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Overcoming Distractions

FocusThis year, I've been working on improving my focus at work (and at home). By that I mean, focusing on the tasks at hand, getting things done, and avoiding distractions. My main distraction at work is my iPhone. What I've discovered over the last few months is that I'm using my phone to avoid working on difficult or challenging projects.

It's hard, though, because I also use my iPhone as a tool. I use the timer, the calculator, the camera, the calendar, and more. Some of my colleagues even text me about work things. Full disclosure—I also used the camera on my phone to take the photos that are included in this post.

My phone will always be a tool that I'll use for a variety of things. My focus is on keeping it as a tool to help me succeed at work and avoiding using it as a means to procrastinate. My phone now lives on the other side of my office instead of right in front of me and I'm only using it at work when necessary. 

BulletJournalThe other tool that I'm using to improve my productivity and focus at work is Bullet Journaling which I learned about at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference last year. What I love about this way of tracking my projects and to do lists is that everything is in one place. Before Bullet Journaling, I was using a separate notebook for each big project—PLSR, WLA, iLEAD, and SCLS Continuing Education.

For a few months, I had one Bullet Journal (the smaller one in the photo) for both home and work projects. I recently realized that I needed to keep them separate and started the larger journal for work. I'm not giving up Remember the Milk for my online to do list or my Google Calendar for meetings and appointments, but I'm figuring out what technology works for me and when.

What tools do you use to help you focus on your work projects? Please share—I'm always on the lookout for new methods or tools to try.

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