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Sometimes I struggle with getting distracted during my workday. For example, the other day I was really trying to focus on a writing project. I was making good progress, and then for some reason I got distracted. I opened Facebook and started to browse various posts. Then I read an article on ESPN. Then I checked my Twitter feed and read an article I found interesting.

Before I knew it, 30 minutes had passed! So much for my attempt to focus on my writing project.

Schedule Breaks

One strategy that has helped me improve my focus is to schedule in a series of breaks in my workday. For me, I have found that about 45 minutes is the longest I can work before I begin to lose focus. So I try to schedule in a break after 45 minutes of work. I stand up from my chair, get a snack or drink of water, and stretch a bit. It doesn’t really matter what you do—just take a break from your work and do something different for 10 minutes.

After my break, I’m usually able to focus and get back to work. But only for another 45 minutes! After that, I need to take another break.

Action Step: Pick an amount of time that you can focus on your work without getting distracted. Maybe it’s only 15 or 20 minutes, that’s okay. Commit to focus on your work for that amount of time, and then take a 10-minute break. After your break, commit to focus on your work again, but only for the limited amount of time. Continue the cycle of focused work and taking a break. Did scheduling in the work-break balance help improve your focus?

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