Pomodoro Technique – We’re big fans of the Pomodoro technique where you you set a timer for 25 minutes and work on only one thing during that time. No breaks or interruptions. Take a break for 5 minutes and then start up again. I play around with the 25 minutes intervals depending on the task at hand but try not to go too long before taking a 5 minute break.
Remove Distractions – The first thing you should do is turn off all notifications. In fact, you should always have them turned off on your work device – computer or tablet. I only get notifications on my phone and it’s almost always on vibrate. Notification of comments to yesterday’s post on Facebook should never be allowed to become a distraction. Email can wait until your current task is completed.
As a remote worker, I have Skype messaging on all day to keep in touch with the mother ship, but put it on “do not disturb” when focusing on a project.
I also open a new browser window with open tabs related to my current project only.
Change Location – If you can, go to Starbucks or the public library for a couple hours to focus on a particular project. Change of scenery can also boost your creativity. I’m at Argo Tea writing this post and the 2-hour WiFi limit acts as my Pomodoro timer. If you’re stuck at the office, work in a conference room for an hour or two every day.
All tasks may not require such deep focus, but for those that do, try these tips and adjust them to your unique situation.