Serkan Karabacak


Three Simple Steps To Remove Distractions and Focus on Deep Work

Nowadays, it is getting more and more difficult to be focused. There are tons of distractions around us. Primarily, social media is a highly attractive distraction.

It is almost impossible not to check your phone when you get that notification. Or when you get that exciting but not that important message in the middle of your work.

One of my 2019 goals is to decrease my screen time on my phone down to 2 hours a day. So, here are the three simple methods that I use to improve my focus.

1. Eliminate Notifications

People who create Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. They are geniuses, and they know how human psychology works. That is why the first question you get when you sign up on these platforms is “Would you like to enable Push Notifications?”

Don’t fall into this trap. Say “Don’t Allow.” And go to your settings to disable push notifications on the apps that you don’t need to be notified all the time necessarily. For example, Facebook and Instagram.

Nothing pops up on my laptop or my phone except for e-mails. I don’t need to be notified immediately when someone likes my photo on Instagram or when someone retweets my tweet on Twitter. I can always check that later. Preferably, after I’m done with my important work.

2. Set a Timer

This tip is incredibly helpful. How it works is you set a timer on your watch or your phone. Let’s say you set a timer for an hour. In that hour, you don’t do anything other than the work you have to do. It is one hour of pure deep focus.

Photo by Veri Ivanova on Unsplash

In the beginning, it is going to be tough because our attention span is so short now due to social media. But be consistent with it, and you will be rewarded.

Make sure not to go over one hour because after the first hour your productivity will decrease considerably. Make sure to take your half hour breaks. Our goal here is not reaching to 2-hour focus next time. Our goal is to maximize our input in that one hour.

3. Focus One Thing at a Time

Focus, focus, focus…

This one could be obvious, but it is the most important thing on the list.

Focus only one thing at a time. To do this, you need to set priorities and organize your days. For example, I usually get all my small tasks done on Monday. This gives me a feeling of accomplishment and momentum.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I spend time on my important tasks. Sometimes I get them done in a day. But sometimes it takes three days. It is very important to set yourself achievable goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash

Our brain is not capable of multitasking. That is only something robots do at this point.

Some people might say “Oh I can multitask. Look I’m eating my sandwich while I’m watching TV.” Well, that is not productive work. Try writing a journal and reading a book at the same time.


So, these are three simple but unusual methods to skyrocket your focus today. Try to apply them one by one and you will see the results.

For instance, start with number one and try that for a week. I guarantee that you will realize an incredible difference and you will thank me later. Or you can thank me in advance. :)

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