First of all, let me reassure you. It’s normal. It is perfectly ordinary to lose focus on a task that you are trying to complete at work. Something creates a distraction, and you spend quite some time trying to finish up with said distraction before you can complete the initial task at hand. Quite disquieting. Once you get back to work, you are completely misplaced and have no idea where you left off. You may as well take your momentum, crumple it into a little ball and kick it right out the window. Since there is no magic switch to wondrously turn the world off when you work, the decision to stay on task lies strictly with you. Here are a few ways to help achieve that goal:
Value Your Task. Studies have shown that if your work is menial, repetitive, or futile, your productivity declines at an alarming rate. Our brains need to be challenged and stimulated. Whether you are a bricklayer or a graphic designer, your intellect is heightened when you are able to perform a task that allows you to “forget yourself.”
Table and Chair Care. Simple, but often overlooked. Make sure that your workspace is comfortable and conducive to long periods of work. Sometimes struggling with discomfort can take up much more time than necessary. Ensure your chair has excellent back support, and your table is well structured.
Procrastination Should Never Win. As we all very well know, procrastination is a fight that we have fought and will continue to fight for years. Keep your bigger and more important jobs for the morning when you have the most energy. Combating procrastination altogether is a battle that may take years to win. Never give up the fight.
Make a Daily To-Do List and Prioritize Your Tasks. This is one that I know works for me. My To-Do List is my holy grail. Ensure that you cross out the “done” tasks to always keep you on track. Keep your list always visible with the highest priorities on the top.
Discipline is Your Only Friend. Sadly, I can tell you with all certainty, there is no secret formula to circumvent discipline. I have tried to find it, searched high and low, to no avail. Discipline is really the only tool that will get you through the distractions and allow you to complete your task efficiently.
Move Around. Little breaks keep you from getting bored, and thus keep your focus honed. Brief interruptions help you get back on track. The art of deactivating and reactivating your body and your mind is a powerful tool for keeping you on target.
In closing, it is important to remember that distractions are inevitable. You will constantly be surrounded by events and people that will destroy your momentum. Help keep your disturbances at bay by implementing one of the aforementioned techniques. Help us help you. Happy Working!