Monday, I did a post about multitasking and hard focus, since I’ve said you needed to test them both, here are 6 tips for hard focus and only 5 for multitasking!

6 tips for hard focus

  1. Shut down. Shut down everything around you, except what you need to do. Close Tweetdeck, close Gmail and shut your door. No room for distraction!
  2. Make sure other people know you are not-to-disturbed. Hang a note on your door, put earplugs in. Make sure they can’t reach you, but don’t want to reach either.
  3. Wear earplugs. I’ve mentioned this earlier, but it has more functions than giving a signal to other people. I love to study with earplugs in, I just listen to Enya, or some other relaxing music. When I put on my iPod, I actually go ‘in my own world’ or something like it. Wearing headphones really boost my focus.
  4. Shut down everything in your mind. This one is hard to do. When you have a lot of things going on on your mind, focussing simply doesn’t work. You have to empty your mind, don’t have anything on your mind. If you do have things on your mind, try to deal with it, or close these tasks first. Dealing with a fight with a friend? Call him/her first, then study.
  5. Schedule your distractions. You probably feel the need constantly to check your email or check twitter for new updates. Therefore, you should schedule all those distractions. After one hour, you can enjoy yourself on those distractions for 5 minutes, and you will continu with what you are doing again.
  6. Know that when you focus for 10 minutes you will be proud. The quality of your work will go sky-high when you just focus for 10 minutes now. Admit it, acknowledge it and make use of it.

5 tips for Multitasking

  1. Do similiar tasks at the same time. Need to work on a paper? Do the research at the same time as the writing. Writing an article for your blog? Have twitter open to get inspiration. When tasks can be filed under one ‘project’ do them at the same time!
  2. Have a ‘big task’ and ‘small tasks’ at the same time. When you are writing and on twitter at the same time, know that your main task is writing the article. Give that the priority and make sure every 5 minutes you are still working on that task.
  3. When you are waiting for an email, only check every ten minutes. An example of multitasking is look at your email and work on other things at the same time. When you are doing this, make sure you work for 10 minutes on your task – and check your email once – and another ten minute chunk of work. Same as the twitter-writing thing. Write for 10 minutes – check twitter – write.
  4. Is one task the worst? Do that one first. There is always one task on your to-do list which you are procrastinating. Some task you just don’t want to do. Make sure you do that one first, the rest will be easy!
  5. Manage your time. There is one danger with multitasking. You can get distracted. You can lose yourself in watering your plants on facebook and in a Twitter conversation. Have something like a kitchen timer: ‘Five minutes only’.

So, after reading last monday’s post you must be eager to start. With these tips it should be way easier. Upcoming: an interview with Cal Newport, one of the biggest evangelists of hard focus. Good luck.

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