Our lives are always full of distractions. Think about it, try to count how many times in one day your work or your leisure time are interrupted by the screen, TV, social networks, SMS, Whatsapp messages … Faced with our freelance commitments with deadlines looming, these deviations, distractions and time losses have a big negative impact on our actual ability to concentrate.
If all this leaves us with a lack of sleep, or a decrease in interest, staying focused on your ultimate goal can be very difficult. Fortunately for us, there are some simple techniques that can come to the rescue, small lifestyle changes that can make concentrating more easily achievable.
Always keep the objective in mind
Faced with a large project, it is easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal. It is important to keep reminding yourself that every piece of work planned has to be accomplished. Never let up in the face of a possible bug, never forget your ultimate goal. Whether it’s a personal project or a project for a client, it is important to write up a general picture of the situation, developing each point step-by-step.
The really hard part is finding and maintaining concentration. Most of the time, it lives within your own state of mind. A small lifestyle change that you can test is trying to work early in the morning, with less distractions and a fresh mind. If this test is effective, try to carve out time for the most important steps at this time of day. If it isn’t the morning, try other times where you can combine these operations with your life, and most of the time you’ll have to compromise. This will create positive psychological routines, in order to focus the objectives that await us better.
Don’t take on too much work
Proper time management is a crucial step for staying focused on tasks. A heavy work load can discourage us before we start, and this daunting prospect is certainly not a good incentive to be productive. It is good to allocate the most important steps of a project to periods of time where you can make sure (or at least vaguely) = dedicate the right mental focus to it. To ensure that work is done properly and in order to give correct deadlines, it is good to draw up a series of deadlines by dividing up the steps of your project.
It might seem like a contradiction, but it is only by taking breaks that you will be able to maintain the right level of concentration. Every hour that passes in front of the video, you can and should take a 5 or 10 minute break, since it is necessary to rest and unwind. It is hard to stay focused for hours at a time and the quality of your work will always suffer. The mistake that we web workers often make is letting ourselves lazily surf the internet for a few minutes, thinking we will disconnect by visiting each social network or sports results websites. These are not real breaks, get up and leave the desk cyclically, look for a coffee or a healthy newspaper to read, even go outdoors.
Like Spaniards, have a “siesta”
Short breaks are designed to maintain high concentration all day, but it is advisable to define how longer breaks are different from others to avoid becoming automatons attached to the keyboard. Set aside a time of about 20 minutes in the middle of the day to have a healthy nap or simply lie down. These “half-asleep” activities can sometimes help you see issues from different perspectives, perhaps by finding the key to the problem right in the middle of your nap.
Even the most prepared and determined people can suffer from a certain lack of concentration. You may feel completely lost in front of a lack of inspiration or simply when you are unable to focus on a problem that needs to be solved. Some small good habits can make a difference, helping to encourage higher concentration thus bringing a higher level of quality to your projects and your own gratification.