhelmed you become.
Templates and checklists lay out everything for you. Your mind doesn’t wander. You don’t have to worry about missing or forgetting steps. You just jump right in and work through them.
3. Work Themes
The human brain works best when focused on one thing at a time. If you had only one hour, choose the biggest, toughest or most important task. Then work on it exclusively.
If you have to tackle more than one, then assign a set duration. For example, 30 minutes for task A and 30 minutes for task B. Nothing else. Another option is to work in one area one day, another area the next day.
For example, advertising on Monday. Product creation on Tuesday.
4. Music or Sound Therapy
Two of my favorite tools are Brain.fm and Focus@Will. They are my secret weapons for times when I need to tune in and concentrate. The result is usually a much more productive hour.
5. Notebook or Notepad
Sometimes, when you are working hard on something, a thought, an idea or concern pops into your head. Often, it is something unrelated to what you are doing. At other times, it is a related task, but one for later in
the process. Write these down on your notepad, then continue with the work at hand and think no more of them.
If you have a reliable electronic note taking system, you can do it on your phone or computer. It’s a personal choice. I’ve tried electronic methods. But by the time find the app and wait for it load, I would have forgotten what I wanted to write down. Pen and paper still work best for me because it is easy, fast, and often right in front of me.
These 5 things have never failed to help me stay on task. I hope they work for you too.