In all work environments the pressures ebb and flow, during different times of the year, new product launches etc. other activities depending on the business and function you are working in. At times we feel that we are in control of our work and that’s good, but at other times we are lost when unexpected issues, setbacks or pressures from colleague’s absence may cause tensions and stress. It is in such scenarios that if you keep your focus and manage our productivity levels that you can easily come out on top.
In the digital environment we are working in today, it is becoming more and more difficult to focus. Research shows that the human brain is finely attuned to distractions. Your colleagues visit, meetings, emails, messages, phone calls are all happening at the same time and are demanding your time and attention. Dealing with them all, while understanding the limitations of yourself and your brain, can help you to improve your focus and also increase your productivity.
TRY the following tips to become more focused and productive as well :
- JUMPSTART YOUR METABOLISM : There is a growing tendency these days to skip breakfast – the most important meal of the day. Studies have found that eating breakfast can help improve attention and concentration, too. So in order to have a productive day eat a healthy breakfast to begin it.
- PLANNING AHEAD : Envision what your work day will be like before it begins, so that you know what to expect and mentally prepare yourself accordingly. Begin the day by writing down what needs to be done and what you need to accomplish as well, to help you stay on track and accomplish your goals.
- MANAGE DISRUPTIONS : According to surveys, nearly 60% of disruptions at work come from emails, social media, and cell phones. So if you do not require the internet for any tasks put it off. Put your phone on silent and set a time for checking emails. Limit your time on social media too by maybe spending 10 minutes during your lunch break on Facebook.
- CHALLENGING TASKS FIRST : We tend to try and clear small things first. Instead, focus on creative or tasks requiring a lot of concentration when you are fresh in the morning, full of energy and focus. Keep the afternoon for when productivity is at a lower level to do routine work, like clearing your desk, emails, relationship building and so on.
- UTILIZE YOUR TIME : Research also shows us that we are really focused only for an average of 6 hours a week. So it’s up to us how we utilize that time. Study yourself, identify your peak time for focusing best and then use that window to work on your toughest tasks. Also, studies show that 90% people do their best creative thinking outside the office. So see how you can work on that aspect too.
- TAKE SHORT BREAKS : A short break helps to refresh a person to return to work again full of energy and enthusiasm. So, it is more beneficial than a waste of time. Remember trying to get to the office early, working through lunch, and staying late doesn’t necessarily mean that you are more productive and will get more done. Short sessions of concentrated work followed by a quick break can be more beneficial than never taking a breather, since that will only ultimately cause the brain to burn out.
- TEACH YOUR MIND : We need to train our mind to concentrate and focus by removing all distraction and directing our attention to a single job. We can do so, by practicing and improving our concentration levels by turning off all sources of distraction and focusing on one task only. Make a small start by 5-10 minutes and expand to larger amounts of time.
It is very easy to become distracted at work for an average office worker. However we should realize that finding focus and concentrating on a job or task will help us to get it done much more easily. So learning to zero in on a task and avoiding all distractions will also assist us to be more productive during a working day.
Ultimately, the goal is not that of constant focus, but a short period of distraction-free time every day. “Twenty minutes a day of deep focus could be transformative,” says David Rock, author of ‘Your Brain at Work’