It’s hard to channel all your attention at work especially if you are surrounded by tons of distractions. And since distractions take many forms, it's understandable why it's difficult to stay focused.
What usually starts as a five-minute break from your task due to a distraction turns into an hour or even longer! And, the common scenario is this: You forget where you left off once you return to your work.
If this sounds familiar, find out how you can beat distractions at work. We've got some healthy tips on staying focused, so you can ace your grind!
Identify the purpose of your work
All important tasks require your undivided attention. So, before you start with anything, identify the purpose of your task. A defined purpose will make you appreciate your work, and inspire you to accomplish it ASAP.
Once you have determined what makes the task so important, look for ways to make working fun. Let your unique vision and insight take part, and see how it can make a huge difference!
Instead of sticking with a conventional outcome, challenge your mind to think out-of-the-box! Once you’ve come up with ideas you can be proud of, there’s a higher chance you’ll concentrate on work even better.
Get a comfortable chair
While most office tasks are performed seated, many people still feel physically strained. The culprit: discomfort. And, discomfort is another known distraction!
So, how do you beat this?
Get a comfortable chair that offers excellent back support! Then, match your chair with a table that is likewise efficient. This way, you avoid straining your body, and work on your projects comfortably.
Not only that, but you'll also be able to enhance your posture. Having a proper posture makes you look smarter and sharper, too!
Organize your workplace
It is particularly difficult to concentrate when your workplace is cluttered with an unnecessary mess.
Just imagine having to look through a pile of paper stacked on your table for a single page! Or, stumbling upon a lump of office materials to look for something that you need for your project.
It takes away not just your focus but your time as well since you have to look through the chaos on your table instead of getting the job done, and moving on to other important things!
And as you already probably know, this can greatly affect your productivity for the day. It may even hurt your huge presentations and important projects altogether.
So, here's what you can do:
Organize your workplace! Since too much stuff can cause a distraction, keep only a few office essentials. Then, place them neatly on your desk so you can focus on your work better.
If you have foods and drinks, designate a particular area for them or keep them inside your bag if you’re not going to eat or drink them yet. Then secure your other personal belongings in a drawer or a shelf.
Make sure you have water nearby
Not only does drinking water keep you healthy, but it also helps you stay refreshed! Drinking a glass of water can quench your feelings of exhaustion and hunger, too.
Just remember to keep your tumbler or drinking mug within your arms’ reach. This way, you can stay focused at work since you no longer need to walk to the drinking station, avoiding more distractions.
Keep some snacks nearby too
Aside from having water nearby, a snack that could help settle your stomach rumblings must be somewhere close to you as well.
Not having to leave your workspace to grab some snack will not only keep your attention, but it will also help you avoid unrelated attractions. So, yep. Go ahead and keep your favorite snacks handy!
Create shortcuts for your computer programs
This is particularly important for people who are using computers in their daily job. You can create shortcuts for programs that you use often and organize your files as well.
For instance, you can create a single folder where you can save all files related to a specific task or project. Label them properly so that it's easy to see where you need to look.
Also, make sure that your computer is free of viruses so you can avoid the need for inspections, fixing or replacement. Computer viruses can jeopardize your files, and consequently, stress you out!
Having to deal with these incidents can affect your mood, interest, and productivity as the day drags on. So, aside from your desk, organize your computer programs as well.
Create a "to-do" list and place it where you can see it
You will find a "to-do" list particularly helpful especially if you have tons of tasks to accomplish. It is, however, also important to consider where you'll put your list of tasks.
Since we are living in a digital world, mobile phones and computers often become easy options. But they can do you more harm than good.
Here's the thing:
You have to remember that they usually open doors for distractions too such as unimportant chat and text messages or irrelevant tabs. Want to know a good trick? Write your "to-do" list on a whiteboard near you!
You can also put it on a paper and have it pinned on a corkboard that you can easily see. Then, once you’ve accomplished a task, cross it out immediately so you'll clearly see the remaining tasks at hand.
Begin with priority tasks
People usually find themselves most productive during the early hours at work. Obviously, you are still full of energy around this time.
And since your energy and momentum are at peak during this time, it's best to use this moment to your advantage. How? Work on tasks that you find challenging and taxing!
Proceed with the tasks that are less pressing, and wrap up your day with the duties you find less interesting! This could be a helpful strategy since you won’t have to waste your precious time doing tasks you find boring.
Also, this method won’t leave you cramming at the end of the day, trying to finish the priority assignments!
Inform your colleagues of your work system
If you want to beat distractions at work, let your colleagues know how you plan to do it! For example, if you are working on a big project, inform them that you need to be left alone, so you can focus on it.
But let them know that they can talk to you and ask questions during your “free time”. Why is this strategy important? Informing others how your work system rolls will save time and effort for all!
Just make sure you communicate this to your colleagues properly to avoid being misunderstood. Also, let them know that they can talk to you if it’s really urgent.
Use your headphones
Most offices have different sources of distracting sounds such as chatting workmates, operating machines, and ringing phones. To avoid being distracted by these sounds, put on your headphones.
Using headphones will prevent your mind from wandering and getting distracted by the sounds of things or people around you, allowing you to focus on your work better!
Avoid logging in on your social media accounts
Truth be told, social media can be time-consuming! It’s more likely you will take much longer browsing through your social media platforms since there are many new and engaging stuff coming out on your feed.
And, it can get worse:
Aside from defeating your goal to stay focused, you may also be fed with too much unnecessary information. So, to avoid wasting your time on trivial stuff, you have to discipline yourself.
Do this trick: Only check your account if you have free time!
Take short breaks
Our alertness typically wanes as we move on with our tasks, paving way for distractions. So, how can you beat this? Take little breaks!
You can set your phone’s timer to 60 to 90 minutes and work during this duration. Once the cycle stops, pause for a quick break. You can listen to a song, stretch or take a short walk and breathe a little.
Taking little breaks to breathe, recharge, and shake things off will help you regain your energy, mental clarity, and focus!
Get some caffeine fix
Tea and coffee are good sources of caffeine, which can help increase your alertness. If you feel like you’re close to grabbing a mattress, grab a cup of tea or coffee instead!
If taking caffeine isn’t your thing, chewing gum is another option. This helps boost your alertness, too!
Scientists have found that meditation may improve one's attention. According to research, meditation provides various benefits even if it’s done for short periods only!
It also helps to improve one’s ability to remain non-reactive, calm and focused. Meditation is also good for your health since it can lower your blood pressure and heart rates!
There is definitely no place for distractions in the workplace. Any given task needs your full attention and focus. Trying to beat distractions at work will increase your productivity and help improve your performance.
These are just some of the healthy tips on staying focused in the workplace. If you’re wondering how to stay focused at work, you can use these tips as a guide to help you shift all your energy and focus into your work.
Just remember to have a plan, set clear and actionable goals and keep motivated!
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