How to become more focused and productive.

1. Do creative work first.

Typically, we do mindless work first and build up to the toughest tasks. That drains your energy and lowers your focus. “An hour into doing your work, you’ve got a lot less capacity than (at the beginning).

In order to focus effectively, reverse the order. Check off the tasks that require creativity or concentration first thing in the morning, and then move on to easier work, like deleting emails or scheduling meetings, later in the day.

2. Allocate your time deliberately

Most people focus best in the morning or late at night, and studies show that 90 percent of people do their best thinking outside the office. Notice where and when you focus best, then allocate your toughest tasks for those moments.

3. Train your mind like a muscle.

When multitasking is the norm, your brain quickly adapts. You lose the ability to focus as distraction becomes a habit. Practice concentration by turning off all distractions and committing your attention to a single task. Start small, maybe five minutes per day, and work up to larger chunks of time. If you find your mind wandering, just return to the task at hand.

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Today’s post was adapted from “How to stay focused. Train your brain” published in