Maintaining focus while at work is a struggle for many. Whether it’s that afternoon slump or getting started in the morning, we all encounter it. So, how to improve focus and concentration at work? Start by trying to identify what’s causing it. Are you tired, hungry, thirsty? Satisfy these basic needs first help you maintain focus.
Plan ahead, having a schedule helps keep your mind prepared for what is coming. You also start to identify when in the day you tired, hungry, etc. and plan accordingly. You should always have water nearby; staying hydrated is imperative for concentration.
Keep a prioritized daily to-do list so you can be sure to achieve your most important objectives. Group like tasks together when possible to make the most efficient use of your time. Set goals for the day, week, month, etc. to keep yourself on task.
Pay attention to what inspires you. Do you like lofty long-term goals, or rather a series of small tasks that add up to the big win? Find motivational music that keeps your energy up without distracting you. It can be classical or hip-hop, as long as it helps you focus. Even white noise is productive. It’s also good to wear headphones as this helps to block out distracting noise.
Are you distracted easily? If so, work offline when possible. Don’t tempt yourself to check out websites and skim social media. If you can, schedule time to check email and make phones calls so that you have work focus time. Use that to reward yourself for finishing tasks. Practice the Pomodoro technique. This involves timed activities and breaks to help you stay focused and alert. It encourages exercising or taking a walk before sitting down to important work. Learn more here: https://francescocirillo.com/pages/pomodoro-technique.
Another thing to think about is your work space. Is it clean or cluttered? It should be clean enough that you can find and do what you need. It should be organized, even if it’s your own kind of organization. And most of all it should be comfortable. Not “fall asleep” comfortable, but if something feels “not right” you won’t be able to focus. It also helps to have a set location. If you work from home, have an office, even if that office is the corner of the couch. Just have somewhere that being at puts you in work mode and has what you need.
Figure out the best time of day for working, when are you most focused? Do your creative and thought-provoking work then. Create small rituals that signify the beginning and end of your work time. Perhaps the first thing you do every day is open a curtain, and the last thing you do is close it. Rituals can help you get in the flow of work.
Another good tip is to start each day with a household task if you can. Start a load of laundry or load the dishwasher, something that will make you productive before you even start working. It’s also a good idea to end each day with reflection. What went well today and in what area do you need to concentrate more?
Don’t forget to set aside time for personal and professional development that is part of your work day. Meditate can be included into your daily routine. You can look up meditation at work apps, or for that matter, there are numerous apps for focus and concentration.
When you find your day overwhelming you, write things down. Lists can be powerful tools. It will help you get a good start on having a better day tomorrow.
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