27 answers

How can I better myself at staying on task

37
100% of 27 Pros
100% of 3 Students
Asked Viewed 301 times Translate

it’s hard for me to sit down and do work I need like help or someone to sit with me and do my work or at least help me if I get stuck starting something #cantstopmoving

37
100% of 27 Pros
100% of 3 Students

27 answers

Karen’s Answer

5
100% of 5 Pros
Updated Translate
Hello! I would recommend creating a list for yourself and putting in due dates to hold yourself accountable. I would also try to think about how much planning you need to do in advance of any major deadlines. For instance, if you need to complete a project for school or an application that may take four weeks plan smaller steps or milestones in advance and then layer in the smaller tasks. You can break the bigger tasks down in to smaller pieces.

If you are like me and you have a lot going on at once it can be overwhelming and so you should dedicate time to planning and creating a list and prioritizing it. It will also make you feel good to be able to mark some things off the list as you go.

Karen recommends the following next steps:

  • Think about longer term deadlines or goals.
  • Break bigger tasks down into smaller pieces that you can tackle.
  • Create a list and due dates.
  • Strikethrough things that you completed so that you can see what you accomplished.
Great idea Saurav Agrawal Translate
Great feedback Brian Fine, CPA Translate
5
100% of 5 Pros

John’s Answer

4
100% of 1 Pros
Updated Translate
Achieving our goals is seldom easy. It's why knowing how to stay motivated is so incredibly important when it comes to getting what we want in the long run. And in a world with more distractions than ever before — from non-stop web access to constant texting — it's becoming harder to stay focused and productive and not just give in to what's easier that moment.

5 WAYS THAT HELP ME STAY FOCUSED SINCERE

SET CLEAR GOALS
Review your list of goals each morning and decide—realistically—what tasks you can accomplish that day. This will better your chances of success, it’s a good idea to start with a plan, and write it down. So here’s a 6 step plan for setting clear goals this year, following them should help keep your goals rolling along.

• Be clear and specific with what you want to achieve.
• Break your goals down into steps and reward yourself with something when you reach them.
• Track your progress, I guarantee you'll see improvements at staying on task.
• Be accountable, have a study group or a friend make sure your following through.
• Make sure you have fun, reward your sell every time you achieve a goal.

With each new challenge you succeed in, will make the next one even easier. The thrill and rush of success never wears off Sincere. With each accomplishment you’ll increase your appetite for more new and exciting challenges.

WORK IN 60-90-MINUTE BLOCKS
Sincere if you try and work for long periods of time, your alertness is going to drop off making you vulnerable to distractions. Scheduling distractions as a reward for productivity can motivate your brain to stay focused. Distractions are not all bad, but you need to make them work for you. Use them as reward for a solid chunk of work. If Facebook and Twitter are your thing, block off time in your schedule to post or browse other people’s updates, and stick to your schedule task. Remember, you control the distractions.

RECOGNIZE YOUR PROGRESS
Everything you may be working on can be easily be split into smaller parts and stages. For most tasks, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress. Tracking is merely taking a note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at a bigger picture and realize where exactly you are, and how much more you have left to do.

TURN OFF THE WORLD
Let’s face it, the world is a distracting place, avoid temptation by severing all ties. This includes email, phones, texting or any other interruptions, this might require finding a quiet place away from others so can work or hiding out in your room. If you need to, set up a system for urgent messages to reach you. This doesn’t include meeting your friends for a video game night.

SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR APPROACH
When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look for a different approach for your task. You could be doing everything same as last time, but the same approach isn’t necessarily the most efficient one this time. Quite often, you may find a number tweaks to your current approach which will both change your experience and open up new possibilities. If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you your desired results.

REWARD YOURSELF
This is a task everyone likes: rewarding yourself is going to make your task more pleasant. This is also one of the easiest and at the same time most powerful ways to stay motivated. Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables which will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in away you enjoy.

5 ADDITIONAL TIPS TO STAY FOCUSED

John recommends the following next steps:

  • Get enough sleep the night before
  • Apply some time-management strategies
  • Do tasks according to priority
  • Don’t put pressure on yourself
  • Avoid negative people
4
100% of 1 Pros

Kristen’s Answer

3
100% of 3 Pros
Updated Translate
Hi Sincere,

Staying on task is a challenge for all of us, especially while working or learning from home!

Some things that help me are:
- designating the same learning/working space that has less distractions
- making a to do list for the day, what do I "need" to accomplish today
- building in breaks to do your to do list so you are not just sitting still
- put a timer on for your breaks so that you are able to get back to the next task
- while working/learning turn off as many "distractions" as you can, phone/personal email/social media/tv
- plan a reward at the end of the week

Good luck!!
3
100% of 3 Pros

David’s Answer

2
100% of 1 Pros
Updated Translate
Hi, Sincere.

