You’re sitting at your desk, and you can’t seem to focus on what you’re doing. All of the sudden, a notification pops up from Facebook or Twitter that tells you about this interesting article that someone shared.

How do you stop yourself from clicking it? How do you get back to work? Here are some tips for focused work.

1) Turn off your phone

This is probably the most important one. How can you focus on your work if every notification that pops up distracts you and pulls you away from what you’re doing?

Turn off all notifications on your phone, this includes news updates, emails or even reddit - anything that might tempt you to check it.

2) Focus on one task at a time

This is a good way to avoid distractions. Multitasking can be great sometimes, but it’s not the best for focused work because you’re having trouble concentrating on one thing at a time.

When possible, focus all your attention on one task and really try and get into the flow.

3) Put your email or Slack on “do not disturb”

“Do not disturb” mode is a great way to stay focused. The idea behind “do not disturb” mode in email or Slack is that messages will still come through but won’t notify you.

Your messages will be waiting for you when you’re done with your work. That way it doesn’t interrupt what you’re doing and your colleagues can see that you are currently busy.

4) Sleep for longer!

Sleep is amazing for staying focused. Sleep helps your brain reorganize how you store and recall information. Without sleep, it’s hard to do any concentrated work because your mind won’t be working at its full capacity.

How many hours of sleep you need is different for each person, but the average adult needs around seven to eight hours per night.

5) Don’t respond to colleagues instantly

Unless you’re on the clock, don’t respond to colleagues or clients instantly. This will help tremendously with distractions and will help you remain focused on your current task.

6) Coffee! (when you really need it…)

A cup of coffee on a pale background

The benefits of coffee are well-known so not much more needs to be said. Coffee can help you focus, but overdoing it can lead to a very quick build-up a tolerance to caffeine.

My advice is to have one quick cup of coffee if you are feeling tired in the morning and another around lunchtime.

7) Make a list of tasks

If you’re working on something that’s long-term, break it up into manageable tasks.

This will help with procrastination because the task won’t seem so daunting and you’ll be able to tackle one small piece at a time before moving onto the next.

8) Take a Break

It is important to take breaks and give yourself some time off from the work that you’re doing. You’ll be able to focus more when you come back if you’ve given your brain a rest.

Take a short walk outside or look at cat photos on the internet—whatever gets your creative juices flowing again!

9) Try the Pomodoro technique

The Pomodoro technique involves working for 25 minutes, followed by a five-minute break.

It’s been proven to make people more productive and it helps with procrastination because you get short bursts of energy throughout the day that keep you on track without feeling overworked at any point in time.

10) Set strict deadlines for yourself

Being your own boss when trying to remain focused is a great way to keep your focus in check.

You’ll want to give yourself a project that takes about three hours and then set a timer for how long the task should take—say, two or three hours. Once the timer hits that point, it’s time to stop working on that task and move onto the next.

11) Tidy up your work environment

It’s proven that when your work area is clean, it makes you feel better and less stressed—which then means you’ll be able to focus on what needs to get done.

What’s more, you will be happier to start work, increasing the likelihood that you remain in the flow.

12) Ditch social media for a couple of hours

Social media likes showing 0 on a bright neon sign

Sometimes social media can be a huge source of distraction.

If you want to stay focused on your work, then one thing that might help is if you temporarily take yourself off of these platforms for about two hours at a time.

Once again, set a strict time limit with a timer and once the two hours is up, you can check your social media platforms again!

Summary

With so many distractions and the constant need for instant gratification, it’s not always easy to stay focused. That’s why I wanted to share 12 practical tips on how you can avoid distractions while still staying productive at work.

If this article helped you, you are likely to enjoy more of my content please take a look around. Thanks again for reading and happy working!