Tip of the Week – Staying Focused in a Digital World

I often come across little tidbits of knowledge that I think are helpful to me in terms of business, productivity, web development, or just life, in general. These tips may have been inspired because I’ve come across a good tip on another, I’ve figured out the answer to a problem, or a client asked me a question. I’m going to post them here under “Tip of the Week”. I’ll try to post them every Friday.

This week’s tip is about staying focused in a digital world. “Time management” has always been a key player in the productivity world. For me, though, in addition to time management, I also need to work on my attention management. I only have so many hours in the day where I get to do actual, focused work. Those hours need to be spent in a focused manner, but there are times when I find myself flipping between my computer and iPhone, checking my Instagram feed, then hopping over to email, and then back to the website I’m working on. I’m caught up in distractions and not doing the focused meaningful work I should be. It’s hard to even identify that I’m in “distraction mode” and even harder to pull myself out of that mode. I notice that I tend to get into this mode when I’ve been working late at night, for a long period of time in one spot, or when I feel overwhelmed with my workload and don’t have a clear task list.

I came across a great article with several good points on what to do when I notice I’ve fallen into the trap of constant task switching. Leo Babauta over at zenhabits.com writes his four-point list of simple solutions:

  1. Assess what’s important and focus on that task
  2. Simplify by letting go of the idea that everything must get done today
  3. Clear everything, including open browser tabs and windows on your computer
  4. Stay with the moment; acknowledge the urge to go check your Facebook page, but also try to realize that this may be less important than your current task

Check out the full article on zenhabits.

Image by Bes Z (CC BY 2.0) via flickr

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