Tips To Increase Focus At Work
Each new day brings an opportunity to start fresh. A clean slate where you can get tasks finished from the day before, and get started on the tasks for that day. But, distractions come at you from every imaginable angle. They’re a constant curveball diverting your dwindling concentration. The ability to focus can seem like a task in itself. Here’s how you can stay focused and get all your work done.
Plan Your Day
You know those super-organized people that you wonder how they’re able to do it all? Well, they may have trouble staying focused throughout the day, too. The difference is, they’ve probably planned their day out the night, or even days before. When you have your to-do list, it makes it that much easier to keep focused on what needs to be done. There’s something to be said for writing out your plan of attack. It makes room in your brain to focus on what’s written on that list. And, you’ll be way more productive.
Hard Things First
If you have more focus at the beginning of the day, then get those harder tasks completed first. Leave little or simpler duties for later, when the ability to concentrate is more difficult. It will alleviate anxiety and frustration and allow you to hit those deadlines right in the bullseye.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is walk away from your desk. Maybe take a lap around your building, if the weather permits. Stand up and stretch. Go to the bathroom. Anytime you’re feeling distracted, get up and move. Being sleepy or hungry can also negatively impact your clarity of thought and vision. Taking care of those basic needs will definitely help. Although, taking a nap at work is probably not the best idea. If you feel yourself losing steam, make another cup of coffee or tea for that caffeine boost.
Chatter in the office, notifications chiming from your phone, social media– these are all common distractions. Lockdown your social media during times where focusing is important. Wear noise-canceling headphones to silence the talking. Unless, of course, there’s some gossip you’re wanting to eavesdrop on. Eliminating distractions will allow you to focus on completing your projects.
Create A Habit
Sometimes, your ‘focus muscle’ needs to be retrained. Just like any other habit building exercise, start out with short attention span spurts and increase the time from there. It takes an average of 66 days to build a new habit, so be patient with yourself.
A great technique to practice is the Pomodoro. It’s a timing method for training your brain to focus.
- Set a timer for a block of time.
- Take a 5-minute break when the alarm goes off
- Reset the timer and start working again
- Repeat 4 rounds, and then take a longer break.
Tools For Focus
For a distraction-free work station, try the Freedom app. It will allow you to block social media and other sites you often find yourself distracted with.
F.lux eliminates that blue light from your computer screen. Once you start using it, you’ll wonder what took you so long to do so.
A CRM is a great tool for focus, both as an individual and across your entire team. A CRM holds most of the work-flow related tools you’d use under one “roof”. Your task list, contacts, emails, notifications, and other bells and whistles you rely on throughout your day are all hosted within a good CRM.