We are blasted with information all day, from every source, so no wonder it is really difficult to switch everything else off and concentrate. If you need to focus on a project or a job, my first rule of thumb sounds easy, but isn't....
Create Mind Space
To create a space in your mind for focus, you need to do the following:
1. clear your desk and switch everything off that is not essential to the project in hand. Be brutal. No Facebook, no iPhone, no emails. Just you and your project.
2. Switch off everything in your mind that does not pertain to your project. What I mean by this, is to shut down any thought that is not relevant to your project. You don't need to worry about anything else other than the job in hand. This is really important. Worry about dinner, bills, your night out, later. You need to exercise conscious thinking. This takes a bit of effort but is worth it!
3. Give yourself a set time for the focussed work. I find that deciding to work for an hour or 90 minutes intensively works really well but it is different for everyone. This will allow your mind the freedom to let go of all the other thoughts and worries of the day. It is time out in one sense.
3. If starting from scratch, I would always start with a mind map, to open up your mind creatively and allow it the freedom to think about the project laterally. This really encourages your mind to focus entirely on the project!
Hope this was useful. Feel free to add your own comments!