There are many ways to help keep you focused whilst working each with advantages and disadvantages. I have found several ideas that have helped myself whilst working so I thought I would cover some of those ideas.
1. Head phones
Listening to music can help to keep you focused although I would recommend music that you know well and not a new album you have just brought as you will find you focus slipping to pay attention to the music
Pros. Working whilst listening to music can begin to train your mind into concentrating whilst listening thus allowing you to focus on the task at hand. They can also be used as a visual clue to others that you should not be disturbed.
Cons. It you are unfamiliar with the music playing you may find your attention slipping to the music instead of the task at hand. Also if the music is too loud you may find it difficult to concentrate through it and if too low you may find your concetration slipping trying to catch the sound of the music.
Sometimes when I am working I find at given times I begin to lose focus, these times are usually between breaks. I began to realise that the slump was between times I would eat so I began to leave snacks at my desk, eating them seemed to help recover some focus. Of course this doesn’t work if your snack is a containing of BBQ ribs. Best go for small and preferably little smell to them such as a pack of mints or maybe a msll pack of crisps.
Pros. The snack can give you a bit more energy to help you focus your mind, it doesn’t really take any time as you can snack as you work. Also saves grabbing a snack whilst refilling your coffee or tea which can bring extra distractions.
Cons. Snacks can draw others to you looking to pillage you stash. Also any snack that has a strong smell will distract you and others around you. Large snacks (such as a bag of popcorn) will leave you tempted to eat large amounts which takes more time and adds a distraction.
3. Isolate yourself
This is a useful idea. Being alone can allow you to focus on your tasks without others distracting you. This is likely the simplest idea to implement as you can simply put up a sign asking others to leave you be at given times. This idea is possibly one of the more important ideas.
Pros. People are less likely to interrupt you whilst you are half way through a task. This means you can get yourself in the zone and stay there for as long as possible.
Cons. You can end up isloating yourself from others for a time and not recieve information that may prove useful to you. If the code you are working on is changed by another, the first you may know about it would be when you attempt to commit your code.
How do you keep focused? What do you do to get in the zone? Let us know.