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Chasing Your Own Tail? Here’s How to Cut Distractions and Improve Focus

November 7, 2016 | western

It happens to the best of us: You set out to complete a few simple tasks at home or at the office, and before you know it, an hour has passed and you haven't completed a single thing! Distractions — whether tangible or virtual — are all around us. Here are a few ways to remain focused and increase productivity.

1) Avoid multitasking. According to some research, attempting to complete several tasks at once is actually counterproductive. This is especially true when the tasks require intense concentration. You might be able to cut down on your overall working time by completing these types of tasks one by one. What's more, your work will likely be of better quality if you give it your undivided attention.

2) Set aside social media time. Clicking back and forth between Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites can easily derail your workflow. Keep these interruptions to a minimum through scheduled "social media breaks." You could schedule these breaks at set times every hour, for instance, or use them as a reward for completing a task. The same approach can be applied to checking emails.

3) Catch some Z's. Whoever said "mind over matter" hasn't tried to complete complex tasks on no sleep. A good night's sleep (7-9 hours for most healthy adults) helps improve concentration and short-term memory. Adequate rest also aids in stress relief, so be sure to go to bed at a reasonable hour every night!

Top Concentration Killers [WebMD]

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