Staying on task is a constant struggle for everyone, so don't feel alone on this. You've received some great feedback from others responses. My two cents is that we all have a lot of stimuli and distractions around us; we need to manage it as best we can. Leveraging technology and breaking your tasks into manageable components can aid you in this area. Below are my suggestions; hope they help you and/or others.

Best,
David

David recommends the following next steps:

  • 1. Find a Note-taking Tool. Personally, I love/use Google Keep as I can easily create notes, lists, set reminders, and the bonus is that it's in the cloud so it instantly updates between my phone and desktop.
  • 2. Create Thematic To-Do Lists. It's important to keep like-things together or else you will get overwhelmed with the volume of to-do's. For example, I have lists relating to "Personal", "Professional", and "Trainings"
  • 3. List Tasks & Sub-tasks. Break them down into manageable components that can be accomplished within 60-90 minutes (typical attention span)
  • 4. Conquer. You'll have a sense of accomplishment each time you "check off" a completed task.
2
100% of 1 Pros

Kyle’s Answer

2
100% of 2 Pros
Updated Translate
Hi there! I am also easily distracted while trying to focus on a job or project. I highly putting your phone in a different room (if you do not need to use it for the project) while you are trying to focus on the task at hand. There are also good music playlists that help you relax/focus (mostly instrumentals)
2
100% of 2 Pros

Saurav’s Answer

1
100% of 1 Pros
Updated Translate
You first need to find out the reason why you can't stay focused in the current task.
It can be because of your lack of interest in that project, tired of monotonous work, any other pending work, stress, etc.
If you find the problem first you can address it easily. Meditation and Exercise will help you to manage your issue. Also try not to keep any of your task pending.
1
100% of 1 Pros

Priya’s Answer

1
100% of 1 Pros
Updated Translate
Hey there!
It can be hard to stay on task, but there a few things you can try. For example, every morning write out a to-do list for the day. When you start a task, set a timer for yourself and make sure you adhere to the time! Don’t forget, you can always reward yourself after finishing an assignment.
Motivate yourself by playing music while you work, but not on your phone! Try putting your phone in a different room to avoid those distracting notifications.
1
100% of 1 Pros

Chris’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Sincere,

I've struggled with the challenge of sitting still and putting 100% of my focus on the matter at hand. My answer to your question is not a night and day solution but is a way to cope with what you are going through.

My success overcoming this stemmed from becoming overly organized. I found the days where I couldn't sit still the most were the days where I had no hard schedule in front of me, urgent goals or tasks to do, and as a result came procrastination. Since then, I have now overcome that by creating a weekly list of what I want to accomplish and then spreading that out across the week/month. Maybe you knock out 20% of a task each day for the next 5 days vs pushing it all to the last day where you will naturally become overwelled. A few tips are physically writing these goals down and creating a schedule and then checking off the tasks/goals after your achieve them (it creates a sense of accomplishment), and by doing this you will see the checklist everyday encouraging you to sit still and start being your best and most productive self.

Best of luck!
0

John’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Hey Sincere,

Something that has helped me with focusing on a task is first accepting the fact that it needs to get done, and that it will be behind me once I complete it. Mentally coming to terms with the task is crucial to completing the task for me. I've also found that dividing the overall task into smaller tasks really helps. For instance, I work a lot in excel. If I have to complete an excel file that has 10 tabs in it, I will try to work through one tab at a time. Rather than looking at it as one giant, insurmountable task, when you break it down into smaller tasks, it helps to focus in on each sprint and move on, eventually completing the entire task. The key to this method is moderation overtime, rather than one massive leap before the project, assignment is due.

I know it sounds minor, but these two tips have really helped me both in school, and my profession.
0

Brian’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Staying on task can be very difficult and daunting.

Here are a few things I practice to ensure I stay on task:

1. I create a list of what I need to complete, and I try to move through the list. If I get stuck on items, I consider putting them down and coming back to them if I am unable get assistance.

2. Try to spread your tasks out by scheduling them over days.

3. Don't spend too much time in a day evaluating your tasks. Make a plan and stick to it.

Best of luck!
0

Samuel’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Hi Sincere,

I think I'm similar to you - I hate sitting still and working on things and always want to get up and get outside. Something that helps me to stay on task is to set goals and rewards. For example, I'll say that I want to accomplish a certain task, or work for a certain period of time, and my reward for completing that task will be to go for a walk to take a break. Breaking up the amount of time you need to sit and focus on something makes it more manageable.

You can also use your inability to sit still to be more productive. If you're having trouble thinking through something, it's ok to get up and move - sometimes moving and clearing your mind helps you to think through whatever you were having difficulty focusing on while sitting still.

