Ignoring distractions while staying focused when you’re self-employed and freelancing can be really difficult.
The reason for this is simple.
As humans, our attention spans are only so big.
‘Focus’ is a finite resource, and we only have so much bandwidth for it.
With that being said, we’re not helpless in our plight to increase our ability to focus on the work at hand.
Thankfully, there are a few different techniques at your disposal for helping to ignore distractions and stay focused on work—so that you can get those important tasks knocked out and complete your day successfully.
And in this post, we’re going to share our 5 favorite strategies with you.
Regardless of whether you’re a sole proprietor, an individual business owner, or even a freelancer or gig worker, this guide will help you to overcome the problem.
Let’s jump into it.
1. Get Up Early
Most people find that their ability to focus is dramatically increased in the early part of the day.
Did you know most successful people report waking up before 5:00 am each morning?
Our power of focus tends to be maximized just before sunrise.
In the United States, this means that if you wake up somewhere around 4 to 5 am in most seasons and most locations, you’ll set yourself up for several highly productive hours before most other people are up and getting around.
This works especially well if you tend to get distracted by other people.
2. Use The Flow State
The ‘flow state’ is a powerful state of mental focus where you zone in on your task, block out distractions, and naturally get more done at a more efficient rate.
The best time to tap into the ‘flow state’ is usually in the morning.
However, this is a personal trait that’s a little different for everyone. Some people experience it more at night, while others tend to hit their ‘flow state energy’ in the afternoon.
Figure out when your flow state energy tends to hit, and utilize it for maximum efficiency and productivity.
You should also use this valuable focus time to knock out your highest-priority tasks.
3. Turn Off Your Phone
Our phones can be incredibly useful for helping us to run our businesses, get more clients, and communicate with colleagues.
With that being said, phones can also be a pretty time-consuming distraction that can really pull you away from those important to-do list items.
Checking messages, emails, and texts throughout the day can eat up valuable mental bandwidth and pull you away from your work.
Consider putting it on ‘airplane mode’ while working. Or, you can set it to silent and just stash it away in your bag until you’re ready for a break.
4. Practice Saying “I’ll Add It To My List”
If you get interrupted during the day by someone asking you to add another task to your list, you may be tempted to jump onto that task right away and multitask until you get it done.
However, this is actually a rather inefficient way to accomplish work. For best results, practice the art of saying:
“I’m in the middle of something right now, but I’ll add it to my list for later.”
Then, continue to focus on the task at hand until you knock it out.
This will really help you to be more effective, and will help you to focus more on the things right in front of you—that require your attention right now.
5. Use The Pomodoro Technique
Pomodoros are basically blocks of time that you use for focused and intense work periods.
1 Pomodoro is usually 25 minutes with a five-minute break.
Therefore, if you have a task that you believe will take you about an hour, you’ll want to assign it 2 Pomodoros.
Then, you set yourself a timer, block out all distractions for 25 minutes, and get to work.
This really just scratches the surface of the potential strategies at your disposal for getting more work done and defeating distraction.
With that being said, these 5 techniques are our favorites for staying focused while accomplishing essential freelance tasks.
Stick with it, stay committed to the goal, and don’t give up.
You’ve got this!