How do you focus while working?

Pinar Engur
123 replies
Which type of music do you listen to? Do you use a Pomodoro timer? Do you need a tidy study room? Second monitor? Or any tips/advice?


Joanna Kurylo
Ahhh my favorite topic! 🎵 Music: I listen to lo-fi hiphop, specifically from Lofi Girl (youtube
) ⏰ Pomodoro Timer: I used to depend on it but now I only use it if I'm really struggling to concentrate. 💼 Tidy Room: No, I there is a method to my madness (aka my messy office) 🖥️ Second Monitor: Nope! Other hacks: - I'm not a gamer, but I got a stream deck to help bring up and switch between certain apps much easier. - I leave my in-ear headphones in my ears with no music on (blocks out noise and helps with focus!) - If i find myself losing focus, I go on a 15-20 minute walk. - I try taking less video calls and more phone calls so I can take them while I am walking so I'm not just sitting on my desk for 12 hours a day.
Pinar Engur
@joannakurylo I like this Lo-fi girl too :) I loved your tips. I haven't tried Stream deck before, I'll try it. As an exercise, I go to reformer pilates during my lunch break. It helps me to clear my mind and also helped me get rid of my back pain. Thanks, Joanna!
Jules Pratt
I try to clock in 40 mins before any sort of break
Pinar Engur
@jules_pratt Great Jules, thanks! I also use a Pomodoro timer with 25 min focus time and 5 min break.
Rhea Reanoga
@jules_pratt Any reason why it has to be 40 mins or you just right amount of time to get things done?
Shail Silver
@jules_pratt ParagraphAI can give you all sorts of inspiration and ideas to focus while working and make you productive. We launched today and are trending on the home page. Check it out!
Begüm Atılgan
Over the years, I realized that I am more productive when I feel time pressure. Sad but true:)
Jonathan Nass
@begum_atilgan the classic "If you give yourself 3 days to finish the task, it will take 3 days. If you give yourself 3 hours, it will take 3 hours."
One task at a time and music 🎶 - I prefer indie rock, instrumental rock.
Pinar Engur
@oksana_ch Amazing! while working instrumental music is the best. I prefer piano and Latin tunes :)
Chris Xu
@oksana_ch @pinar_engur I wanted to second this! Music (indie, hip-hop, I listen to it all!) + coffee really helps me get into the zone! My co-founder and I actually just launched a music newsletter on PH today!
@pinar_engur @sunlighter_media congrats on the launch! Just upvoted:) Also, I like your description: “I knew about them before they got big!” - this actually so me;)))
Chris Xu
@pinar_engur @oksana_ch thank you! We love finding artists that deserve the recognition! It's not usually a bad thing to be early :)
I find it very difficult to focus on a particular task for long. I tend to get distracted very quickly and this affects my performance at work.
Pinar Engur
@anthony_medland Maybe you can set small targets to achieve or maybe you try to escape what you have to do. I recommend you to read Nir Eyal's book : Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
Prashant Maurya
One thing that I have learnt after trying so many tactics is: Keep your working room very minimalistic and keep the things that will not distract you. I love to listen to music, not during work but during my free time (It depends on person to person)
Pinar Engur
@web3prashant Thank you, Prashant! Yes, the room is really important for me too. Listening to music also depends from task to task. Sometimes, I need a quiet place to read something.
John Morrison
I think the key to keeping focus is to break things down into small manageable chunks so you are not overwhelmed and can track progress more easily. Seeing progress is always a motivation booster for me.
Pinar Engur
@john_morrison1 I totally agree, John! I am making a detailed todo list for this. Every check motivates me.
I make sure my stomach is full 😄
Liana Khanova
I like to listen to white noise to concentrate
Pinar Engur
@lianakhanova Wow, interesting! I haven't tried before. Does it work?
Trent Dale
If a task or project is overwhelming or boring, I try to simplify it or break it down into multiple, single tasks. I try to find ways to improve the work, or change the work so that it no longer overwhelms me. Eventually, I hope to have the patience to plan my work so that I have multiple opportunities to finish before everything is due.
Luis Enrique Medina
Nothing better than listening to instrumental deep house that gets me in my zone like nothing else in the planet. There are some binurial mixes that are supposed to help with brain waves. For me instrumental music is the way to go.
Pinar Engur
@medinaluis Nice! Would be happy if you share your playlist. We have also slack community where share focusing songs in one channel.
Luis Enrique Medina
@pinar_engur I dont really have a playlist, however I will share the channel I most often visit Feel free to give it a try and see if it suits you :)
Samuel Lake
Split items into the smallest tasks possible then knock those out. Also I have to have a deadline to work at top efficiency
I activate "do not disturb" mode of my phone to be sure I don't get disturbing notifications
Dávid Sipos
Put on some great music and turn off my phone notifications
Pinar Engur
@david_sipos1 Amazing, David. Which type of music does help you focusing?
