19 Jan 7 Tips to Boost Your Focus at Work
By: Megan Jones
As the holiday season commences and we all begin to resume going back to work it can be difficult to regain focus and get back into the swing of a routine. But it’s a New Year and a great time to make resolutions (Check out our New Year’s article). Consider making one of your resolutions to boost your focus in the workplace! Whether you are working from home or back in the office there are countless things that can be distracting. So here are 7 tips to boost your focus at work!
Focus is Essential
One of the best ways to produce quality work is to remain focused. It sounds easy enough, but everything can be a distraction: an incoming call, a pesky email chain, meetings, background noise, and the list goes on and on. Although, these distractions can be minor and only seconds to minutes long it may affect your work. Losing focus can make it harder to come back to the task, make you forget about the task altogether, and be exhausting on your brain to have to constantly switch between stimuli. The practice of focus can boost the quality of your work and assist in your own time management.
7 Tips to Boost Your Focus
Identify the Current State of Focus
Identify a task or project you want to dedicate your focus to. Now every task may require different levels of focus or attention. It could be answering emails, returning calls, creating a proposal, or working on a project. But identify what you are going to be working on. Then reflect on what is the resolution? Are you finishing a project to completion or just one section? Are you answering all your unopened emails? Consider what you plan to focus on and make a plan for how to maintain your focus during the duration. If you are more focused on the time aspect, consider setting a timer. You can always start small with focusing on a task for 5 to 10 minutes and build upon it!
Work in general provides numerous distractions. But here are some tips to help avoid distractions:
- Get a Sign: Having a sign that says “Do Not Disturb” or “Unavailable/Available” helps coworkers know when a good time to ask to interact are.
- Wear Noise Cancelling Headphones: Wearing headphones can help create a barrier to the hum of other conversation or outside office interaction around you. Additionally, if you are looking to listen to music consider listening to something calming or soothing. Classical music is my favorite but Spotify also has numerous playlists for work.
- Block Out Your Calendar: Set aside time for you to complete your task and focus. Put on your calendar you are unavailable. This will notify your coworkers that you are unavailable and cannot be disturbed.
- Turn off Your Ringer: Turn off your ringer for your computer and phone to avoid hearing the pesky dings that can be exceptionally distracting.
- Book a Conference Room: Booking a conference room can aid in decreasing the amount of office noise you hear and the number of interruptions you may receive.
Create a Comfortable and Clean Environment
Having a cluttered environment can be distracting. Ensure all unnecessary items are stored away and out of sight. Additionally, make your environment comfortable. Add an art piece, clock, calendar, or plants to your office. Pick items you enjoy but remember to not overcrowd your office space or cubicle. Keep it simple but with items that bring you joy.
Concentrate on One Task at a Time
Multi-tasking is next to impossible to do. It can lead to careless errors and mindless mistakes. Moreover, multitasking is tiring to your brain because it constantly must switch between different stimuli. Focus on one task at a time to give it your best quality work. You are more likely to accomplish more when you have more clarity and focus.
Create a To Do List
A To-Do List is a great way to keep you motivated on the tasks at hand. It also will aid in getting distracted because it is a constant reminder of what you need to accomplish throughout the day. Consider making one every morning for what you need to get done professionally as well as personally. Studies have shown that creating lists makes you more likely to complete the tasks written down. Moreover, writing items down clears up your brain to remember things more important than tedious reminders.
Exercise is important in almost every aspect of life and focus is no different. Exercise releases positive endorphins and boost your energy throughout the day. Use that energy to help you focus on your next task. Additionally, when working ensure that you make enough time to take breaks throughout the day and consider going on a brisk walk to provide clarity and mental break for your brain!
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep like exercise is essential in focus. Lack of sleep deters the brain from being able to focus and concentrate. Additionally, being tired is a very difficult distraction that many of us cannot ignore. Aim for 6-8 hours every night to increase your focus for the next day!
We hope this helps you hone in and focus on the work place and maybe help you focus on New Years Resolutions too!