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The Secret to Focus and Conquering the Chaotic Work Day

With so many distractions during the work day, it’s hard to find a quiet space (or time) to get things done. At work, I have an “open door” policy for anyone who wants to drop by with a question or concern.

When I first became a manager over 3 months ago, I found myself staying at work 12 hours or more per day. Since then I’ve learned to prioritize my time and maximize productivity during my “free time” which is whenever I’m not stuck in a meeting. Now, I spend 9-10 hours per day on average at work. Thank God that changed.

Despite being someone who gets bored easily, I’ve learned to embrace the quiet moments. I keep my focus by listening to music during those “quiet” moments. It’s a habit I picked up during undergrad while studying Mechanical Engineering.

Since 99% of the curriculum required hard-core number crunching and applied physics, I could not afford to “BS” my way though. I needed to focus, and music helped me to do that.

As a manager, my strategy for maintaining my focus is the same as it was in undergrad. My 10 music CDs, Spotify and Pandora playlists paired with large headphones (or out loud) are a God send!

Some of my favorite playlists are:

#1 Deep Focus (by Spotify) – Soothing music with a combination of ocean sounds and atmospheric rock songs.

#2 Deep Sleep (by Spotify)  You won’t actually go to sleep if you’re in the office or hanging out at a coffee shop :). Very similar to “Deep Focus” with ocean sounds, violins and soothing sounds.

#3 Coffee Shop Jazz (by Spotify) – Perfect jazz instrumentals to provide soothing background noise for intense focus.

#4 Jazzy Dinner (by Spotify) – Provides up-beat jazz instrumentals to stay motivated and relaxed.

#5 French Cooking Music (by Pandora) – Jazz with a combination of classic jazz instrumentals and french lyrics. (Thanks Amir!)

BONUS Focusing Tips:

How do you focus? How can you change your surroundings to promote it?

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