5 Ways to Stay Focused and Get Work Done

August 9, 2016

Career Advice

2902351751_c30aacdaf8_oThere’s nothing worse than staring at your computer screen, completely unmotivated. The minutes tick away and before you know it, you’ve wasted a whole afternoon even though you had plenty of things that needed to get done. But somedays are better than others. Sometimes you just can’t find the motivation to get the work done. Whether it’s job searching, writing cover letters, or meeting an important work deadline, here are some tricks that will help you find your focus and get work done.

1. Sprint.
Working may be a marathon not a sprint, but sometimes a burst of sprints can help you reach the finish line. The biggest hurdle you have to overcome is just starting. Setting a timer–and a deadline–for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or even an hour can help give you the push you need. Use an egg timer or phone alarm that dings when you’ve achieved your goal.

2. Dangle a carrot.
Like a carrot dangling in front of a horse, find the motivation you need to take that first step. Rewards come in many different shapes and sizes. Allow yourself to peruse Facebook for 15 minutes if you get 45 minutes of work done. Or promise yourself a steaming mug of coffee if you can finish up a project by 1 PM.

3. Make two lists.
Sometimes, you’re just not feeling it. Create a to-do list for those kinds of lulls. Are there some more administrative tasks that you can tackle when you’re just not feeling inspired? Take advantage of the moments when you’re in the zone, and save the simple stuff for the afternoon slump (or whenever your slump seems to attack).

4. Tune out temporarily.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, finding your focus among all the clutter is difficult. Maybe there’s too much on your mind. Or maybe there’s just too much noise and too many people around you. Find your zen anyway. It might mean meditating for 10 minutes, going for a 15 minute walk, or popping on some headphones with soothing classical music.

5. Put your foot down.
Set some strict rules, and follow them. For example, if you’re catching yourself perusing social media sites too often, make a”no social media before 5 PM” rule. If you find yourself cheating, log out of all your networks. And if that still won’t work, you may even be able to turn off your wifi temporarily if it’s not necessary for the project you’re working on. A little tough love never hurt anyone… including yourself!

Image via Dimitris Kalogeropoylos/Flickr.

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About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

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  1. 50 Pieces of Career Advice | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - September 15, 2016

    […] Be productive. […]

  2. Why “Done” Is Better than “Perfect” | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - September 20, 2016

    […] You need to be more productive. Working hard is respectable, but not all hard work is smart work. If your plight for perfection is causing you to miss deadlines or stress yourself out, then something is wrong. You need to find the most efficient way to get the job done. Try some of these creative productivity hacks. […]

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