0212_blogimageHow do your colleagues stay focused at work? It seems like they can get a lot more done in a day than you can. Why, you wonder? Maybe you have a lot of time-wasting habits that take your focus off work. You may unknowingly tend to stray and end up doing less. So, how do you keep making progress?

1. Manage your time. Do you get distracted by personal emails, Facebook, tweets and web surfing? Shut these down and see how your focus immediately gets better. If you need to, allocate a time of the day to indulge in these.

2. Get the small tasks out of the way. Do you have small tasks you can put off and come back to later? Time has an uncanny way of catching up. There will always be a fire to put out. Big or small, these fires will steal time away from you being able to complete the small tasks. For example, if someone sends a question by email that you can answer quickly, just reply to it right away.

3. Take short breaks. Take short breaks, not long breaks. Try a 10-minute break for every 50 minutes that you work. The breaks allow you to stretch a little and refresh your mind, allowing you to stay better focused.

4. Start the day earlier. When you start your day early, you can clear out some of your more time-consuming activities before everyone comes in and disturbances begin.

5. Prevent procrastination: Do it now. Don’t wait and don’t give yourself any excuses. You can get very good with excuses after a while and things get pushed out. How can you stay focused when there are always things that will bug you? Start tackling some of those “to-do’s” you have been delaying. As you clear out the junk in your mind, you get better focus at work.

6. Improve your productivity: Attack the “hate-to-do” list. Start attacking those tasks you don’t like to do. Again, this is one of those things that distracts you and holds you back without you even realizing it. Call that tough client. Start on that long proposal. Once you start, you will immediately feel relieved and you can stay focused.

Source: Long Yun Siang runs career-success-for-newbies.com with his wife, Dorena, as their way of paying it forward. The website, based on their real life experience, provides tips, tools and advice for newbies pursuing career success.