Distractions can be the enemy of productivity and can come in many forms, like a text message alert on your phone, scrolling through social media mindlessly, or having someone talk to you while you’re in the middle of working on something. When you’re constantly distracted, spending your time multitasking, and pulled in multiple directions, you may feel busy, but can get to the end of the day realizing you didn’t accomplish very much. A solution to addressing this is to schedule deep focus time which will allow you to complete important tasks/projects without interruptions. By having a set focus time, you can leverage the quality of your work and maximize your time. Here are some suggestions for implementing this into your work routine.
Set a Schedule
When setting a schedule, it’s important to block off time every week to focus and get your key priorities completed. During these set hours, block the time off on your work calendar, and keep distractions such as emails and phone calls to a minimum (or even turn these off completely during this time). You'll want to schedule it during the parts of your day you have the most energy and focus. For instance, are you a morning person and do your best work first thing in the day, or are you most productive after lunch? Know what works best for you and schedule your focused time accordingly.
Let Others Know
In addition to blocking the time off on your calendar, it’s also important to let others know your schedule and why you're blocking off the focus hours in your week. In an article on Inc., they say to “Explain to them why this matters to the company. Let them know that you'll be accessible to them throughout the week but that during this one block of time ask for their help in giving you the buffer you need to focus on creating real value for your organization.”
Have a Reward
After your weekly, uninterrupted focus time, plan some kind of reward for yourself. This could be a walk to give your mind and body a break, going to get your favorite drink from a coffee shop, meeting up with a friend for lunch, or enjoying your favorite dinner and show that evening. You don’t want to burn yourself out, so it’s important to preserve your focus and energy by taking some type of break, that way you can still be productive with the other tasks you have throughout the day.