Staying focused on work is difficult, especially if there are other things you’d rather be doing. Here are 4 different ways to stay focused while you take care of the important things in your life.
List Your Chores
It’s easy to lose focus when you have too many things on your plate. Take some of the stress off yourself by writing all of your chores down on a piece of paper. If you prefer, you can also make a digital list on your computer or on your phone.
Once your chores are listed, look over the list, and think about which chores will take the longest to complete. Start with an easy task to give yourself momentum. Then, tackle a difficult chore while you’re at the peak of your energy. Finally, finish up with the simpler tasks that don’t require as much energy.
Set Work Timers
Breaks are important for your mental and physical health. But when you’re heavily involved in a task, breaks are also all to easy to forget. After too much work, you can become drained, resulting in a loss of focus that you might not recover from.
How often you should take a break and how long your breaks should be depends on your work style. Many people thrive by working for 45 minutes and then taking a 15-minute break. If that sounds too long, the Pomodoro method suggests that you try working in 20-minute increments with 5-minute breaks in between. Try different schedules until something works for you; then, stick to it, and develop a strong rhythm.
Look for Inspiration
Thinking about nothing but chores will make anyone tired and unfocused. When the work keeps piling up and your energy keeps running low, it might be time to seek a little inspiration.
Modern breaks tend to take place in front of the computer. The next time you’re browsing through social media instead of doing your work, try reading an inspirational blog or listening to an uplifting podcast. Look for an author who speaks about issues relevant to you and who gives you the energy to keep working. Just remember not to spend too much time; after all, you do have chores you need to get done.
Promise Yourself a Reward
If you’re completely out of motivation, there’s one more tactic that is guaranteed to help you finish your chores: planning something special for when they’re done. Whether it’s a special meal or an episode of your favorite TV show, positive motivation works for almost everyone.
The key to making this tactic work is to plan a reward that matches the effort. The harder the task is, the more you should celebrate when you complete it. Of course, you’ll have to hold yourself accountable—but once you get the work done, you can enjoy your fun with a guilt-free mind.
Developing a healthy work ethic isn’t easy for anyone. Don’t be too hard on yourself, especially if you’re struggling. The chores will get done eventually; just do one thing at a time.