Very few people know how to work for 30 uninterrupted minutes, but you should be able to do much more. It begins with a plan to know your main objective and priority for the day. Which projects needs your focused attention? Once you determine the project or work you need to accomplish, here’s how to focus for 60-90 uninterrupted minutes.
1) Do your primary task early in the day. Don’t allow the most productive and fresh time to be sucked away with emails, filing or chit chat. Before your day begins (preferably the afternoon before) write out the time you will spend and the project you will work on. Begin it in the morning and work on it with a focused commitment.
2) Set your phone aside. Don’t try to do both – focus on the task at hand and let your phone take care of itself for 60-90 minutes.
3) Shut your door. If you are in a setting where you can shut your door, do so. Seclude yourself so that you can concentrate.
4) Fight distractions to move on to another task. If you think of something else you need to do, simply write it down and get to it in about an hour or so.
5) Don’t allow email, social media or conversations to sidetrack your concentration. It’s really easy to be researching the web and then find yourself reading an article from a post on Twitter. Focus requires just that – focus. Stay away from time wasters as long as you are involved in the project at hand.
6) Schedule meetings with people for later in the morning or in the afternoon. Use your first block of time for the overarching goal you want to finish today. Meetings and conversations should be saved for later in the day, once you have invested your best time in the main agenda.
7) Think about the outcome of the project you are working on. Visualize being finished with the project and it being really well done. Then, get to work making that happen.
8) Build in the habit of working in a focused way. Of course, there will be times when you are unable to stay focused due to an interruption out of your control. However, the more you make a habit of a focused block of time in the morning, the more others around you will realize your routine and will begin to support you in your effort to focus on the main priority for the day.