How to Stay Focused During Office Hours
We’ve all been there – it’s after lunch and you’re struggling to find the strength to stay focused at work. Sometimes it can seem impossible, especially if it’s first thing Monday morning or right before quitting time on a Friday. The only problem is the less focused you are, the lower your productivity is, and that not only affects you but it also affects the business.
Below are some great tips and tricks to use to help you stay focused during office hours so you perform at your best.
Tip 1: Setting Actionable Goals
When you set goals for yourself you’re going to be far more likely to follow through with things. Whether you need to write them down and post them on your desk or set reminders on your phone, goals are the best way to keep your mind focused.
Make sure that you set actionable goals that are specific. Instead of saying, “I want to work 8 hours a day,” you need to figure out what it is that you want to do within those 8 hours. For example, “I want to finish this project by end of day,” or “I need to make at least 3 phone calls by 3 PM”. Set realistic goals that you can achieve.
Tip 2: Work in Blocks
It’s common knowledge that the more often you work for hours on end, the more your alertness is going to disappear, making it easier for distractions to lure you away from your work.
The best way to keep your mind motivated is to work in blocks of 60 to 90 minutes. You can easily set a timer either on your desktop or your phone at the end of each block. Once it rings, reset your mind by taking a break, listening to music, going for a brisk walk, or grabbing a snack.
This is a great way to distance yourself from your work so your mind can have a rest. When you return from your 10-15 minute break, you’ll feel as if you never needed one in the first place.
Tip 3: Turning Off Unnecessary Devices
No matter how you look at it, the world is distracting. Everything from social media alerts to calls from family members at work is only going to impede your progress. You need to tune yourself out of everything around you, including your personal devices such as a phone and/or tablet.
Tip 4: Making Scheduled Distractions
There’s no reason why you can’t manipulate your distractions and make them work for you, instead of against you. In fact, getting distracted can be a great way to let the creative juices start flowing – as long as they’re controlled.
Allow yourself to have the reward of distractions once you’ve completed a few great hours of work. You can treat yourself to calling a friend, working out, or checking your social media accounts. The most important thing to remember is that you need to maintain control and stick to your schedule.
Tip 5: Catalog Your Habits
Losing focus isn’t something that just happens out of nowhere, it’s a typical result of being triggered somehow. You can easily keep track of your habits in order to get a better idea of what’s enabling you to get distracted. Are you not getting enough sleep? Or perhaps inter-office IMs are preventing you from getting work done. Once you learn what your triggers are, you can nip them in the bud.
Tip 6: Use Time-Tracking Software
Not only is this a great way to keep you focused, but it can also be a fun little experiment for yourself. There are different websites and apps that you can visit to track your activity while you’re at work, such as time-tracking software. These websites will log how long you spend surfing the web, watching YouTube videos, answering emails, etc.
You’ll be able to have a clear idea of what your online habits are and which ones need to be fixed more than others. For example, if you spend 3 out of 8 hours surfing the web you need to control your browsing habits.
Tip 7: Getting Enough Sleep
If you’re faced with stress on a regular basis, it can be difficult to shut down at a reasonable hour and fall asleep. This is especially true if you’re the type of person who enjoys watching movies or playing video games after a long day of work.
After you get home and go through your regular routine of eating dinner and dressing down, you need to focus on setting a reasonable bed time that will help you to get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted rest each night. You might find that you need to turn off your phone, close your laptop, and leave your TV off in order to have the most peaceful rest possible.
If you’ve tried to establish a better sleep routine but you find that you’re constantly waking up throughout the night, you can try natural sleep aids such as melatonin.
Tip 8: Create an Ergonomic Workstation
One of the most distracting things that could be bothering you at work is the ratio between your desk, your computer, and your chair. More workplaces are putting an emphasis on ergonomic workstations because they have been scientifically proven to help with increasing focus and productivity.
If you’re constantly adjusting yourself so your back doesn’t hurt or if your neck is starting to get cramped, it’s time to stop being distracted by discomfort. Find the perfect place for all of your office furniture.
Tip 9: Stay Organized
It can be overwhelming to come into work every morning and see a pile of things on your desk that are in no conceivable order. Getting organized is the key to not only keeping your mind at peace, but it also gives you a clear idea of what needs to be done every day of the week.
You can purchase desk organizers from anywhere, including the dollar store, and you will need to organize your projects by most to least important. Your mind will be clear and you’ll have a better idea of what you should be focusing on for the next 8 hours.
Losing focus at work is normal; you’re not any different than anyone else in the office. What will set you apart from others is taking the necessary steps to curb distractions and boost your productivity. It’s easy, all you need to do is put in the effort to change your habits and you’ll be well on your way.