One of the biggest challenges for employees is to figure out how to stay focused when hundred other things are happening around them. There are multiple factors that contribute to the loss of focus such as our time-wasting habits, distractions, and annoying coworkers to name a few. These factors could negatively impact your productivity and overall efficiency.
If you are finding it difficult to be more focused at work, then ProofHub brings you 10 super-easy and super-effective ways to beat distractions and stay focused at work. Let’s get started:
Table of Contents
- 1. Organize your workstation
- 2. Create an hourly work plan
- 3. Get in the ‘flow’
- 4. Take short breaks
- 5. Stop procrastinating things for tomorrow
- 6. Take up one thing at a time
- 7. Keep that phone in your drawer
- 8. Organize your mailbox
- 9. Choose suitable music
- 10. Use apps to train your brain to focus
- Final thoughts
1. Organize your workstation
Our brain gets directly influenced by the things in front of us or immediately next to us. If your workstation looks like it just got struck by a storm and everything is all messed up, then guess what? That’s exactly how you would be feeling the entire day – distracted and lost.
They say that your desk is a reflection of your habits and personality. If it is piled up with files and other stuff, you might like to organize it a little. Keeping your workspace clean and organized takes little time but can have a huge impact on keeping your focus intact and taking your productivity a notch higher.
2. Create an hourly work plan
One of the major reasons why most of us lose our focus is not having a proper plan. As a result, our monkey mind unchains itself and we lose our focus. To tame your monkey mind, try scheduling your tasks hour by hour. It is a great exercise that gives structure to your workday. You know exactly what to do when and what needs to be accomplished at the end of the day.
Creating an hourly plan is, in fact, a great way to enhance the process of prioritization. It allows you to plan in such a way that tasks requiring more attention or higher energy levels could be accomplished first thing in the morning.
Tip: You can use ProofHub for planning, prioritizing, and streamlining your workflow.
3. Get in the ‘flow’
All of us are different. We have different habits and different styles of working. Some work best when they work in continuation while others bring out their A-game when they work in small intervals of time. Thus, it’s important for us to understand how our body and brain work. We can use this information to develop a technique that works best to increase our attention span.
The University of Chicago explains how getting in ‘flow’ can help you strengthen your ability to concentrate and maximize your performance and learning levels. To increase its effectiveness, you can set self-imposed deadlines. The sense of urgency would direct your mind to work in the most efficient manner and get more work done.
4. Take short breaks
Sometimes, when you can’t focus on a task anymore, the best thing you can do is take a break. Our brains are not designed to retain attention for longer hours. Moreover, sitting at your desk looking at the screen for a long could lead to lethargy, fatigue, and headache. That’s why it is advisable to take short breaks after every 60 minutes of continuous work.
An article published in the Journal of Cognition says, “Deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused. Also, when faced with long tasks such as studying before a final exam or working on a project, it is best to impose small breaks on yourself to stay focused on your task.”
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5. Stop procrastinating things for tomorrow
We all procrastinate, don’t we? However, procrastination is like a credit card, it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill. The thing about procrastination is that it doesn’t have an endpoint, things keep getting postponed for tomorrow.
Let’s say you’ve decided to do something the next day that was due for today. In the back of your mind, it is still bothering you and as a result, you find it hard to focus on the task at hand.
The easiest way to stop yourself from procrastinating is to start timeboxing tasks. To make it more interesting, you can reward yourself at the end when you accomplish those tasks. So, become a pro at doing things not procrastinating them.
6. Take up one thing at a time
Not all of us are born with great multitasking skills, yet most of us fall prey to it. The myriad activities crammed into our usual routine and constantly switching between them is likely to make you tired and distracted. And, it defeats the whole purpose of why people tend to multitask.
As per research by the American Psychological Association, constantly switching between numerous tasks reduces our chances to complete any one of them in due time. Instead of saving time, it ends up doing the exact opposite of it. Additionally, we end up losing focus and making more mistakes when we juggle more than two tasks at a single time.
7. Keep that phone in your drawer
Your phone could be your biggest enemy while working. Constant beeps, Whatsapp messages, and Facebook notifications could distract you and result in wasting your precious time. Let’s admit whenever we see our phone on the table, there’s this urge to pick it up and check who updated what on their social networking accounts.
According to a survey, an average office employee spends 56 minutes per day using their smartphones for non-work activity. It won’t be wrong to say that smartphones are sapping away all your energy and killing your productivity.
It’s understandable if employees are using their phones during business hours occasionally but if done more than that, it could become a big distraction.
8. Organize your mailbox
One of the other activities that is quite stressful and distracting is email. Every day you get numerous emails – both professional and personal. What’s interesting is that you get emails when you are working on the most important task of the day. Do you know that an average employee spends 1.5 hours a day sending out approximately 56 emails?
You can avoid this chaos by having a separate email address for work and personal purposes. Set filters as per your preference and designate a specific time to check your emails and address them. Limiting your email time is a great way to spend time doing things that actually matter and keep your focus intact.
9. Choose suitable music
This could be a shocker for many readers out there. Though, it might not bring the same results for one as it would produce for many. Listening to a certain kind of music could increase your concentration at work. A recently published article stated that background music has actually the power to alter the listener’s mood.
To be a little specific, it was mentioned that listening to music that is positive and has slow tempos could actually improve your performance. It won’t be wrong to say that listening to background music helps to improve focus, blocks out distractions, and even makes a tedious task more enjoyable. Try it out to see if it works for you or not.
10. Use apps to train your brain to focus
Sometimes, it is almost impossible to focus when numerous other things are pulling out our energy. You would be surprised to know that there are many tools, mobile apps, and work management software that can actually help you focus better.
These apps are designed in such a way that help you reclaim your brain and get busy working on the things that matter the most. One of the most popular and liked apps include Brain.fm, Concentrate, and Headspace 2.0 to name a few.
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Always remember that your ability to concentrate is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the better it would develop. It might be a little difficult in the beginning but with practice and determination, you can train your brain to focus better.
We would love to know how you stay focused at work. To share your thoughts on this post, you can drop a comment below.