By Joe Caplin

No, I mean right now, focus, on this, what you’re doing, or not on this, what you’re supposed to be doing, not on Facebook or Twitter or the News update or the text you’ve just got, or the guy working opposite, or the weird smell in the office. Focus. Staying focused is hard. Harder than ever with all the distractions available to us to tear us away from our jobs and our thoughts; so this week our article is about how to maintain focus at work.

Part of maintaining focus is eliminating the aforementioned distractions, that come in many forms. Heather Rees offers us some office design tricksthat can help to combat these in the office; similarly Adam Dachis offers us his thoughts on how preparatory organisation can help to combat distraction and increase productivity.

But what about distractions that aren’t in the office? What about the Facebook and Twitter allure that you mentioned not 53 words ago? Well don’t worry, Jackson Chung has you covered by offering you his review of 6 apps that will help to combat distractions and keep you focused. I myself use this distraction-busting writing tool, which has helped me no end, as it (like many of its competitors) blocks out the screen, not allowing access to the various distractions the internet holds.

Okay, so we’ve successfully defeated distractions, what else can we do to improve our focus? Well, the focus-enhancing benefits of exercise are laid out by Jennifer Cohen, but really what we want to achieve is that ever-evasive sense of flow. Flow is the state where you are utterly absorbed by what you are doing and at your most productive. So how do we achieve this? Leo Babauta offers a few pointers, but the consensus seems to be to aim for a state through practice akin to mindfulness. This, Andy Puddicombe says can be achieved through just 10 minutes each day.

Above all, the lack of distraction or the tips to build your capacity to focus, it is a decision. A decision which is easier to make if your mind is clear through mindfulness and you have successfully reflected upon what it is you are supposed to be focusing on.

That’s enough for this distraction, they’re hard enough to fight without me adding more onto the plate; though they are difficult to combat we must try, because if we don’t, we could all end up helpless, ineffective and deplorably adorable as this dog.