6 Concentration Tips to Help You Banish Distractions & Get Back to Work
I’ve always wanted to pull off a heist.
Well, not seriously, but boy does Hollywood make even the thought look exhilarating.
In a Hollywood heist, the lynchpin of every plan is the diversion.
Forget securing a getaway car or assembling your motley crew of partners, the diversion is what sets the whole plan into action; the distraction that makes every move that follows possible.
What’s ironic is that, in any other line of business, a distraction brings your plan to a screeching hault.
Now, we all get distracted at some point. Perhaps by email, your coworkers, or the earworm that snuck its way into your head during the morning drive. Whatever it may be, a distraction can easily get the best of you and kill all productivity, but there are ways to get back in the groove of things.
As the weekend approaches, I know one or two of may be having a little trouble focusing on the task at hand (or planning that fantasy heist, who knows?). So, I went to my IMPACT colleagues and picked their brains on their personal concentration tips.
Here are six of my favorites to help you banish distractions and get back to work.
1. Turn on Rainymood
“Most of my coworkers think I’m crazy for using this site as religiously as I do, but whenever I need to really focus on a project, I turn on Rainymood.com.
A continuous 1.5 hour loop of downpouring rain, wind, and thunder, Rainymood helps me drown out all of the distractions around me and also keep calm when things get a little too hectic. It’s so relaxing! So, try it. You’ll be surprised how productive you will be with it.
Bonus Tip: Though I usually steer clear of music with lyrics when I need to write, I even have a Spotify playlist that I love to pair with the site. It’s collaborative, so check it out and feel free to add your favorite rain jam!” - Ramona Sukhraj, Content Marketing Manager
2. Find a New Space
“I have a formula that works for me every time: find a new space and crank up my go-to music.
Typically when I'm distracted by noise or good company, I find a new space with ambiance.
I've had the same Pandora station since 2008 that I always listen to when I need to get in the zone. Simply by conditioning myself to a quiet space with my crooner tunes, I can usually get back in the swing of things.” - Brie Rangel, Account Strategist
3. Use the Pomodoro Technique
“It's so easy to get distracted that I started Googling some tips for staying focused and on task (probably something I did while distracted in the first place).
In my hunt, I came across the "Pomodoro Technique", which encourages 25 minutes of uninterrupted work, followed by short breaks.
The key for me is to close my email, put chat windows on silent, move my phone out of sight, and put on music (I need the kind without words) for those 25 minutes. So far, I've really loved the results. I'm not perfect at it, but I'm getting there.” - Natalie Davis, Director of Talent
4. Make a To-Do List
When I find myself getting distracted or unable to concentrate it’s usually because I have so much on my plate and don’t know where to start.
That makes it that much easier for me to fall into the trap of Facebook or Instagram, but luckily, making a to-do list helps me see what’s actually on my plate and prioritize. Once I have that in hand, I can focus and start checking things off of it one by one. - Joe Rinaldi, Creative Lead
5. Step Away From My Computer
“When I find myself distracted or overwhelmed, I step away from my computer and grab a notepad.
I create a full to-do list for my week and prioritize today's tasks only. This allows me to wrap my head around what needs to be done and really focus on accomplishing it. Before going back to work I make sure to grab a snack and a glass of water. I can never focus if I'm thinking about food!
Then, when I'm back at my desk I'll make sure to close out Slack or any other messaging platforms I'm logged into. I'll throw on the ‘Peaceful Piano’ playlist on Spotify then get to work!” - Erica Dube, Account Strategist
6. Blast Music
“My answer is pretty generic for staying focused, but I put on my headphones and blast my music so I don’t get distracted by noises or others around me.
Normally I put on an artist or songs I don’t know, so I don’t sing along to them. It’s a good way to get work done and also discover new artists. (puts on headphones)” - Karisa Egan, Marketing Coordinator
How Do You Stay Focused?
Everyone has their own technique for banishing distractions at work. What’s yours? Let me know in the comment section below!
About Ramona Sukhraj
As Content Marketing Manager, Ramona approaches marketing not only as a profession, but as a creative outlet. She has a passion for all things artistic and strives to create content that is educational, yet quirky and entertaining as well. With a B.S. in Marketing from the UCONN School of Business, Ramona is a frequent contributor to the HubSpot blog and a nonprofit consultant. Outside of IMPACT, she is a design, movie, and pop culture buff, and a fierce advocate of free hugs.