Don’t Be Busy, Be Productive

be busy be productive

10 Ways to Stay Focused All Day

Ever have a week when you worked so hard you couldn’t remember exactly what you did? We’re bombarded with information at work and at home, overwhelmed to distraction, and a lot of us find it hard to focus on one thing at a time when we’re so being reactive that we can’t be proactive. If you’ve reached a point where you feel like you’re just treading water, it’s time to make a few changes in your work habits so you can focus on your !



For some people their most time is early in the morning, for others it is 10 p.m. Caffeine can affect people differently; figure out when and how much to drink during the day to maximize your .



Being able to balance many projects at once is great, but do it less. When you have too many thoughts and ideas bouncing around it can create unwarranted distractions from what you are working on right now.



Aside from the physical benefits of exercise, it’s a great way to maintain routine and focus. Regular exercise can increase energy, boost your mood, and improve your memory. Don’t forget your brain is a muscle too, so exercise it as much as you can!



Creating lists serves as a reminder of what (and how much) you have to do. There is an amazing satisfaction that comes from crossing off projects and watching your list get smaller. It can also help to limit procrastination and keep you organized.


“Quiet” Place

Find your quiet place. This can be at your desk or outside (if your office offers it). It should be a place where you feel comfortable and that limits your distractions: no phone, no internet connection, no music (or very loud music, whichever works best for you).


Take Breaks

Devote a specific amount of time to each task you are working on and schedule breaks between them. Avoid “writer’s block,” take a break to walk around, grab a snack or some water, keep the creative juices flowing. Plus, no one wants to sit in an office chair for eight hours a day.



Getting enough sleep each night is crucial. Making sleep a priority will help you stay focused and more productive during the day.


Keep Work at Work

Being able to disengage from work on your off time can be difficult, especially if you are on-call all the time, but taking full advantage of your time off will help you re-focus when you are at work. Taking time to take care of yourself and detach from work worries makes you more focused and better at your job.


Focus On Your Goals

Whether you have for the day, week, month or year, focus on your set goals every day. This will help you stay organized, but it will also show you how far you’ve come. Focus on the future, for your personal growth (and for the growth of your ).



Checking in with your goals list is a great way to ensure you are completing your tasks and assignments on schedule, but you also have to hold yourself accountable so they don’t get lost in the “busy-ness” of your . Write them down and set a deadline. Even more, consider telling an “accountability buddy,” a co-worker or friend, someone who reminds you to stay on task and focused is a great help.


Bear in mind, problems will arise. A co-worker needs your help, new work problems crop up, technical issues happen. Be flexible and open to changing gears for your projects. If you can easily re-prioritize your tasks and stay organized, you can avoid a lot of frustration and stress.


Now stop using this post as a distraction and get to work so you can rock your next assignment!

About the author

Kelly Love Johnson

Kelly Love Johnson is Content Strategist for Jobs2Careers. She's also a shower singer, TV watcher, pop culture junkie, and habitual smirker. She's passionate about helping people find their dream jobs and closing the wage gap. Her book, Skirt! Rules for the Workplace: An Irreverent Guide to Advancing Your Career, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2008.

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