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5 Tips For The Unfocused, Unproductive 20-Something Professional

If getting distracted was a job, I’d be the best employee there ever was. No matter what I’m working on or when it’s due, if my phone buzzes, BAM, instantly unfocused and unproductive. Even if I turn my phone off and put it away, I probably check in on my Twitter feed 30 times an hour. Oy. Related: 5 Quick Tips For Better Productivity That said, I’ve found some productivity hacks that can help the 20-something professional who can’t focus. They work for me! Here they are…

1. Detox your Inbox.

We all sign up for newsletters, promotions, and other email subscriptions that we never read (NEVER!). It’s exhausting to have to delete them every day, isn’t it? Not to mention, email is a HUGE HUGE HUGEEEEE time suck (I have a love/hate relationship with email). Well, if you’re getting more promo mail than actual email, it’s time to do an Inbox Detox - no green juice required! (Real talk: Kale in anything, ESPECIALLY juice, it’s straight up ew) Unsubscribe from anything you find yourself constantly deleting without opening. If you’re drowning in a sea of social media notification emails (the WORST), go into your social media account and change your notification settings. It’s a glorious feeling when your Inbox reads “0 New Messages,” right?

2. Monitor when you “zone out” at work.

When do you find yourself daydreaming, staring into space, or mindlessly procrastinating at work? Try to be aware of these instances and figure out the cause of it. Are you tired? Are you distracted? Are you uninterested in the work you’re doing? Think about the root of the cause, then take steps to solve the underlying problem.

3. Find a new spot to work 30 minutes.

When you’re sitting in the same dreary cubicle at the same plain desk day after day, it’s easy to become uninspired. If you can, grab your laptop or notepad and find a little nook, park bench, or coffee shop to work for at least 30 minutes. Exposing yourself to different surroundings and sounds can stimulate your creativity and give you a productivity boost.

4. Get a buddy.

Sometimes, when you work with another person, it’s easier to get things done. Why? Because you hold each other accountable. You don’t want to waste his or her time, and he or she doesn’t want to waste yours. Win-win for productivity!

5. Circle back later.

If it’s one of those days when you re-read the same paragraph over and over again without absorbing ANYTHING (the WORST!), it’s important to step away for a few minutes and come back with a fresh head. Go outside, grab a coffee, or work on a different project for a little bit, then revisit the initial project. Unfortunately, as I’ve learned, trying to struggle through the paragraph over and over again isn’t going to help anyone. Cheers to a more productive you!

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