“You can dive deeper with an oxygen tank than if you have to resurface every few minutes for air.”
– Todd Henry on staying focused

If you want to achieve something meaningful in life, then staying focused is key. With social media, an avalanche of emails, or smartphone notifications, it is so easy to get off-track. Saying nothing about the attention span which is shrinking over time.

But the principle remains unchanged: if you want to see remarkable results, you need to be persistently focused. Todd Henry, the author of “The Accidental Creative”, shares tons of highly effective tips on how to preserve focus. So here is the list.

6 ways to stay remarkably focused

Daily set aside an hour to do strategic thinking and plan your projects
Things that get scheduled are things that get done. It is much easier to sustain a conceptual, strategic thinking mode than it is to try to regain it once you’ve switched over to more concrete tasks.

Cluster meetings as much as possible
The author suggests setting large blocks of uninterrupted time open in your agenda. Meetings that are spread out throughout the day with 15-30 minutes breaks between are common. But this approach eliminates the ability to engage in deep thought.

Set aside a dedicated time to responding to e-mails
Instead of living in the inbox, schedule your communication in dedicated blocks of time. This way you will be able to have a deeper focus during the day rather than being constantly interrupted by the demands of others.

Allocate time slots for phone calls and face-to-face encounters
Same advice as to the previous point. But applied to phone calls and meetings. Avoid the energy drain required to gear up for and gear down from interactions with people. If it possible, of course.

Separate your creative time from your concrete time
Imagine this: you write or design for 15 minutes, prepare invoices for 10 minutes, spend 5 minutes on an email and conduct other small tasks. Sounds similar to your agenda, right? Unfortunately, by doing this, you are paying a notable task-switching penalty. Try to spend – as much as you are able to – no less than 30 minutes (preferably 60 minutes) of uninterrupted time when working on conceptual tasks.

As the author suggests, these are not the only way how to keep yourself focus. There are other opportunities as well. But the idea is similar: cluster similar tasks and avoid switching often between different ones. But if you need some external help, try these 10 apps that will make you more productive.

The floor is yours…

What do you think of these focus tips before? Have you applied these tips to your schedule before? What others tips would you recommend? Let me know in the comment section below.

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