If you recall, yesterday I wrote about the pros and cons of studying online. One of the biggest cons that I pointed out was how the freedom and convenience of online studying can mess with your motivation. Expanding on that point, how do you stay focused when no one is forcing you to work?
Here are five tips that I’ve discovered along the way that just might be able to help you:
- Take regular breaks
While you might be tempted to strap yourself to your desk until you finish your work, getting up and stopping for a while can actually be one of the best things for your productivity.
Leaving your work for 10-15 minutes is all it takes to clear your mind and to refresh yourself. Take a quick walk, do the dishes, watch some TV. Doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it helps you clear your mind.
- Set aside time for work
If you’re like me, then you can procrastinate on one piece of work all day, even all week. Having set times for work will help you to stay focused on what you have to do and stop your procrastination.
There are certain times of the day that you are going to be more productive. These times should be set aside for any work that you have planned. You can schedule your work around your most productive hours.
- Set aside time to not work
Believe me, procrastinating is not the same thing as taking time off. Most people come home from work and try to forget about work for the rest of the night.
If you are the deciding factor on your work ethic, then sometimes it can be hard to separate work from your personal life.
You might be doing plenty of non-work related activities but that will just feel like procrastination. You need to find a cut off point for your work, where you can relax and forget about everything.
- Find a good working environment
Where is it that you do your best work? Your office? The library? Having a dedicated work space is a great way to stay focused.
Just like having a place where you can stop and relax, you also need a place where you can work. An office, or something similar, is somewhere that you can associate with work. Just being there will help you to get into the right mental zone that you need for your work.
- Set yourself goals
Having a massive stack of work to do can sometimes look unbearable and that itself can break your motivation. Breaking it down into smaller sections is one of the best ways to stay focused and get the job done quickly.
You can get a better overview of everything that needs doing, you can schedule your time better, you can come prepared to every task. The pros of setting goals are endless.
I try to aim for either daily or weekly goals. Sticking to your goals is then up to you.
No matter what career you have, staying focused will always remain hard. All we can do is persevere until the work is finished. Sometimes we can get distracted but that’s not the hardest part. The hardest part is to not beat yourself up when you do find yourself distracted. All we can do is start again and try to get the work done.
(P.S- Happy mother’s day to all the mother’s out there.)