What do you do to stay focused?

I have come to the conclusion that I am much better at brain-storming an idea than actually turning it into reality!

For instance, I am currently trying to complete a website for a idea I had two weeks ago, I’m getting there, but find I’m getting distracted with newer ideas – I lack concentration and find it hard focusing when a new idea pops into my head – I need to be strict with myself and stop, write the idea down, then continue with the work in hand… but it’s bloody difficult!

I’ve read plenty of books and websites on time-management, better productivity, staying focused etc., everything makes sense and I know what I should be doing, but after a few days I seem to slip back into my old ways and lose interest… I need to focus and require your help…

What do you do to stay focused and ultimately be productive?

10 thoughts on “What do you do to stay focused?”

  1. This may sound trite, but for me, I have to have enough restorative sleep. I need to be rested enough to stick with what I am doing. Even if I am having a ‘tired’ day (I have fibromyalgia) and I keep getting distracted, I write down my random ideas as they come to me, but I stick with what I am doing as my main goal for the day. Sometimes, even giving yourself a small reward of something you like (coffee, a walk, calling a friend,etc.) can keep you on track.

  2. I have the same problem – and I can’t decide if I’m creative, lazy, or just scatter-brained. The only workaround I’ve found (and it takes will power) is to jot the new idea down in a notebook – one line allowed, ONLY – and just. keep. working. Nothing feels better than to actually get a project finished.

    I have another page in a notebook with all the other UNfinished projects listed. Once I’m done this one, I get to choose from the ones left half-done only. Eventually, I hope, these better habits will take hold. Maybe. Sigh…*

  3. @webduck, @Les, thanks for your comments and encouragement.

    Like I say, I know what I should be doing – it’s just actually doing it I have a problem with. Hopefully the next few days will be productive and I will finish a few things.

  4. Oh, I know that one so well, and commiserate with you. I’ve posted about my own distraction demons, if you’re interested you can read ‘em here Time is an Illusion I think people like us have to accept that some form of structure is a necessary evil, and so we have to kinda train ourselves, for our own good. OMG I’m frightening myself;-D

  5. Hello fellow Entrecarder,

    You’re probably a classic type A personality. You’re the brain stormer, the one with the ideas, the enthusiast and the one who needs something new to stimulate.

    I’m also a type A.

    In business, it’s something you need to really deal with and address because while a type A is usually the genius of the bunch, (That’s right, I’m a genius!) ha. They aren’t any good at all without the other types to assist and implement.

    What I’ve decided in order to succeed and make things actually happen is accept what my strengths are and weaknesses and seek help…

    Not mental help, yet!

    You need to network and team up with others who can do what you can’t. Project finishers!

    There are generally 4 types of personalities and you need to make sure you’re connecting with the right ones because they each have a role and place in your world.

    I’m not a numbers person, analyst or nurturer. I’ve found those who are and have pulled them in. They do best what I can’t and vice versa.

    Try trading off tasks with someone who needs YOUR services or skills. If you do this correctly, you will skyrocket your ideas and see nothing but success and ultimately happiness because you’re not stuck with the mundane chores and tasks you don’t like, someone else is. And they actually like those tasks…

    There are tests online to take and articles written about the personalities. I give a test to members of my team and many corporations actually use them before hiring.

    Trick of the trade.

    Cheers… and now I’m off to my next project queued up… lol

  6. davinian,

    in my case, i do not stress myself in order to remain focused. balance your time between work and play. play a little. find a hobby. you’ll see, you’ll be able to turn your ideas into reality more often than not. 🙂

  7. Dude, I know what you are talking about. I have a few three ring binders full of ideas I have had. But I have realized that by the time I get to a new notebook, I have advanced so far that the ideas in the old notebook are just that, old.

    I don’t know. I keep a running list of what I want to focus on. And there is a book called Zen to Done that may help you out. Short little book that helped me.

  8. I trick myself and start what I should be doing before I’m ready. That way I’m already doing it when something else distracts me. Even if I get sidetracked (as I often do) I still have it half finished and I have to go back and finish it before I can move on too far.

  9. I use ClockingIT.com to encourage myself to work for a certain amount of time. When I stop working and realize I’m distracted, I have to “clock out” and write a brief report of what I accomplished. This is a great motivation to accomplish more!

    I also use IWantSandy.com to help me stay on task. If I think of something distracting that I need to do, I tell her to remind me after my scheduled working time is over. Sometimes, good ol’ paper and pen is enough, too: I’ll just make a list of those things I think of or want to do so I know I won’t forget them later. Then, when I’m done working, I get to do/explore all those things or ideas.

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