Everyone is wired differently and focuses by doing different things. To focus and get tasks done, you might just need to change the way you're approach focusing or sitting down to a way that works best for you. Hope this helps!
0

Riley’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
If you haven't already, you might want to look into seeing a psychiatrist. It sounds like you have classic ADHD, and a psychiatrist could probably give you the best advice or prescribe you with a medication designed to help you focus.

If you don't want to take this route, there are a lot of other ways to stay focused. Something that I do is break any task up into smaller portions. For example, if I have to write a 5-page paper, it would be extremely hard for me to stay on task I tried to sit down and write it all at once. By breaking it up into doing maybe a page and a half each day, it becomes much less overwhelming and this helps me keep my goal in mind. Also, taking a 5-minute break for every 30 minutes of work helps me stay focused for a longer period of time because I don't get as burnt out.

Riley recommends the following next steps:

  • You could also try using a fidget spinner, as this is what they were designed for.
0

Tammy’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Great question, especially now with so many people working from home. I recommend going for a walk or run at least once daily and make sure you do move around during the day.

I have also invested in a standing desk and move around during calls when just listening on a conference call. If a standing desk is not possible and you have a laptop, you could try standing at the kitchen counter or sitting on the patio on a nice day.

I wear a Fitbit so that I can make sure that I do not sit still for long periods during the day.

I would love to you what you find works for you.
0

Anna’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
It may sound crazy, but I would suggest meditation to help you quiet your mind. I have found that it has been very helpful for me. There are free apps on the internet. I like Headspace which has free content and also paid content. Meditation is not about "not thinking" or "not getting distracted". It is the act of bringing the mind back to the breath (or whatever you are concentrating on) when your mind has wandered that strengthens the mind and the ability to concentrate. I have been using a program on Headspace (in the paid section) called Finding Focus, which has helped me be more focused on my work and at home.

Anna recommends the following next steps:

  • check out www.mindful.org
  • check out www.headspace.com
  • download free insight timer for smartphone
0

Umair’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
All great answers! Also I would recommend my favorite book: 'The One Thing' by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. Good luck!
0

Qizhi’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
My solution is to clear the work environment and to force you starting the work and keeping on. When working on some task for more than 20 minutes, you'll get immersed and focused on that.
0

Christina’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Hi Sincere,

Hope you are doing well! Although this may be unconventional, you could You Tube music to focus and concentrate. This helps me tremendously when I am tasked with completing a project. Hope this helps!

Cortina

0

Cameron’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
I am very ADHD and also trouble sitting still to do a task. I would remove all distractions (cellphone, tv, etc). Tell yourself if you can accomplish this task then you can go do something else that you want to do.

If you're trying to study or do homework, try and rewrite what you're working on/ reading. That helps you stay engaged and keeps you moving by writing!
0

Virginia’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
This was probably one of the hardest things when I went off to collect (and quite frankly I still struggle with this). I've tried to put together a check-list of all the things I need to do and gradually complete each task, but I think I found it more useful when I used to stick post-it notes all over the creation to give myself motivation - more on a daily basis!
0

Matthew C.’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
You could try some relaxing activities like yoga or listening to meditation sessions on the Calm app. Sometimes a mental break is just what you need to refocus.
0

Cynthia’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Hi Sincere,

I am the same way. Can't sit still and can be easily distracted. What I find helpful is putting time on my calendar to focus on a task or project. I commit myself to that time. Usually, Sundays I put together my week. I always include exercise to start my morning - that gets the cobwebs out of my head. I find that days I don't exercise are less productive. I do put my phone away and avoid all social media. I think we have too many distractions already and don't want to add more.
0

Nadia’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
I think answering the question "why" is the most important one.
Supporting questions:
- is your task boring?
-do you see the purpose of doing it?
-how is your workload? do you have a tendency to overwhelm yourself, especially with long, boring activities?
-what is your daily routine? when are you most productive and energetic? (if you are a morning person, don't plan challenging activities in evenings etc.)
-do you have a mix of activities that you like and don't like? do you have time to relax?
-do you have a reward system? it may sound a bit funny, but if you have a boring thing to do it's good to plan something fun afterwards. Example: I'll study Spanish for 2 hours, but then I will play a video game for 30 min.


0

Salina’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Hi! Psychologist studies suggest that small short burst of productivity if hour and a half increments are most effective. I suggest keeping your phone out of reach when you are trying to focus, or setting timers and giving yourself a break when the timer goes off. Get up and walk around. Schedule your tasks out during the day and have milestones throughout the day you try to hit to keep you on track.
0

Mike’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Hi Sincere!

Great question.

