How to improve concentration? There are many types of interruptions that will affect your focus, where internal and external interruptions are considered as leading.
External is obvious, internal interruptions are where you either get distracted by random thoughts, or where you decide to check your email etc. for “just a second”. You need to cut out both!Some people think that being distracted is not that much bother, they like to give attention to their family etc. as they work and don’t think it causes much harm…
Well it causes more harm than you can imagine! It is not just the interruption time that you lose, it is the focus.
Focus is precious and most people have a hard time with it, so when you are focusing then you don’t want that to be broken as it will take you much longer to get back to that state afterwards, to get your head “back in gear” as it were.
Let’s look at external distractions first as they are easier to deal with, so first off… Phone calls, a huge time waster, remember you DO NOT have any obligation to pick that phone up. Yes it could be an emergency, but it could also be a sales call, you don’t know, have voicemail on andlisten to the messages AFTER you finish the task you are working on.
If you are working at home and your partner picks the phone up while you are working then make sure they know to say you are not in and take a message, no matter what the other person on the phone says. Also avoid phone calls wherever possible, they WASTE time, sure some people say that sending emails wastes time as you can communicate quicker on a phone, but it forces people to get to the point.
I remember a time a former client was bugging me to talk to them on the phone about a project, we had almost all the details down but he just wanted to tell me some things over the phone to make sure it was right. I grudgingly gave him my phone number, then the 2 minute call he promised turned into a 30 minute phone call, was it necessary?
Absolutely not, he could just as easily have typed out a short email to tell me what he took 30 minutes and asked me to phone him.