By Emma Lenhart
Why is is so hard to stay on task?! Well, maybe because there are things like cute puppy memes and Tasty recipe videos and new episodes of The Bachelor to watch…
But really. I know how hard it is to stay on task because if we’re being honest, I usually have 10-15 tabs open on my web browser at any given time that are all completely unrelated to each other. However, being a blogger/influencer and full-time student has forced me to learn better productivity practices and train my mind to focus.
Below you will find my go-to rules that you need to follow if you want to buckle down and ensure you stay on task. Woo!
Put Away Your Phone
I know, I know. Who wants to ever put their phone away? If you are anything like me, your phone feels like it’s physically a part of your body. But, it is also a huge distraction whether we want to admit it or not.
Whenever I sit down to do some work, I put my phone out of sight whether it’s away in my purse or just in another room at home. Having my phone out of my sight helps me to stay on task and to not get distracted when gets lit up with new notifications and iMessages.
Try putting your phone away next time you need to get some work done and you’ll see how much more productive you can be.
Make a To-Do List
Personally, I was never a “to-do” list person up until about a year ago when I started college and found myself constantly overflowed with assignments and due dates. Making to-do lists helped me to stay on task and get more work done in a shorter amount of time, because I had a sort of plan-of-action to follow.
Whether you want to get a notebook specifically for your to-do lists or just scribble them on a Post-it, you need to make to-do lists if you want to conquer that mountain of impending tasks ;)
Use an Email Blocking Application
Enter your new best friend:
Email blocking applications like “Inbox Pause” can be downloaded to your computer as a Chrome extension that blocks all incoming emails from people from coming in for a specific period of time.
This is super helpful especially if you are easily distracted by new emails and often tempted to reply to them immediately.
I love using this tool for times when I seriously need to get a lot done and stay on task, because it tricks my mind into seeing an empty inbox and thinking, “I am on top of everything.” (A girl can dream…)
Don’t beat yourself up if your mind starts to wander off during your work-a-thon. You’re only human! Make sure that you schedule time for a break or two into your schedule or to-do list.
Giving yourself a break in the middle of doing work is beneficial as you can rest for awhile, and then re-group when you feel ready to go back to whatever you are working on.
Get to know yourself: your work ethic, your best break frequency, and whether you work more effectively with short or long breaks.
Everyone is different but each of us is capable of getting work done when we channel our focus.
Emma Lenhart is the talent behind EmmaLenhart.com, a blog dedicated to college and career tips with a goal toward inspiring young women to reach their full potential while living happy lives! Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post and HERCampus, among others.