These days, nothing is more challenging than complete and uninterrupted focus. Even just five minutes of meditation gets the best of us when you have a to-do list the length of your arm, conversations that need replying to, and emails to check. Our society is drunk on information and content, and it can often feel close to impossible to disconnect.
So how do you stay focused with all the noise? Like you, I’m still working on it — I think a lot of people are. But to help you help yourself, here are two easy tips I follow to stay on track.
1. Write Down Your Goals
It's a lot easier than you're thinking: the key is to set achievable targets. Clear and actionable targets will help you define your goals and keep your focus toward each one.
Begin by taking lined paper and draw a timeline with five clear and actionable targets.
Keep your written goals nearby so that you can see them on a daily basis. Don’t set broad targets like Learn French Next Year — try something like Speak to a native French speaker for 15-minutes in conversational French by September 1st — this will help you feel motivated to move forward. Once you've written it down, you’ll instantly see your to-do list and actions map toward this very clear goal.
Do the same with all of your tasks and activities: set clear goals and focus toward them.
2. Get Organized To Accomplish Your Goals
Juggling a busy schedule to achieve your goals requires organization, and simply being prepared helps.
Think of it this way: if you needed to get your house in order before a big storm hits, you would take the time to prepare. Treat the way you work the same. At any point, you could be hit by a storm of emails, news, notifications, documents, and anything else that could wreak havoc on your productivity, and it only helps if you're prepared.
How to better prepare:
- Use services like Evernote, OneNote, or Dropbox to get organized — bring everything into a single digital solution.
- Get your physical work-space neat and tidy — file your documents away, get rid of stuff you don’t need, clear your inbox and keep it clear.
- Use Trello or Todoist to keep all of your to-do's in one place. Organize your tasks into the projects they represent so you can avoid putting too much weight on your memory alone.
- Get tall of your tasks on paper.
- Try tools like Flipd to manage distractions.
These are just some simple tricks I use to get started on accomplishing my goals. Try them and feel free to join me on YouTube where I cover productivity tools and how to use them every single day.
Francesco D’Alessio is a popular Youtuber who shares his wisdom with more than 13,000 subscribers on his productivity channel. His videos focus on productivity apps for iOS, Android, and Mac, and he also features tips from experts. Follow Francesco on Twitter or say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org.