How Event Professionals Stay Focused on the Job

Author: Convene Editors       


Event professionals took our survey about work distractions, and offered their tips on how to avoid losing focus at work.

For our December cover story about distractions at work, Convene asked event professionals to complete a short survey about the challenge of staying focused on the job when there are so many things — digital and environmental — competing for our attention. The survey respondents shared some of their strategies and tips for staying focused — some of which seem to take a page out of Nir Eyal’s book, Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. Here are some of their answers.

“Put in earbuds or plug in headphones.”

“Turn off Outlook.”

“Confining checking emails to first thing in the morning and again before the end of the day.”

“Avoid checking or having alerts on my phone to limit working too much after hours.”

“Use personal phone and social- media time as a reward for completing a task.”

“Once you meet a deadline, you can reward yourself with a mental break, a walk, using social media, or doing a personal task. Now if only I would take my own advice!”

“SelfControl app for Mac (self-timed domain blocking), Mindful Browsing add-on for Chrome (gentle nudges), and StayFocusd for Chrome (self-timed domain blocking).”

“The time-limit function on iPhone for social media is somewhat helpful. It has cut back on my screen time dramatically because it at least makes me aware that I’m giving my time and attention to something trivial.”

“Put your phone away. Set a timer if you need to, with 30 minutes of focused work rewarded with five minutes of social media/texting.”

“Continue to refer to my monthly project list to ensure that I’m staying on track with deadlines. This process helps to ‘reel me back in’ from interruptions and distractions.”

“Offer meeting and event planners offices with doors and/or time to work from home. Also encourage a culture of knocking and setting up times to discuss projects and time to actually work on projects.”

“Take a walk every hour through the office.”

“Turn off pop-up notifications on your phone.”

“Designate a specific portion of the day to reviewing social-media channels and email newsletters and ignoring them the rest of the day.”

“Put blocks on my Outlook calendar so that I have dedicated time for my work.”

“Time management! Make time for your social networking, but don’t let it take away from the time you must devote to the personal and professional interactions. Monitor your screen time by using the data provided to you by your smart phone.”

“My white noise app helps me stay focused. My favorite is White Noise Lite.”

“Big noise-canceling headphones at the office to block out noise and send a message to colleagues that I’m concentrating. Setting ‘Do not Disturb’ on my work IM.”

“Diffuse peppermint oil — seriously helps with focus!”

“Do the duties that require deep focus first thing in the morning or at the end of the day.”

“I write down my top three items to complete for the day (items should be based on your goals and not someone else’s) and focus on those first. Once those are done, I write down my next three. While working on those items, I close my email and focus. This way I know I will get at least those three items completed and move a little closer to my goals.”

This story is part of Convene’s CMP Series, which enables readers to earn one hour of CE credit toward CMP certification from the Events Industry Council. Find the main story by clicking “Becoming Indistractable,” which will lead you to other sidebars. Go to the CMP Series page for access to additional stories.

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