Coaching question: How to stay focused

March 25, 2024

Q&A: How to avoid distractions and stay focused?

Question: “Hi Tomas, I find myself easily distracted when I’m trying to focus on tasks that matter. Any strategies to help?”

This is a great question, and you’re certainly not alone in battling wandering focus.

Let’s dive into it.


Ever wondered why it’s so hard to stay focused, even on important tasks?

Well, our brains are wired to seek out novelty and entertainment—things that are often in short supply in routine tasks or complex projects.

Add to this mix the digital age we live in, where notifications from social media, emails, and news are constantly fighting for our attention.

These distractions are like candy for our novelty-seeking brains, making it challenging to focus on tasks that aren’t immediately gratifying or exciting.


The main point is to minimise these distractions as much as possible and to somehow make the tasks at hand more enjoyable or engaging.

This double approach can help your brain focus on the task with interest rather than looking for the next dopamine hit from an external source.

It’s about creating an environment where focus can flourish and transforming the task into something that doesn’t feel like a boring chore.

⚙️ HOW

Here are a few strategies that can help you achieve this balance:

1️⃣ Create a distraction-free environment:

This means turning off non-essential notifications and maybe even using apps that block social media or other distracting websites during work hours. If you’re working in a noisy environment, consider noise-cancelling headphones or soothing background music that doesn’t distract.

2️⃣ Break down the task into smaller, more manageable parts:

Large tasks can seem daunting and uninteresting. By breaking them down, they become more approachable, and you can find enjoyment in completing these smaller, achievable goals.

3️⃣ Incorporate elements of fun or challenge:

Gamify your tasks where possible. Set time challenges, reward yourself for milestones achieved, or find a way to make the task more interactive. The key is to associate positive feelings with the work you’re doing.

4️⃣ Change your environment:

Sometimes, a change of scenery can do wonders for your focus. If possible, try different workspaces, such as cafes or co-working spaces. You can also adjust your current setup to make it more inviting and conducive to concentration.

5️⃣ Practice mindfulness:

This may seem like an odd tip, but being present and mindful helps in recognising when you’re about to get distracted and allows you to gently steer your focus back to the task at hand. Regular mindfulness practice can improve your overall concentration levels.

⏱️ NOW

For an instant action step, try the Pomodoro Technique: Set up a timer between 15 and 25 minutes and work solely on one task.

Nothing else can be attended to during that time. (Most of your “urgent” distractions can wait for 15 minutes.) Then take a 5-minute break.

This method can help train your brain to focus in short, productive bursts while offering regular breaks to look forward to.

With time, as your focus improves, you can extend those “sprints”.

Pick a task right now, break it down if it’s big, set a timer for 15-25 minutes, and give it your all.

I hope these strategies help you find your focus and make the most out of the tasks that matter to you.




You May Also Like…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest