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Tips for Focus

I'm doing research for a self-improvement article. Five minutes later I am on a page that tours "Outhouses of America."

It's too easy to get lost on this darn interwebby thing, so I have to use tricks to keep from straying. Here are my favorites this week:

Sticky note: Write exactly why you opened your browser on a sticky note and post it on your monitor. It makes you feel guilty when you get off topic.

Speaking of guilt, use it. Tell your pet that you'll feed him as soon as you finish this internet search. He will sit next to you with that "look," so you have to hurry and finish.

Create a reading folder on your browser. Then, when you see something fascinating that you'd like to read, just drag it into the folder to look at -- after you've finished your purpose.

Promise yourself a prize when you finish your purpose. I use this one for virtually everything. My waistline shows I have to move away from food prizes.

Use short stints of work. Set a timer and work for short periods of time. The feeling of urgency keeps you from straying as much.

Or you could use peer pressure and accountabilty. Like telling people you're doing a feature on self-improvement and then embarassing yourself by admitting online that you were touring America's outhouses.

Hope one of these helps you too! If not, here's that outhouse tour.

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