We are busy people, every single one of us. If you wonder how to stay focused at work, there are some simple recommendations to follow.
We have a finite number of days on this earth and an infinite number of things that we want to get accomplished. It may not be possible to always get everything done, but we can make it possible to get most things done. Reducing the stimuli in your work to stay focused on the task at hand makes it possible to reduce the time it takes to get things done.
Here are 6 simple ways to stay focused at work:
Whatever you do, don’t listen to music
I know that we all living to tunes while we work; music is just enjoyable that way. But, when like conversation during work, music can totally take away from what it is that we are trying to focus on. It, in a way, eats at our very, very, very limited bandwidth, taking away from the level of attention that we direct towards our work.
If you’re like me and tend to try and pay attention to various things all at once, this can become a real detriment to you. (There may be a workaround to cutting all music out that I haven’t tried. If you’ve found one contact me, I need to know what it is.)
Leave. The Phone. Alone.
Electronic devices can and will become huge distractions; believe me, I’ve experienced it firsthand. A business or school-related activity such as promotion on social media or checking your calendar can turn that steals minutes (even hours for some) away from us.
Understanding that devices sap us of our ability to stay focused lead me to one conclusion; We must leave them alone while doing any type of work that requires full attention. Using my phone as an example; when I’m typing a blog post, trading, or doing any type of homework, I place my phone on silent and place it far, far away from my desk.
By placing my phone in an area that is far from reach can reduce the possibility of my attention being called away from the task at hand and onto the device. Even turning the phone off can do the trick for some.
I’ve found that giving myself time to get rejuvenated and back on track works wonders for my ability to stay focused. The break itself doesn’t have to be very long (10-15 minutes works) it has to be long enough to take the pressure off of your brain for a decent length of time.
For example: Between completion of tasks or on 1-hour intervals, I like to get up and work on a Rubik’s cube for 10 minutes. Working on the cube gives my brain a bit of breathing room which in turn allows me to tackle the work that I’m doing with a sustained level of ferocity.
A cup of joe will perk you right up
I love me some coffee, I can’t lie. A side effect of the energy that coffee gives us is the ability to apply an even greater level of focus to our work. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced great difficulty in trying to get something done (partly because I was tired, so make sure to see below) and I drunk a cup of coffee and went to knock out all the work that needed to be done.
I must warn you that coffee works best when it’s drunk in moderation and not when you already have an intense level of focus.
Get enough rest
This is so so important! Missing sleep, while it may seem like something that improves your productivity kills it. It’s a myth among entrepreneurs that it should be glorified, that we are “dying” for our craft. It shouldn’t be praised at all. Missing sleep not only slows down our brain’s ability to process information, but it also takes away from our ability to stay focused on the task at hand.
Think about it, have you ever been tired on any given day and found that you couldn’t pay attention to anything that you were doing? That was because of the lack of sleep and its effects on; attention, cognitive processing ability, problem-solving etc.
Again, I’ve experienced the effects of lack of sleep and the blow that it deals to focus. So, in short, get some sleep guys!
Multi-tasking, it will kill you!
When you are multi-tasking, you are by definition, not focusing. Paying attention to many things at one time effectively destroys your productivity and ensures that things don’t get accomplished. To resolve this issue, prioritize your activities and finish them one at a time.
This will aid you in efficiently using your time and may even help you get things done faster than before.
Although our minds like to pay attention to a million things a minute, it isn’t feasible. Since we have so limited an amount of time, we must make sure that we’re using it efficiently. Using our time efficiently means, prioritizing and cutting out the elements that take away from your focus.
Once you do this, you’ll find that you’ll be able to get things done faster which leads to you having more time to do with as you please. Rest up, leave the gadgets alone, and never ever think that it’s necessary to multi-task.