Workflow · Focus

What do you do to stay focused and avoid distractions?

Vlad Moskovski Trainer | Coach | Leader

January 26th, 2016

Just saw this short video - Harness Your Attention For Optimal Performance and was wondering... "what do you do tools/practices to stay focused and not get distracted" in your workflow?

Sharyn Fitzpatrick Marketing | Webinar Program Development & Management | Editor, PresentationXpert.com l Webinar Chick I Digital Marketing

January 27th, 2016

I do a combination of to do lists and setting a specific time on my schedule to handle administrative tasks including new biz development, social media outreach, billing, etc.  I keep Thursday mornings open for doing that, and it works great to keep me motivated and on track. In the last year, I have also joined a mastermind group which has been a great and productive resource for feedback, ideas, and accountability. I disagree about the posts - I often find that these posts often remind us to think differently or introduce us to new services that might add value to what we do. 

Robin Fletcher Adversity & Communication Expert, Helping Individuals Transform Difficult Situations

January 29th, 2016

It depends on the why behind the distraction. 

If I'm bored, I follow the thread of my thinking about it until I identify what I care about 
If I'm anxious/afraid, I recenter on why I chose to do it and why it matters
If I'm pissed off or resentful for having to do something, I try to find the part that I have a choice about, and if I can't find that choice, I remind myself I have the choice to leave it
If I'm tired or restless, I rest or stretch
If I'm hyped up or restless, I do pushups, or go outside, or dance



Ellen Henson Engage and align product teams for customer satisfaction and business success

January 27th, 2016

In addition to to-do lists and plans, exercise (get out and walk) helps clear the clutter from your mind as does meditation.

David Pariseau

January 27th, 2016

I agree that lists/tasks really helps keep the ball moving forward.  Also, on the technical side putting together an engineering roadmap is useful both internally and externally in providing a vision for development.   It can help you stay on track for product development and serve as a strawman for discussing possible new projects/features etc.  in that it provides a context in discussing tradeoffs (i.e. if we do this, we have to table that, or it has such and such an impact on current deliverables...)

Atanas Stoyanov

January 27th, 2016

I do simple task/to-do lists - sometimes on paper, sometimes on my phone/ipad. At the end of the day, I try to have 5-10 small tasks (10 minutes to 30 minutes) for the next day. I love striking out 'done' tasks, its a marvelous feeling. 
When I get a bigger idea/task, I put it on a different list that sits there "for research" until I can divide it into smaller tasks. 
When I have free time, I look at the bigger tasks and read/research on them but try to avoid getting suck into them until I can break them down, yet usually my big 'distractions' come from things that are too exciting to leave waiting.
For my devs, I also try to have lists (currently using trello), so they know each day what they need to do.

Mary Engel Management Coach, Tech Startup Executive and advocate of your happier life

January 28th, 2016

Focus to me is about discipline.
  • I leave all notifications off at all times - no badges, sounds or banners on my iphone, no pop-ups on my computer, except for calendar appointments
  • I plan every hour on my calendar at least twice a year to make sure my activities actually fit into a 24-hour day (including sleep)
  • I set intentions and priority actions at the start of each week
  • I set intentions and priority at the start of each day
  • I break when it makes sense to


Kat Morgenstern Author at Cicerone Press

January 29th, 2016

I don't do it enough, but scheduling distractions is actually quite helpful too. Among 10 items on my to do list I aim to insert things like 'going for a walk'. That thought is sure to creep in anyway and becomes a serious distraction if I have to fight it. Clearing the head from time to time actually increases productivity far better than fighting the urge. Besides that, turn off all time suckers such as instant messaging (unless you need it for your business) facebook, etc.

Jeff Fitzmyers Project Manager at Energy Remodeling Inc.

January 29th, 2016

When I’m correctly motivated, I stay focused. 

I gave up trying to get funding since I don’t yet have a MVP and I am not the best marketer. Which means I can get frustrated, discouraged, and so lose focus. My solution is to go to high level startup / networking events about every 2 weeks and see how I can add value. I actually try NOT to talk about my project. I’m there to help others. I even try to arrive early and to help out the organizers. I see things from other’s points of view and get out of my head.

Just being in that environment feels good and encourages me to be effective in a fun way.

David Pariseau

January 27th, 2016

I agree with both previous posts:

1) finding blocks of uninterrupted time to focus one more challenging tasks,

2) making time to refresh your mind and gain perspective,

Vlad Moskovski Trainer | Coach | Leader

January 27th, 2016

Thanks everyone for the awesome input. It is so fascinating that everybody has their own unique way in which they work and set aside distractions to get things done. I am at my best when
-block of periods of time (30-45 min)
-5-10 min of break time (tea, exercise, meditation, something fun)
-start each work period with a clearing/centering exercise 

I have recently become very interested in flow states - because I have moments when I am really intent on getting something done and yet my productivity/output is mediocre. Flow for me is the junction of: 
concentration
clarity
motivation
high level of personal power (this is vital for tackling the big/hard tasks) 

There is some really interesting research being done of flow states, some even at corp. like Google.