One of the most difficult thing during a working day is to maintain concentration. It is not longer that usual to sit alone in an office and be able to work undisturbed. Many share rooms, others sit in larger offices. Your tasks may consist of creative duties and solve complex problems that require sustained focus, but at the same time you are expected to always be available to others. Your concentration is constantly interrupted by the ping from the phone and e-mail program’s icon to beg to get your attention.
The recently published book Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind treat the problem and informas about a new method called daily focus periods. Moments of the day when you rightly keep to yourself. Use the company’s shared calendar and book it in as a meeting, just like any other meeting whatsoever. When you book an appointment for yourself in this way everyone can see that you are busy and they will not require your attention as easily as if you sat and worked at your place as usual. Likewise, if someone complains that it took a long time for you to reply to an e–mail message or that you did not answer when they called you, you have a socially acceptable excuse to come by, “I was busy all morning in meetings, I saw it only now.“
5 ways to get started with a focus periods
One. Start out with only booking short periods. Let them successive grow longer. Start with an hour and then gradually add 15 minutes when you notice that it works. The key is to never allow any distraction during your focus time. If you loose your concentration and check your Facebook instead, cancel the entire period and try again later. Not even a little bit of distraction is okay during these periods. Be disciplined.
Two. Activate your away message for incoming e-mails and change settings for how tour browser handles incoming messages so that you won’t be disturbed when someone is trying to contact you.
Three. Focus on a concrete, clear defined task that you have prepared. For example, you should write an article, do research work first, so that once you isolate yourself, you can fully concentrate on writing.
Four. Put yourself in a different place in your focus period. Go to another room, a library or another quiet place outside your workplace to make it easier to focus solely on the task you have planned to work with.
Five. Use only paper and pencil during the focus period if possible. This will avoid any possibility of distraction that can easily emerge in a computer. This constant battle between concentration and distraction is a serious problem, both for our results and our own sanity. Imposing focus periods will not solve the problem but helps you still a long way.
Work2Go – cooperation and communication on your terms
Work2Go is a collaboration tool with e-mail from the WebbPlatsen i Sverige AB where you can disable and re-enable messages, whether it is e-mail or instant messages, receiving, and viewing to get your attention. In the shared calendar tell everyone that you’re already booked and for longer periods of focus, activate an away message.