Let’s Talk About Focus! Wait, I have to answer an e-mail…

The issue of focusing on a task can be a battle we lose before we even begin. And how can it not? With so much time being spent on our phones, perhaps doing not-so-productive things, to all of the meetings we attend where half the time is spent thinking about something else, channeling our focus and maintaining it is a challenge indeed. In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, William Treseder wrote about this issue and suggested some tips to help you have and maintain focus. So before we lose you to another notification on your phone or an e-mail alert on the bottom right—here are three of his suggestions. Let’s get started!

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Organize your tasks. It is important to prioritize your tasks and it is equally as important to leave enough time to complete them. This ensures that each task has your full creative and professional focus and it can prevent many tasks, no matter how small, from piling up and becoming overwhelming. Treseder states that “We all love to think we can multitask effectively, but research shows conclusively that we are terrible at it.” And isn’t that the truth?


Maintain a clean environment. Having a messy work space can hurt you in so many different ways. You have to move the clutter around so you can have space to actually work, you might get frustrated with the psychical evidence that you haven’t used your time wisely, or it can just be plain chaos. All of this can be remedied by just cleaning up as you go. An important point that Treseder makes is that we should carry this practice over to our digital life as well. Discard e-mails that are unnecessary, keep your desktop neat, and file away paperwork when not in use.


Meetings. Make sure each meeting ends with an “action item” and “action timeline”. For example, I recently had a meeting with a potential coworking sponsor and was extremely pleased with how it went-informative, short and sweet. We exchanged information and I told him my cowork would be in touch for the next steps in sponsorship. Later that same day I told my coworker, about it and she sent him an e-mail. No time wasted!

What are some of your best focus tips? Comment down below!

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