Dávid Sipos
Timebox your tasks. Timeboxing is a productivity technique that limits how long you spend on a task. It can help you focus on what needs to get done and stop procrastinating. For example, if you have a big project, break it down into smaller chunks (like mini-tasks) and give yourself deadlines for each mini-task. This way, if you reach your limit of time spent working on the first mini-task and there are still other things left to do, then go back later and finish them off. It's also useful if you're tempted to spend too much time social media stalking or watching cat videos because they're hilarious and cute. Timeboxing can help stop this behavior by limiting how long you spend on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram each day; just make sure not to fill up all your free time with this activity! Get off social media. One of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your work is to get off social media. While it’s fun and can be used to de-stress, social media can also be a huge time-waster if you aren’t careful. It’s easy to get sucked into scrolling through Instagram for hours on end when you should be working instead. Focusing on anything other than what you need to accomplish will take away from the quality of your work and make it harder for you to complete tasks effectively in a timely manner. Get enough sleep. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that sleep can make you more productive and focused. The amount of sleep that people need varies from person to person, but most adults get between seven and nine hours a night. To make sure you're getting enough rest, track your sleeping habits for one week using an app like Sleep Cycle or Sleep Time (for Android) or Sleep Monitor (for iPhone). This should give you an idea of how much sleep is right for you. If it turns out that less than seven hours per night isn't cutting it for you, try setting an alarm earlier in the morning so that by the time work starts at 9 am, your brain has had enough time to wake up. Create a comfortable work space. Find a quiet room. Make sure it's well lit. Remove any distractions, such as the TV or your phone—or at least turn them off! Make sure you have a comfortable chair that supports you in all the right places (back, neck, and shoulders). Ensure you have a good desk and computer setup that allows for optimal posture when working for long periods of time. Figure out your best time to work. The best way to start is by figuring out when you are most productive. Your ideal time of day might be the same as mine, or it may vary based on your personality, career and other factors. Some people find that they're at their best in the morning—as soon as they wake up and before breakfast—while others do their best thinking later in the day after lunch. Some people function better early in the week and others prefer Fridays through Sundays for creating more original work with fewer distractions around them. To figure out what works best for you, keep track of how well you perform when working on different types of projects at different times of day over several days or weeks. Take breaks to refresh the brain. Take breaks to get up and move around. You'll be surprised how much a few minutes of physical activity can help clear the mind and boost energy levels. Take breaks to do something unrelated to work. Sometimes, it's good to let your mind wander elsewhere so that you have some new ideas when you return to the task at hand. For example, if you're writing an article about dogs (which is what I'm doing right now), maybe taking a break while walking around the block would be helpful because it will help me think outside of myself and come up with some interesting ideas for my article! Take breaks between tasks instead of waiting until the end of the day or week. The brain needs its rest too! Having frequent short breaks will help keep us focused on our goals throughout the day but also allow us plenty of time for other activities that are important but not urgent: eating lunch with friends in between classes; relaxing before bedtime with meditations or yoga poses instead of lying awake all night worrying about deadlines tomorrow morning… these things add balance which helps us feel less stressed out overall without making any sacrifices in terms of productivity or quality work output Keep the room clear of distracting noises and clutter. It's important to keep the room clear of distracting noises and clutter. Clutter can be a major distraction, making you feel stressed and overwhelmed. It can make you feel like there's not enough time in your day to do everything that needs to be done, which makes you feel inadequate or like a failure. You have more power over your focus than you might think! So you've heard there are things called "focus techniques," and maybe you've done some research on them. But what does it mean to focus? And how do you actually do that? Focus is a skill, like any other, and it can be learned. You can improve your focus simply by practising it! The more time and effort you put into honing your focus, the better you will get at focusing—just like any other muscle in your body needs exercise to stay in shape. As with any physical activity, consistency is key: just as going for a run once isn't going to make your muscles stronger if they're already out of shape, so too will trying one trendy new approach to focusing (like counting backward from 100) not have lasting results if it's not part of a larger program built on habitual activity.
