If you are trying to find some strategies to stay focused at work, then you will find it Love This article.
Many people struggle with an absence of concentration, making it difficult for them to stay focused and achieve success. The world we live in is full of distractions and devoting more time to distractions than normal tasks seems normal. The result is that we become less productive and fewer engaged with our work.
Have you ever made a fire using a magnifying glass? Otherwise, here’s how it works. You put the wick in a certain spot and then hold the magnifying glass at an angle that focuses the sun’s rays on the smallest possible area. With enough concentration, the tinder will start to smoke and ultimately you’ll have a fire.
This is a perfect example of the power of concentration and focus. When you are focused, you aren’t paying attention to anything and you are concentrating all your energy on the task at hand.
You may have experienced a time when you were very focused and engaged in your work. In this focused state you may find it easy to complete your work to a high standard, you may even enjoy it. The key to increasing your productivity is making sure you are in this state of focus and producing better results.
We’ll be looking at different strategies to help you regain your focus and increase your level of engagement with your work.
How to Stay Focused While Working
1. Eliminate distractions
Distractions are a normal part of life. There are so many things that can distract you from your tasks such as social media, requests from others, advertisements, online videos, emails, text messages and so on that it isn’t surprising that we get distracted.
You might be surprised if you calculate the amount of time you waste on distractions. Studies have found that office distractions can take up to two hours per day, and if you’re self-employed this figure can be much higher.
Let yourself be distracted too long and the distraction becomes your main focus. To become a producer you need to eliminate as many distractions as possible and even if you eliminate only half of them you’ll increase your productivity dramatically. Doing this allows you more time to focus and you’ll produce work of a much higher standard.
2. Track how you spend your time
The first step to eliminating distractions is knowing how you spend your time. Most of us try to work while we unknowingly let distractions distract us. We do not understand how much time we have wasted on this annoyance. If this sounds like you, you have the power to stop it now.
3. Create your own distraction-free environment
One of the most powerful ways to stop distractions is to create a distraction-free environment. I used to use my Smartphone by my bed as an alarm clock, but I found that I would wake up and instantly check messages.
When I noticed how much time was spent on this activity, I put the phone as far away from my bed as possible and went back to using the traditional alarm clock. Making this small change stops me from checking my messages first and means I can get to work earlier too.
The best way to create a productive environment will all rely on your preferences. One thing you can do is to turn off all notifications on your Smartphone during your working hours, after all it is hard to resist the temptation to read and reply to messages the first time they come in. You’ll be surprised how easy it’s to focus on your work without the distraction of your phone.
If you have a problem with people interrupting you while you work, make some rules about when you will be available and ensure everybody knows about them ahead of time. If you do not see improvement, you may need to move to another location. This will be easy if you’re self-employed but if you work for somebody ask and the boss might let you change offices if that will help your productivity.
4. Time block
Using time blocks is another great way to improve your focus. If you are made to work for five hours straight, you can feel overwhelmed and hopeless. When you know you must work long hours, it is possible that you are deliberately letting distractions get in your way so the time goes by faster. Time blocks are the ideal solution for this situation, if you know you need to focus for the next 45 – 60 minutes it is going to be much easier to focus.
The amount of time you allocate to each block is utterly up to you. Some are comfy with one hour blocks while others prefer to focus on half hour blocks then take a break. If you really have a brief attention span (1), start with just 10 minutes. The way to do it right is to try all the time until you find the one that helps you focus the most.
5. Say no to multitasking
There are numerous articles on mastering multi-tasking. There was a time when multi-tasking appeared to be the best way to get things done quickly. However, multi-tasking is really a recipe for disaster.
The most significant thing in being productive is staying focused and engaged in your work. Switching backward and forward between tasks in fact means you cannot fully engage in anything.
Studies have shown that when you divide your attention between multiple tasks, you get a full pump of adrenaline and stress hormones, which over time affect the way your brain functions reducing your attention span. Multi-tasking also drains your energy very quickly because you are concentrating on several things without delay.
Multi-tasking kills your focus and it takes you longer to complete tasks. Experiments have shown that participants in a study lose most of the time switching between tasks. If you want to be more productive, eliminate the temptation to do too many things without delay. Focus on one task and when it is done, start the next task because it gives you the best chance to focus on everything all the time.
