5 Easy Ways to Get Focused Right Now

You can do this.

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Step No. 1: Make a Plan

So, you have ten extremely important deadlines you have to finish in two hours.

Take a deep breath.

Set your priorities and write a to-do list.

Once you know what's on your plate, pushing forward will be easier.

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  1. Procraster, $2, procrasterapp.com. Helps prioritize!
  2. Wunderlist, free, wunderlist.com. Shares with friends!
  3. Any.do, free, any.do. Plans every. single. thing.

Hot Tip: Start with smaller tasks. After you complete your more manageable duties, you'll be free to grant more formidable assignments with a clear head.

Step No. 2: Eliminate Distractions

Turn your phone off.

Cut yourself off from the social media loser loop of obsessively checking for updates.

The weaker-willed can download apps that prevent you from accessing social media for a bit.

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1. Checky, free, checkyapp.com. Tallies every time you check.

2. Freedom, $7 per month, freedom.to. Blocks time-suckers.

3. Flipd, free, flipdapp.co. Locks you out (temporarily).

Step No. 3: Set the Mood

Distractions don't only come from your phone and computer—busy surroundings can also make your mind drift.

Create a neat workspace and put on a pair of headphones to block the outside world.

1. Brain.fm, free, brain.fm. Backed by science!

2. Rainy Mood, $3, rainymood.com. Simple and perfect.

3. Focus@Will, $10 per month, focusatwill.com. A full-on library of sounds.

Hot Tip: If you start to get distracted, a change in location can help you refocus. Try different places to see where you work best—the library, your room, and a café can all have different effects on your productivity.

Step No. 4: Manage Your Time

If you find yourself spending hours on a task that should take 10 minutes, move on and come back to it later.

Keeping an eye on the clock will prevent you from falling behind on an intimidating to-do list.

1. Finish, free, getfinish.com. Keeps deadlines top of mind.

2. ATracker, $5, wonderapps.se. Charts how you spend your time.

3. 30/30, free, 3030.binaryhammer.com. Manages time for you!

Step No. 5: Take a Break

If you try to marathon your way through hours of work, chances are, you're going to burn out. Take short breaks and you'll last longer.

Best Breaks

1. Move!

Take a short walk or do some stretching to get your blood flowing.

2. Snack!

Something healthy will provide you with energy to keep going (or a piece of chocolate can serve as a reward for finished work).

3. Meditate!

Apps like Akasha and Headspace can help you clear your head in just a few minutes.

Hot Tip: Make it a habit.

The more often you take steps to improve your focus, the better you will become at focusing exactly when you need to.

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