Bottom line, remove distractions, create a task list with goals to achieve, and time box each effort. Check in on your list after each milestone, and make adjustments as you may find some tasks take a little longer than anticipated. Put your phone on silent, and/or change instant message (IM) statuses to say, "busy - on special assignment", or something equivalent. This might help deter someone from wanting to reach out and say hi.

Sounds simple enough, but you will find you have to adapt to your surroundings and find what works best for you. For example, I work from home quite a bit, but on occasion I need to go into the work-place which, for me, is designed to be an open-floor concept. The open-floor concept means desks have no walls or partitions, meeting rooms are separated with glass, and there are common seating areas where people can congregate. Goes without saying, but there are plenty of distractions being able to see into conference rooms, watch people walk down the hall, or even listen in on a conference call of the person sitting three feet from me, eye-to-eye!

Without the comforts of being isolated at home, what can we do to minimize distractions? Again, find what works for you in your setting, but here's what I do when at the open-floor office: 1) use noise cancelling headphones, and play 'soothing sounds/music' into the ear pieces to minimize the noise around me, 2) sit with my back to the hall and conference rooms, or 3) reserve a conference room to work in if the distractions/noise are too great. The keys are, adapt, improvise, and remember to have a list of what you want to accomplish!

Hope this helps give you some ideas!

Make it a great day!
0

Hannah’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
Hi Sincere,

My final year in college I struggled some with focusing too. I was watching a lot of TV instead of spending time studying. I felt guilty about it, especially since I wasn't even watching shows that were any good.

My dad suggested a points system to help me focus. I downloaded a timer app and timed myself while I was doing my homework. I kept very precise track of the amount of time I was working, stopping the timer when I got a snack, looked at my phone, took a bathroom break, etc. I kept a spreadsheet of the exact time I was actually doing work, which I tied to a reward. For me, I picked watching 30 minutes of TV for every hour I worked. My dad does the same thing, but he buys himself gifts when he gets enough "points."

It was surprising and a bit disheartening how little time out of each hour I actually was working at first, but I got a lot better at it with practice. I eventually was racking up so much TV watching time that I cut the reward down to 15 minutes per hour of work. By then I'd also broken my TV watching habit, so I changed the reward to scrolling through Facebook.

Your reward can be anything relaxing and enjoyable. Maybe since you like to get up and move around, you could let yourself do that for 5 minutes after 15 or 20 minutes of solid, timed work. My advice would be to be patient with yourself at first as you try to figure out the right ratio of timed work to reward. Once you work out a plan though, stick with it strictly.

Best of luck!

0

Renata’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
I would suggest taking this free course offered by Coursera.Org, Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity. I have also found out during this period using a calendar whether physical book or on phone to log my day has worked for providing structure. This has allowed me constant improvement and new learnings. I am able to hold myself accountable by this calendar.

https://www.coursera.org/learn/work-smarter-not-harder

Renata recommends the following next steps:

  • View Coursera for optional free courses offered during this downtime.
0

Alyssa’s Answer

0
Updated Translate
I love this question because we ALL struggle with it from time to time! I can be working fine until I hit a roadblock--ie. some challenge, maybe I don't know the 'answer' or the course of action on a problem I'm facing, or I'm missing a crucial piece of information I can only obtain from someone else. In those moments, my brain instantly switches to find a distraction. I think it's because the feeling of the challenge is initially a drag, and I want to feel better, emotionally, so I find ways to compensate for it by distracting myself with something that can be more easily achieved (reading emails, checking LinkedIn, etc.) Maybe you can relate to this feeling?!

My strategies for getting around this habit are:
1. Make it a game! Set an end time that I want to be finished working on the task and how much of it that I hope will be completed in that period. Then race the clock. If I face a challenge, I recognize my desire to 'hop off' but I force myself to keep working on the issue until I have made it to the scheduled finish time. I find this a really productive way to move through challenging assignments!
2. Write down two daily and weekly task lists side by side: one for work and one for personal. I find that sometimes I have things on my plate personally that I really need to devote attention to and they come up in my thoughts while I'm trying to work. Writing them down helps get it out of my head and onto the paper where I can come back to it later after my work is finished.
3. Take breaks! When I'm feeling fatigued, I ask myself, 'How long have I been sitting here?' and then do something active, like take a quick walk to recharge.
4. Get rid of distractions! If my phone is capturing my attention frequently during my scheduled productive time, I turn it off and put it far away so that I cannot use it as a crutch.
5. Work with a mentor to keep accountable to goals and scheduled productive time! Some of the most challenging times in my career, I have benefitted tremendously by finding someone to act as a coach or mentor to me while I progress towards my goal. We met on a weekly basis and I would provide an update on where I was previously and how far I have come in my progress and what I plan to do in the following week.

Hope these tips can help you!
0