Dávid Sipos
@pinar_engur Create a habit out of doing recurring tasks. Creating a habit out of tasks that you do on a regular basis will help you stay focused and consistent. If you want to track your time, one good place to start would be with the recurring activities in your daily schedule: like going to work, running errands, or cleaning your house. For example, if you're an hourly employee who works from 9 AM until 5 PM every weekday (and 10 AM until 6 PM on Fridays), it would make sense for you to use those hours as "work" hours in TimeCamp's scheduling feature when setting up your weekly reports. The same principle applies for non-work related activities—such as exercising or grocery shopping—that occur on a regular basis throughout the week. Tackling these activities during the same time frame each day will allow them to become part of your routine so they become less stressful and more enjoyable! Be quick about routine tasks When you’re working on a routine task, like answering email or filling out a form, you can use the time to track your work. You’re not likely to stop and think about what you did with that time; it will just disappear from your day. Routine tasks are usually quick and easy enough that they take less than 5 minutes to complete. That means every 10 minutes spent on these kinds of activities equals an hour of tracked work. The best part about routine tracking is that it doesn’t require any extra effort beyond what you already do for the task at hand—and if done correctly, it won't feel like work at all! For example: if you spend most days checking email first thing in the morning before heading into meetings all day long but don't have time during lunch breaks or after hours because of other obligations (or both!), then adding "track every 10 emails" will only add 10 minutes per day without impacting anything else in your schedule! Create a daily schedule In order to get a better idea of how much time you need to schedule for work, it's important to create a daily schedule. Make sure you set aside time for work and personal activities so that your day isn't filled with only one or the other. For example, I like to take half an hour in the morning just for myself—to go on walks, play video games online, watch Netflix... whatever makes me happy! Then after lunch (or sometimes even during lunch), I'll fill up the rest of my day with work until it's time for dinner. Once dinner is over, it's back into business mode again until bedtime rolls around. This way I can get everything done without feeling like my life has been consumed by work. Work in short shifts The first time tracking tactic we are going to talk about is working in short bursts. It's important to take breaks while working so you don't burn out or get distracted by everything else happening around you. It can be helpful to take a break after checking off some tasks from your list, or when you feel like your brain needs a new challenge. A good rule of thumb is that if you aren't feeling energized after completing one task, it might be time for another break! You may also want to consider taking breaks based on how long you've been working on something. For example: if its been over 10 minutes since the last time I checked in with myself (this could mean anything from making eye contact with someone or simply asking yourself what am I doing right now), it's probably time for me to take a quick moment before continuing on my project or task at hand Track your time and use it to your advantage Once you've started tracking your time, it's important to understand the data and use it in ways that can benefit your company. Look for patterns. You might find that certain days of the week are more productive than others, or that you work more efficiently at certain times of day. This can help you schedule meetings during low-traffic hours, or adjust your workflow so that clients see faster turnaround times on their projects. Identify problem areas where employees are wasting time on tasks that don't need to be done at all. Use this information as a way to boost morale among staff members who regularly accomplish their tasks quickly and efficiently—and give them bonuses for their hard work! Time tracking can help you break bad habits and keep you on task. If you're like most people, time tracking can help you break bad habits and keep you on task. For example, if you work in an open office plan without soundproof walls, a coworker might be audibly distracting you while they talk on the phone with someone else. But if your company uses time tracking software that shows everyone how much time they spent talking on the phone during any given day, this behavior will become less common—and everyone wins! Here are just some of the ways that using an effective time tracking system can improve your productivity: Break bad habits by identifying them Make better use of your tools and resources (e.g., stop taking longer than necessary to complete tasks) Improve worker communication by measuring who's working where/when (e.g., if someone isn't at their desk or has checked out early)
Nancy Perez
Listening music....I Love Linkin park. Whether you are looking for an Ecommerce Solution, Marketing Automation tool, Payment Gateway Solution, or VOIP Solution to take your business to the next level our in-depth guides can help.
Mike Nash
Minimize context switching. - Turn off notifications. Almost everything can wait. - Timebox social apps: 15 min morning, 15 min afternoon. - Lists. Prioritized as 'must complete today', 'blocking others', 'everything else' Keep it simple. I've over-engineered personal productivity for 15 years. The effectiveness of my 'system' has always been inversely correlated to the complexity - regardless of how elegant it seems. Just do the basics - don't overthink it.
Pinar Engur
@mike_nash1 Great tips, Mike! Thank you so much. Have you tried time tracking?
Grace Bulman
I usually set a timer when I really need to focus. It helps me feel a sense of urgency, and it keeps me from checking my phone, because if I do the timer will shut off. It really helps!
Pinar Engur
@grace_bulman Great Grace! Tracking time also helps realizing which tasks take how much time. Do you use any time tracking tool for this?
Sanjay Somashekar
I fix my goals for the day, simplify the tasks and assign the time period to work on them. If it's done early, I get an head-start on the next task, if it's taking more time than I expected, I drop it for the time being and come back to it at the end of the day.
Pinar Engur
@sanjay_somashekar Thank you, Sanjay! I try to apply "eat the frog" technique so I prefer to start with the hard one.
Leitha Matz
Other than headphones and micro-meditative breathing breaks, I'm also one of the early testers on a Mac menu bar app ( and I like the direction they're building in!
Leitha Matz
@pinar_engur You can do them anywhere. It's just a matter of finding a few seconds to close your eyes and breathe. Really helpful!