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Keeping focussed

mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,702 ✭✭✭✭
This article: 'The Two Things Killing Your Ability to Focus' gives useful tips on how we can stay more focussed.

The author describes waking up and being in a digital haze that continued throughout the day, keeping him from accomplishing important tasks. (Sound familiar?). He suggests the two major challenges that are destroying our ability to focus are that we increasingly are overwhelmed with distractions flying at us from various connected devices. We now use digital media for an average of over 12 hours per day. And then at the office, we rely excessively on meetings as the default form of interaction with other people at work. We can spend from 35–55 percent of our time, and sometimes more, in meetings.

He suggests five daily practices:
* Practice mindfulness.
* Organize tasks
* Clean up
* Shrink meetings
* Preserve buffers

Staying focused at work is not easy, but it is doable. These five practical techniques will help you stay on task, accomplish what matters, and enjoy yourself more throughout the day.



  • VokVok Posts: 1,381 ✭✭✭
    Rings true with me @mheredge . I agree that those meetings at work distract you from your tasks at hand. It takes some time to cast your mind back to what you were up to before a meeting. Finally, when you've got back into the swing of things, the next meeting is on the way again. Distractions are everywhere.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,702 ✭✭✭✭
    I used to find meetings very disruptive, especially when they weren't ran very well and went over time or left too many questions to be resolved at a next meeting @Vok.
  • taghriedtaghried Posts: 143 ✭✭✭
    Well, we can boil down this article into (we're not multitasks).

    waking up and stumble over the smartphone with pointless notification, would lead to waste our time and our concentration, so we need take a break to prepare our mind for the next task.

    decluttering my place, desktop, and smartphone at the first place it's relaxed me, and gave me this ability to stay much longer do my task. the contrary, if my place messy then I'll do my task but it'll take much time

    can I consider procrastinate kind of distracting? because as a procrastinator I keep thinking about my stuff, so it might be prevented me to do new task unless finished the old one!!!

    could you tell me the meaning of(Lack of margin) and (preserve buffer)? @mheredge

    the article mentioned this word also( buffer time)___it means(a break)?!
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 9,991 mod
    I think multitasking (i.e. looking at phones while doing everything else) has somewhat ruined our ability to keep focus. I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. I try my best to put my phone out of the way in an evening, though I do end up looking at it anyway, sometimes.
  • VokVok Posts: 1,381 ✭✭✭
    Some sound advice on how to fall back in love with unplugged hobbies, namely reading.

  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,702 ✭✭✭✭
    Excellent article @Vok. I admit I probably only follow the 'read what you want' point. And my reading tends to be irregular - sometimes charging through a book a day and then maybe going a few weeks without picking up my Kindle (I am now only reading a few paper books these days).

    I certainly agree with the point the author makes about hobbies getting a comeback. Maybe this is why I am enjoying sketching so much. It is engrossing and takes you completely away from anything digital. Though of course there are always the artists following David Hockney by drawing using their iPads.

    I think too, it is easier to focus and not get distracted when you are doing something that you enjoy. I sometimes get so carried away when I'm reading or sketching that time slips by without noticing it.

    I also find I can keep focussed very easily when I have a tight deadline to meet. Today was a case in point. I had to go through a report in minute detail before heading off tomorrow. I have just emerged from it after seven solid hours, so my head is reeling. But needs must and so apart from one cup of tea and maybe two visits to the bathroom, I have not allowed myself to be distracted.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 9,991 mod
    Vok said:

    Some sound advice on how to fall back in love with unplugged hobbies, namely reading.


    I think those tips are quite good, and should help the younger generation to read more. Though I think they would still get distracted if they were reading books from their phone.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,702 ✭✭✭✭
    I can manage reading on a Kindle but the screen on a phone is too small for my liking. But some people watch movies on the tiny screen too.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 9,991 mod
    It is too small, but I can just about put up with it if it's my only option, and if I only have to use the small screen for a short time. I have just got a new computer and the monitor is huge, so that makes my phone screen look even smaller!
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,702 ✭✭✭✭
    I'd like to get a larger monitor. When I need to replace my laptop, this is a possibility. However I don't have a lot of space and using the dining table as my desk means I have to clear everything off it whenever I want to use the table. This does make using a laptop more practical.
  • VokVok Posts: 1,381 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge I agree that doubling up a kitchen table as a desk is not an option. It's not practical at all.
  • FerranFerran Posts: 12 ✭✭
    I usually listen to music to keep the focus in the office. It is strange because most people found it disturbing and annoying. Anyways, as you said, I always have to put away the mobile phone because is my main distraction.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,702 ✭✭✭✭
    It's fine with the good weather @Vok, as my dining table on the terrace is where I eat and when it's colder, I eat in the kitchen. It's only when I have friends round that I have to clear the table if it's not fine enough to eat outside.

    I am very lucky living in a place with such a great climate.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 9,991 mod
    I've just set up a new computer (well, it's my partner's old one that he has given to me, actually) and the monitor is huge by my standards. It definitely helps to keep me on task while I am working, so that is good.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,702 ✭✭✭✭
    I might look into something like this later in the year. I'm sure it must be much better for your posture if you're looking more upwards that down onto the laptop screen.
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