I'm guilty of turning up the volume of my music a little too high and loudly humming along to every song when I'm working on my tasks. Sometimes when I get carried away too much that I forget I have deadlines to meet, because I'm too caught up in my mental karaoke that by the end of my shift, my To-Do list is longer than it was at the beginning.
Yes, you're not the only one with a short attention span, and yes, I'm being completely honest here because everyone suffers from mental clutter. It's normal. It's how our brains have been programmed; we have these things called "mental lapses." Almost everyone has experienced these things at one point or another.
But our To-Do's will not magically shred itself and tick its own checkboxes. We have quotas to meet, and we have to contribute to our team's success. So here are a few things you can do to shift your mental focus back when you feel like you're going astray.
1. CLOSED UNNECESSARY TABS.
No, you don't need to have your Facebook open when you're creating reports or writing a blog. An online dog breed encyclopedia? Definitely tempting, so you have to close it too, unless you need that for your blog or if you need to get references. Otherwise, they will kill your time like cancer - slowly and silently without you noticing it until you realize you're doomed and its already too late. The more open tabs you have, the easier it is to give in to temptation. As a result, you've spent your entire day without accomplishing anything.
2. USE PRODUCTIVITY TRACKERS.
Thanks to the development of web applications, we can now use trackers to plot our productivity throughout the day. Our team uses Trello, which allows us to create individual boards and team boards so that we can see each other's To-Do lists, what we're currently working on, and the things that we've accomplished. It's like online post-it notes. It's effective because you can see your progress, and it gives you a virtual tangible proof that you have been productive. And at the same time, since you can share it with your team, you can see who's working on what and this reduces duplication of tasks.
3. TAKE YOUR ALLOTTED BREAK.
There is an imposed policy that all companies must allow every employee to take at least 15 minutes break. You have to make use of that, not just because it's a rule that you have to follow, but because it's good for your mental and physical state. No matter what type of work you do, you have to take a rest and allow your (mental)/muscles to regenerate the lost energy. There is a quote that I found on the internet saying "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you." and this is so accurate. There's a reason why they put "power" in power naps. And it's backed by Science that taking a timeout to rest in the middle of the day will give you the boost you need to perform at your best throughout the day. Even Google recognizes the effectivity of rest, and they have been one of the first of the few companies to have sleeping rooms available for their employees.