Fokus Work statt Multitasking

Focus work instead of multitasking

Increase your productivity with smart self-management – ​​Part 1

Tips from Richard Staudner

Do you know that…? Once again there are an incredible number of to-dos . For weeks you have been trying to complete this long list of tasks , but there is no end in sight. You try to pack everything into one day, you are busy all the time and in the evening you realize that neither work nor free time worked, but you are absolutely exhausted.

How do you finally become productive ? How do you avoid an energy slump at such times? And how can you end the day happily?

A world full of distractions

We live in a world full of distractions, no matter where we are, external influences affect us.

Smartphone , ambient noise , advertising , our calendar , e-mails or social media : everyone wants our attention, even if it is "only" online. Sometimes that's great, because then we feel important. For example, when we get a lot of messages, our brain is flooded with the reward neurotransmitter dopamine and we feel validated.

We like to be distracted, so we always have the "fish hook" out and just wait for something to bite and tear us out of our work routine and concentration.

Being always available feels right, but it is the absolute productivity killer .

Honestly, most of the time it's just annoying because we can't focus on the essentials. We cannot do our work and then enjoy our free time.

But being productive isn't impossible. Even in a world full of distractions, we can find our focus. All it takes is a few small changes in our environment and behavior.

Here you will find my tips to find more focus in your activities.

#1 Working qualitatively with the "Deep Work" principle

The term "deep work" used by Cal Newport stands for a certain period of time in which you are completely focused on your work. There is nothing else but this one task.

You've probably experienced this before: You get into the flow, suddenly things go a lot further, you understand things better, you can network thoughts better and time really flies by. We should achieve this state for at least a few hours during our working day in order to do the really important things. Quality before quantity, as the saying goes.

But how do I get into this state, you ask? With the following tips you will be able to integrate this flow state into your everyday work and thus find the focus in your job.

#2 Plan focus sessions

The smartphone is the biggest disruptive factor . Minimize this stress by consciously planning focus sessions.

You can load your brain with intensive work for a maximum of 2 hours, then it needs a big break . Reserve a two-hour focus block without a smartphone at least once a day. You often get more done than in a whole day where you mix everything up.

It has also been shown that constant electronic notifications promote mood disorders , affect cognitive function, decrease performance and weaken learning processes .

As if that weren't enough, they're even linked to stress , anxiety disorders, depression and poor self-control (1,2) .

In addition to the countless advantages that smartphones bring with them, we underestimate the health effects that intensive use can have.

Your workplace setting is that important

Make sure it's really quiet around you. Cal Newport recommends doing focus sessions early in the morning when the rest of the world is still quiet.

But even if that doesn't work, or you don't have your own room but share an open-plan office, there are ways.

Your workplace should not only be tidy, but also make sure you have the right equipment and ergonomic work equipment , such as a height-adjustable table. This promotes productivity, job performance and satisfaction (3) .

Invest in yourself or talk to your employer.

Announce Focus sessions

Ask those around you not to interrupt you. For example, you can use a color -changing LED lamp and communicate your focus state with simple signals. Blue means deep focus: absolutely no disturbances, yellow means shallow work: I can take breaks and discuss something. Even children can learn such a system quickly.

The cheapest investment is hearing protection, like those used on construction sites. It completely separates you from the environment and makes it easier for you to get into the flow state. This is also available in unobtrusive designs for the office. You can even have them personally adjusted to your ears in a small format in a hearing studio.


#3 Practice getting into the workflow

As already mentioned, our goal is to get into an uninterrupted state of concentrated work. It will be easier for you if you have implemented my previous recommendations, but it is still not easy to stick to the point.

And not without reason! In a world full of distractions, we need to relearn how to focus our full attention on a topic.

The interplay with breaks

Start with small chunks of time . You can also set a timer and plan breaks in advance. For example, I love the “ Pomodoro principle”. 25 minutes of focused work followed by a 5 minute break.

During the break I go to the kitchen to have a drink or do a short breathing exercise. That increases focus.

Alternatively, you can also change the context, short works that are in other subject areas promote cognitive performance if you return to the original task afterwards. (4)

But beware, don't work into the break, this interplay between stress and relief is important for your productivity.

Breaks are also important for your body and reduce, for example, back pain from sitting for too long (5) . Get up, get a fresh drink, gaze into the distance and relax your eyes. Just let your thoughts flow and don't actively try to solve problems during the break.

Start with these tips. In Part 2 you will learn how to keep your focus and avoid multitasking.


1) Throuvala MA, Pontes HM, Tsaousis I, Griffiths MD, Rennoldson M, Kiss DJ. Exploring the Dimensions of Smartphone Distraction: Development, Validation, Measurement Invariance, and Latent Mean Differences of the Smartphone Distraction Scale (SDS). Frontline Psychiatry. 2021;12:642634.

2) Oraison H, Nash‐dolby O, Wilson B, Malhotra R. Smartphone distraction‐addiction: Examining the relationship between psychosocial variables and patterns of use. Australian Journal of Psychology. 2020 Jun 1;72(2):188-98.


4) Ariga A, Lleras A. Brief and rare mental “breaks” keep you focused: Deactivation and reactivation of task goals preempt vigilance decrements. cognition. 2011 Mar 1;118(3):439-43.

5) Waongenngarm P, Areerak K, Janwantanakul P. The effects of breaks on low back pain, discomfort, and work productivity in office workers: A systematic review of randomized and non-randomized controlled trials. Applied Ergonomics. 2018 Apr 01;68:230-9.

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