The Best Tools for Helping You Focus
The Best Tools for Helping You Focus
You know what you need to do. And you know you could get a lot done if you could just focus. There are just so many distractions.
Notifications popping up. Phone pinging. A client has an urgent question. Your kid has an urgent need for a snack. The dog needs to go out. Maybe you’ll just check Facebook or Instagram one more time. You’ll get started after you check your email. After you respond to that Slack message. After …
You need to focus.
Step 1: Block out a chunk of time. (Keep reading — we’ve got something to help with time blocking.)
Step 2: Wipe out distractions (use whatever tools you need to keep you focused.)
Favorite Tools for Helping You Focus
Knowing what you want to get done is the first step to focusing. If you are unclear on what you are trying to accomplish, it’s even easier to get pulled away in a million directions. Block off the time, write your focus task on a Post-it note, clear out distractions and begin.
Take a manual approach to clearing out distractions: Turn on Do Not Disturb mode on your computer and put your phone in airplane mode. Close any tabs you don’t need for your task at hand. Clear your desk (even if you have to just put a pile to the side.) Put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door or desk.
With so many distractions we can all use some extra support to stay focused. These are some of the best tools we’ve found for helping you focus.
Focus At Will
Do you use music to help you focus? We love a good focus playlist, but Focus at Will takes it a step further. This isn’t music for fun, it’s music for focus. They use neuroscience backed soundtracks that adjust at certain times to keep you from losing your focus. Focus at Will helps fight distraction and boredom (because how many times did you get up to get a snack or click over to Facebook just because you were getting tired of what you were doing?)
Do you really know where you are spending your time? Really getting a handle on that is essential for planning and removing barriers to getting things done. Most of us tend to underestimate how long we spend on things that don’t really matter and overestimate how much we can get done in a short time. Timeular is about working smarter, not harder. Start tracking your time and start getting more efficient and more productive.
Focus Sessions are 90-minute virtual coworking sessions so you can get the important things done that move your business goals forward. Focus sessions bring together dedicated time, a distraction free zone, and the accountability of declaring what you are working on and being (virtually) with others. Your Focus Sessions membership gets you unlimited Focus Sessions each week, all facilitated by a Focus Session Host. It’s like a gym, but for productivity. It’s the most productive 90 minutes of your day.
Noise Canceling Headphones
If you are working in a busy place like a cafe, or these days your house, noise or people talking to you can pull you from your focus. We love noise cancelling headphones to reduce distraction from other people talking, noisy neighborhoods, barking dogs, or other sounds. Another benefit: get the big over-the-ear style and use them as a signal that you are hard at work and not available.
Are Facebook and Twitter your weak spot when it comes to staying focused? We love Newsfeed Eradicator for that (and Insta Feed Eradicator too if that’s where you get lost). Instead of getting sucked into endless scrolling and losing hours when you just meant to pop in for a few minutes, get an inspirational quote … and get out. If you find yourself getting sucked in by other distracting sites, apps, or email, try Freedom to block out distractions so you can stay focused.
Pomodoro Technique sessions are similar to timeboxing. Each session is usually 25 minutes long with a declared task or focus. It’s a great amount of time to focus without procrastinating. The technique was actually named after the tomato shaped kitchen timer used by developer Francesco Cirillo, but there a lots of online Pomodoro timers to help you set up your own focused time blocks.
Grab your tools, block off your time—and get something done!
Time Blocking Template to Improve Your Workflow
Want to set up your schedule to focus better? Time blocking for the win. With bigger chunks of time blocked out for specific tasks, you focus more, go deeper into what you are doing, and waste less time going back and forth between activities. Create your time block schedule to make the most of your time.
Ready to Focus?
Sign up here to get 7 days of unlimited Focus Sessions free.