Time Management Series – Hacks for Improving Focus

Welcome to this three-part blog series for time management! Part one will be tips on how to improve your focus, so pay attention!

  • Cinema Mode Technique: Approach tasks the same way you’d watch a movie at the theater. Put down your phone (bonus points if you put it in another room or shut it off completely), eliminate all other distractions, and fully immerse yourself into your task.
  • Side note: I broke my phone this week, so I went a few days without it. I used to think that scrolling on TikTok helped me to stay sane while doing tasks, but I actually felt more clear-minded and energized to complete my tasks without it. I highly recommend putting the phone down more often.
  • Task Batching: Aim to group similar tasks together (I.e. Answering all emails at once, doing all the dishes in one go, all tasks that take less than 2 min, etc.) This can help you to avoid task switching, which can cause you to lose focus and waste energy. By doing one category of tasks at a time, you can increase your efficiency.
  • Work for a Dedicated Amount of Time: We resist some tasks more than others, so the amount of time you choose to dedicate can depend on your level of resistance to the task. If you really don’t want to do it, maybe just dedicate 2 minutes of your time to it. If you have some motivation, maybe dedicate 10 or 20 minutes of time. The idea here is to just get started, because that’s often the hardest part. Once you get over that initial hump, you may gain some momentum, and completing the task may not seem so bad.
  • Create a Reward System: For tasks you have the most resistance to, pair some kind of (healthy) reward with that task. You can either have the reward while completing the task (I.e. watching TV while doing sit-ups) or you can have the reward after you complete it (I.e. A nap, time with a friend, a pedicure, etc.). Even setting up a comfortable environment to work in, like sitting outside, cleaning up your space, or lighting a candle can make a difference in your level of resistance.
  • Bonus idea: If you finish your task(s) sooner than you thought you would, reward yourself by enjoying that extra time, rather than punishing yourself by filling that time with more tasks!

Click here for part two, improving your organization!

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