While striving to become as productive as possible, most of us have a common problem: our purpose. If we cannot properly concentrate on the task before us, we will not be able to carry it out effectively.
The problem with focus is that it cannot be improved directly. You can’t take a pill or install an app to focus more on the work ahead of you. But you can learn to focus on the important task effectively if you know to do it. In this article, we will share some tips for staying focused at work.
Before reading, you should remember that everyone’s brain works differently. One person may achieve maximum concentration at work by waking up early with a large cup of coffee to loud music, while another may achieve similar results in the late afternoon, in complete silence and chewing gum. Take the time to experiment and find the individual tactics that work best for you; you may be surprised to know what improves your focus and what doesn’t.
- Analyze your work
You may have a subjective suspicion that you are not focusing effectively, but how can you tell? And can you know for sure that your efforts increase your concentration over time? The first step in any effort to improve focus is to create a way to analyze your work. Many tools can help you with this, including time tracking tools, project management apps, and email habit analysis apps. With them, you will be able to measure how many tasks you complete and how much work you do.
- Minimize breaks
Similarly, one of the best ways to improve concentration at work is to minimize breaks. If you’re trying to focus on a particular project, make changes to your work environment so that work interruptions are simply not an option. For example, if people in your office frequently stop at your desk to ask questions or make small talk, close the door to your office or shut up in a private meeting room. If you work remotely better work from your home office rather than a noisy coffee shop.
- Cut down on distracting websites
Most of us get distracted at least occasionally by popular time-wasting social networks like Facebook or Reddit. Without even realizing it, you may click one of these bookmarks and spend a few minutes browsing in the middle of a work assignment. The good news is that there are steps you can take to kick this bad habit. For example, you can delete the bookmark, you can delete your account, or if you feel less critical about the problem, you can install a browser add-on that only allows you to view these sites for a few minutes at a time.
- Disable notifications
Once you’ve been distracted, it takes up to 23 minutes for your attention to fully recover, which means that even a few seconds of distraction can seriously reduce your efficiency. There are some distractions you can’t help but notifications should be completely under your control. These continuous alerts will steal your attention during the day as you receive new emails, new instant messages, and notifications of new changes to your group projects. If and when possible, turn off notifications completely. If that’s not possible, try turning them off for certain periods (so you can focus on the main task) and limit the number of notifications you receive.
- ‘10 minutes rule’
Focus is much easier to maintain than to initiate – in other words, once you start focusing on a given task, it will be easy for you to focus on it, but starting to focus can be extremely difficult. That’s why, if you can’t focus on work, it’s a valuable strategy to dedicate just 10 minutes to work. 10 minutes never seems like a long time, so you’re more likely to initiate a focus period, but by the time the 10 minutes are up, you’ll probably be so engrossed in the project that you can keep going indefinitely.
- Catch the working vibe
This ‘flow’ is a psychological state in which you are so focused that time seems to disappear and your surroundings become out of place. Achieving flow can be challenging, but if you can do it, you will achieve maximum focus throughout your work session. Flow states are at the intersection of complexity and interest. If a task is too difficult or too easy, you won’t be able to focus on it properly. If a task is uninteresting, you won’t be able to focus on it. Try to find a job in your position that interests you and is challenging enough for you to keep working; if you do this, you will be able to perform your tasks smoothly with unflagging concentration.