More Productivity? Get Focused and Ditch Distraction in 4 Easy Steps

Oct 23, 2023

More Productivity? Get Focused and Ditch Distraction in 4 Easy Steps

by | Oct 23, 2023

Excerpted from Focused: Reclaim Your Time, Ditch Overwhelm, and Do Less Better

Creating a series of steps your brain goes through is one of the best ways to signal that it’s time to focus. At Focus Sessions, we have developed a science-backed productivity framework to start all of our virtual coworking Focus Sessions. We call this series of steps our Focus Flow. Our Focus Flow helps our members prepare for their session, be realistic with their time, and manage their energy more effectively. It allows them to drop into a focus state quickly and to get the right things done. Feel free to create your own Focus Flow for your focus time, or borrow ours!



The first step in our flow is to prepare for the session. You want to set yourself up for success with the fewest distractions, and with everything you’ll need close at hand. Put your phone in airplane mode and turn on Do Not Disturb on your computer notifications. Close out tabs on your computer that you won’t need for your focus work, especially things like email, Slack, or social media that can be a black hole of distraction. Also prepare your physical workspace: move papers off to the side, or close open files or planners. It's hard to focus on your Deep Work if an outstanding phone bill is staring back at you.

Prepare yourself physically, as well. Make sure you have water, coffee, green juice, or snacks – whatever you need to stay focused during your session. Use the restroom, shut your door, put the dog out (or let them in if you have a needy one). Think ahead to anything that might distract you from being able to focus. Nothing breaks your focus like a grumbling stomach or a full bladder.

Lastly, prepare anything you will need for your focus task. Don’t waste your precious focus time looking for the file you need on your computer or waiting for a document to print. Plan and gather what you’ll need to be successful ahead of time. 


You’ve reduced outside distractions, but your mind is probably still jumping all over the place. This step in the flow signals to your brain that it’s time to shift gears and get ready to concentrate. 

This is usually a short breathing exercise. This could be as simple as three deep inhales and exhales, or following the flow of your breath for a couple of minutes. Sometimes it’s a body scan, listening to a focus song, or doing specific breathwork, like box breathing or triangle breathing. Refer to the sidebar on breathing exercises in the last chapter.


Choose your focus bucket (Planning, Deep Work, or Clear the Deck) and commit to the one thing you are going to focus on during your Focus Session. By declaring what you are going to work on and what bucket it fits in, you can track your overall progress and learn what works best for you. For example, perhaps you like to do a Clear the Deck session early in the day to eliminate distractions for a Deep Work session in the afternoon, or you like to plan on Monday morning and then Clear the Deck on Friday to close out the week.

Write down your focus task for the day. Research in the ADHD community has shown that writing down what you are working on and keeping it in a visible place, such as a Post-it note on the corner of your computer screen, can be an effective strategy for staying on task. Commonly referred to as a “Visual Task Reminder,” it is a simple yet effective tool to stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked. If you do get distracted, the visual reminder can help cue you to get back to what you wanted to work on. By keeping the task front and center, you’re better able to stay organized and complete work efficiently, leading to improved productivity and reduced stress. Additionally, the act of physically writing down the task can help to solidify the goal in your mind and increase motivation to complete it.


In addition to declaring to yourself what you are working on , share it for additional connection to your task and accountability. In Focus Sessions we ask members to type their task in the chat or show their Post-it note to the group. If you are creating your own focus flow, you could tell somebody in your workspace or text a colleague, “For the next 45 minutes, I'm going to be working on a new presentation for my business.”

That’s it — then it’s time to set your timer and get to work. 

More on how to focus, what to focus on, and how to find the time to focus in Focused: Reclaim Your Time, Ditch Overwhelm, and Do Less Better


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Ready to Focus?

Sign up here to get your FREE Focus Session.