How to Master Your Attention Span and Stay in Focus

Attention span of a fly? This list will help you get in the zone. Are you considering taking a sick day so that you can get some work done? Do you find your mind wandering as you scan through a spreadsheet or write a post for your blog? You're not alone. Knowing how to prevent interruptions and avoid distractions is important, but those considerations become secondary if you've mastered the art of staying in focus. Here's how to do just that.

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You Too Can Avoid Distractions Easily

Just like sleeping straight through the night is a challenge for many people, so too is finishing work without diversions. Here's what you can do to stay on course and finish what you start. 12 tips to take to heart 1) Deal with each annoyance separately. Too much noise where you're working? Move your work area, get the volume lowered (ask politely), use noise-canceling headphones or sound-isolating headphones. 2) Anticipate your bodily functions. Use the washroom before starting your next task, keep a glass of water handy in case you get thirsty, and have a box of tissues within reach if you're allergy-prone. 3) Reserve time for your distractions. That's why smoking breaks were invented.

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10 Ways to Prevent Interruptions

Whether at work, on the go or at home, people rarely like to be interrupted. Here are some tips on preventing that from happening. You too can prevent interruptions 1) Relax and get comfortable before you begin the task at hand; sit in a good chair, adjust the lighting, etc. It's bad enough when other people interfere, you don't need to let your own body beat them to it with a cramped neck or tired eyes. 2) Allow people onto your instant messenger contact list once you're confident that they won't abuse the privilege of being there. 3) Turn off your email/messaging program or any other work communications mechanism but make sure that people know how to reach you in case of emergency, work or otherwise. In my case, I used instant messaging as my hotline and that's why it's important to follow tip 2) before this one.

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