6. Manage your will
Determination is what you need to focus and interact with your work. Will is the ability to direct
yourself to take action and focus on this action consistently. If you haven’t got the willpower to stay on course, it is all too easy to procrastinate. When you have the will, you can operate on a different level. You will find that you have a much easier time concentrating, a greater attention span and are able to solve problems decisively. Discipline yourself is much less effort, this is the beauty of will.
Is will limited?
You can increase your will but you need to understand that will is a limited resource.
There has been plenty of research done on willpower. In the late 90’s Roy Baumeister did an exercise where he placed a plate of warm cookies next to a plate of horseradish. Some participants were allowed to eat cake while the rest only ate radish. At the end of this test of will, all participants had half an hour to solve an unsolvable puzzle.
Those who had used their willpower by eating only radishes gave up on the conundrum after only 8 minutes. Cake eaters lasted 20 minutes. These results show us that those assigned to refuse the cake had exhausted most of their willpower and therefore when it came to the puzzle, they were too exhausted to exert any more effort.
How relevant are these findings to you? As you can see, willpower is a finite resource. If you use it to do one thing, you’ll have less available for something else. You will also find that your willpower drains more quickly if you do any of the following:
Complete big tasks – this is something that requires more focus and attention than any other task. The more self-control it takes to complete a task, the more willpower you need to put to use and this will leave you short on energy.
Forming difficult or new habits – when you form a new habit, your will is drained the same way it does when you complete a big task. The more self-control it takes to master a habit, the more will you’ll use.
Multi-tasking – think of your resolve as the battery for your laptop. The more windows you have running without delay, the quicker your battery will drain, the very same thing happens to your will.
Increase your willpower
It is feasible to refill your willpower when it’s depleted and only you can manage your willpower (2) and refill it when it runs out. Maybe you need to change your lifestyle to become a high achiever.
The following tips can help you increase your willpower and also help you manage it effectively:
Eat healthy – eating the right foods can replenish your energy which is why it is vital to eat healthy food during the day.
Do important tasks first – your brain power is at its peak in the morning, which is why it makes sense to use the start of your day for the most significant thing on your precedence list.
Rest – studies have shown taking breaks during work helps restore willpower. As you work through your daily schedule, make sure to allocate plenty of rest time.
Reduce stress – when you’re stressed, you can’t work efficiently because your brain is focused on the stress in your life. It is this energy that you want to use for your most significant tasks. Try meditation or other stress reduction practices.
Your state of mind
Your internal state will affect your productivity. The majority of individuals spend their time in one of two situations, specifically:
- Reason country
- Paralyzed state
When you are in a state of mind, everything will flow because you are centered and focused. On the other hand being in a paralyzed state is disorienting and makes it very difficult to engage with your work and therefore causes you great frustration. But it does not matter what state you are in because you can move from a paralyzed to a resourceful state by using the following exercise.
Change your state of mind
Change the images you have in your mind because your state of mind is affected by how you see things in your mind. Successful people see things in a way that empowers them to produce results whereas unsuccessful people let their circumstances direct their thinking.
The next time you have a big project, before you start working on it, close your eyes and think a few time when you were in a resourceful state and everything was flowing. What pictures do you see? What are you thinking about? Take note of how you feel, try to hold on to these feelings for so long as you can, then open your eyes and you’ll feel more alert and focused. You should now find that you’re in a state of mind that will help you to stay focused and engaged with the work at hand.
All in posture
There have been many studies linking body language and posture to your internal state. Sitting up straight has been shown to generate positive thoughts and memories. An open, wide posture is also related to increased feelings of power and a willingness to take risks. It therefore makes sense that you need to actually check your posture. Try sitting up straight and standing up straight to ensure your posture is not firm.
When you consistently follow these points, they will become second nature. Once it is ingrained in your mind, you will have the ability to automatically take advantage of resourceful circumstances so that you become much more productive.
Distractions kill your focus and take up plenty of your time. As soon as you stop it, you’ll become more productive
Multi-tasking is a bad strategy, you’ll do more and get better results when you focus on one thing at a time
Your willpower has limited resources. It’s up to you to manage things so that you have enough cash to tackle your most challenging tasks
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article on how to stay focused at work. I actually hope that its content has been of good help to you.