- November 9, 2018 at 6:21 pm #3363David Llewellyn-JonesParticipantPoints: 683
i was just wondering what people do (especially people like me with short concentration levels) do to stop their mind wandering to other things when sat at the computer. Over the last couple of months I’ve found that if I don’t have some nice background music on I’ll end up going to find some popcorn to go with the Star Wars film I’ve put on my second screen whilst pretending to actually be doing productive stuff or wander over to forums to ask silly questions! Anyway, I’ve found that music is definitely the way to go.
What about everyone else, do you listen to music or prefer a silent workplace? Or is there any other tricks to retain concentration?
Dave.November 9, 2018 at 7:04 pm #3364Rachel ThornhillParticipantPoints: 597
I know exactly how you feel… I turn notifications off on my macs, leave my phone in the kitchen and stick a podcast or the radio on the telly in the corner. No pictures or I’d be tempted to watch. I can’t cope with sound coming out of my computer when I’m trying to work for some reason ? And the podcasts need to be ones that are chatty and don’t require actually listening to, or ones I’ve heard before, because otherwise I zone out into editing and miss bits… I listen to ones I actually want to listen to in the car!
But actually staying focused on the job at hand is another matter… I find if get back from the school run and start editing straight away I get more done in the day than if I reply to emails first. And I try and post to / check insta walking back on the school run, or that is a real time vampire!
Happy friday xxx
In a world where we can be anything, be kind ?November 9, 2018 at 8:17 pm #3366Suzanne MackenzieParticipantPoints: 45
My attention span is atrocious. One thing that did help was something I learned in a psychology course regarding attention; that listening to music with lyrics takes your attention away from your work. (In retrospect this seems really obvious!) So I try to only have soundtrack-type or classical on, or something like Eno.
Sadly this means I don’t listen to much of my favourite music now.
Other than that, I try light podcasts that need little attention and just burble on in the background. Like Rachel I save the favourite podcasts for journeys.
In my teaching days, when I had to do lots of marking, I used a program called ‘Freedom’ which blocked all internet for a pre-set amount of time. It was great and made me realise how horribly addicted I was/am to those constant phone/computer pings. (Must start using it again.)
Have a good weekend,
SuzanneNovember 11, 2018 at 9:40 am #3369Sarah PlaterModeratorPoints: 453
Some great tips here!
I’m very motivated by the dopamine kick I get from ticking something off my to-do list. Each night I write tasks on a whiteboard opposite my desk. Then in the morning I crack on with one at a time, wiping them off when completed (which feels good – anyone else motivated by this?!). If I get everything cleared off the whiteboard, I get to read a magazine/go for a cycle/eat chocolate etc.
If I catch myself down an internet rabbit hole, I pick the next task on the board and focus on getting it done.
Sarah Plater LMPA
sarahplater.comNovember 11, 2018 at 6:33 pm #3370PaulKeymasterPoints: 15,479
It depends entirely on the mood I’m in. Sometimes it’s podcasts (having a moment of American Politics at the moment – it’s fascinating and somewhat refreshing from hearing about Brexit.) Sometimes it’s Netflix (but it has to be something with almost no plot so I can just let it burble away on my iPad.) Sometimes it’s an audio book on Audible.com. Sometimes it’s music (usually a Spotify Daily Mix but it varies: today I was having an eighties moment.)
I have long-since disabled as many of the alerts on the screens / gadgets as is possible so I can concentrate, though that is hard in a studio where things are constantly coming in or being requested by clients or one of the team.
Sadly, these days, my to-do list is never empty. It is a perpetual frustration that, even after 10 years of doing this full time, I have never managed to completely clear the list of things I should have done. It’s a feeling I’ve just learnt to live with and embrace (after all, if I’m forever busy then business must be doing OK!)
Here’s something I’ve learnt about me though: there are days when I am going to achieve precisely nothing. Not a jot. I will sit and try. I will pick up the Wacom pen. And put it down again. I’ll tinker at lots of stupid things but not really achieve much. I will get drawn into a programme on the TV or Netflix.
I just won’t have any energy to really achieve anything.
And it’s OK.
I used to beat myself up about it but I think now it’s just part of me and the way I think and work. I have to have those days. They seem to help me sort stuff out in my head. The day after (or sometimes the day after that) i’ll be back at 100% and finishing everything off at full tilt. I just needed to be crap for a day or so to get it out of my system.
I don’t know if that’s something anyone else feels. Maybe it’s just me. But I thought I’d share. 🙂
Paul Wilkinson FMPA FBIPP FSWPP
Be kind to yourself!November 12, 2018 at 5:57 pm #3387Rachel ThornhillParticipantPoints: 597
Lots of great ideas here!
Suzanne, good point about classical music; we can’t sing along!
Sarah P, loving the white board idea… it’s not a list buried in a notebook, it’s up where you can see it all of the time. I love crossing off tasks in my notebook, and it definitely helps to make a list!
Paul, thank you for sharing… because I mainly work when the kids are at school, it’s a 6 hour day for me, and the time just flies by. And if I don’t feel like I’m achieving anything feel guilty for not making the most of my time, which if I’m not careful completely stifles any creativity that I might have and makes me feel very overwhelmed. It been a bit like that in the last few days, with just very small windows of time to get anything done, but really not feeling like it at all, so I ended up writing a corporate tender at 6am this morning because it had a 9am deadline. Which has taught me a lesson in itself! However looking forward to getting back to normal tomorrow.
Wishing everyone a happy and productive week,
In a world where we can be anything, be kind ?November 14, 2018 at 11:45 am #3402David Llewellyn-JonesParticipantPoints: 683
Loving the answers here, from everyone.
sarah, I love your whiteboard idea but I’d be too afraid that as my wife passed it, it would soon fill up with housework duties for the weekdays when she’s away ?
Paul, I’m glad to hear you have those days too! On monday evening, I picked up and added to my to do list, cleaned the whole house ready for Tuesday (which is the day Mia goes back to nursery and Laura is back away again) feeling 100% positive about a productive day! Tuesday morning comes along and I just can’t get the things I really need to do, done! Oh well! Here’s to wednesdays being the new Monday I guess!
i also find that I can’t work if the house is messy so an hour of cleaning in the morning sets me up for a good day! ( I never ever thought I’d say that)
Dave.September 23, 2019 at 8:18 pm #6107PerryParticipantPoints: 83
Life has a horrible way of getting in the way of your photography. So many distractions in and out of work. Just when you think you’ve sorted yourself out a bit of quality time, something else comes along.
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