The inability to maintain focus is one of the leading causes of poor productivity. Distractions are rampant during the workday for most people. During a typical day, your attention is constantly pulled in different directions. From dealing with endless meetings to constantly being bombarded by email messages and texts, maintaining focus is practically impossible. In this type of environment, getting work done is challenging, to say the least.
The good news is, there are some tactics that you can use to improve your focus and concentration. Implementing the tips below should help you stay more focused at work so that you can get more done.
- Identify what you hope to accomplish at the start of the day. Setting goals early in the morning will help you stay on task. Maintaining focus is easier when you have a well-defined goal to work toward. Organizational tools such as GTD can be beneficial when it comes to keeping your actions as goal-oriented as possible.
- Divvy up large tasks into bite-sized chunks. Figuring out how you are going to attack each goal will help you follow through all the way to completion. Perhaps more importantly, accomplishing small tasks toward your larger goal can provide motivation while also giving you a sense of accomplishment.
- Take on difficult tasks when you are at your best. Track your work habits for a few days, paying attention to when you are the most productive. Schedule your most challenging tasks during this time of the day. Leave more mundane, repetitive duties for times when you are tired or lacking energy.
- Let co-workers and family members know when you don’t want to be disturbed. Even though it may sound strange, consider buying yourself a Do Not Disturb sign. Hanging it on your door can help keep coworkers from interrupting you in the middle of a project. You can do the same thing at home to keep your family from interrupting, as well. Just make sure to let them know when you will be available to talk.
- Eliminate distractions. Turn off your phone, shut down your email, close your browser and disconnect from any of your social media accounts. When working on a computer, make sure that any apps that you don’t need are turned off.
- Take breaks as needed. Giving yourself a break during longer tasks can help keep you from burning out. If you normally stand while working, sit down during your break. Alternatively, if you sit while you work, get up and walk around during your break to stretch your legs.
- Acknowledge your accomplishments. Each time you reach one of your goals, give yourself some type of reward. It doesn’t have to be anything big. For instance, you could allow yourself to check the news or read the latest post from one of your favorite websites as a reward for accomplishing something at work.
- Create a clutter-free, distraction-free environment. Your desk should be clean and free from clutter, with no distracting objects in sight. Before you begin working, make sure that you have everything that you need including water or snacks. Invest in an ergonomically designed chair that you can sit in without causing any discomfort. Consider wearing earplugs or noise-canceling headphones if you work in a noisy, distracting environment.
- Make sure you are sleeping enough. If you are sleep deprived, it will be practically impossible for you to stay focused. One of the best ways to improve your productivity is by making sure that you get plenty of sleep each night.
- Eat a healthy diet. When you are hungry, it is a lot easier to lose focus. At the same time, however, if you overeat or if you eat the wrong kinds of food, it could cause you to feel sleepy. Eating regular meals that are made up of healthy foods is the best way to overcome this problem. If necessary, you can also use coffee to give yourself a little bit of a boost.
- Get some help with a variety of nootropics and herbs that are available nowadays to increase your focus levels. Take a look at this infographic and you will be able to see what they can do for you.