How to Improve Your Focus at Work
When you are at work, it is a long day and it is common for your focus to wander and make it hard to concentrate on the task at hand. However, this kills your productivity and can put you behind on important projects. There is good news because there are a few simple things that you can do just stay focused on what you are doing. These are simple and in addition to improving your focus, they also increase your productivity. As you increase your productivity, you will also be working toward a higher level of self-development.
The "Five More" Guideline
The five more guideline involves telling yourself to take five more minutes to work on the task. You know you can concentrate and stay focused for five more minutes. This is a trick that athletes use to increase their stamina. They know that they have to push through the point of exhaustion and knowing that there is just five more minutes left allows them to do this. When you are ready to give up on a task, tell yourself that you will give it five more minutes. This will give you a second wind and the motivation that you need to keep going.
Take a Short Break
There are times when you need to walk away from a task or a project for a few minutes to refresh your mind. Take 10 minutes to grab a beverage, take a short walk and stretch. Do not think about what you are working on during this 10 minutes. You can even chat with a coworker, call a friend or check your social media. The key is to take 10 minutes and do something that is not related to what you are working on. Just make sure that this does not last longer than 10 minutes because longer breaks make it harder to get back to what you are working on.
Believe it or not, some people find it easier to focus when they are chewing gum. A lot of college students chew gum when they are taking test to help them concentrate on the questions and answers. This is something easy for you to try. Make sure that the gum has a mint flavor because mint is uplifting and energizing which will further improve your focus.
Make Your Focus Singular
There is no point in focusing on multiple tasks at once if this causes problems with your focus. Instead, pick out one task, give this task all of your attention and once you complete it, move onto the next task. This will allow you to conserve your energy for a single task. Many people find it helpful to complete the more difficult tasks earlier in the day when they naturally have more focus and then save the less important ones for after lunch.
Remove All Distractions
This is very important because if your focus is already off, distractions will just make it worse. Turn off your phone if you can, log out of social media pages, stop checking your email for a short while and remove everything else that distracts you. If you can give yourself just 30 minutes of time that is free of distractions, you will be able to get more done. Ideally, you will be able to do this in 30 minute increments several times per day to improve your focus and maximize your productivity.
Set Mini Goals
Your ultimate goal is the finish the projects and tasks that were assigned to you for the day. This can be very overwhelming to look at the big picture, so break all of these up into steps or mini goals. It is easier to tackle something small and complete it and it is easier to stay focused on something small. For example, if you are working on a major report, break the report down into sections and focus on a single section at a time. As you complete each section this will motivate you to do the next until the entire report is completed.
Start with the five more guideline because this is probably the easiest one and one that you can use for any task. It does work and before you know it, you will accomplish your entire task and notice a higher level of self-development. If you are having a really difficult time focusing, incorporate two of these techniques into a single task. The key is to find what works for you and keeps you focused so that you can finish your work day without issues.
- Rosemary Kitchen
Cardillo, J. A Three-Day Plan to Increase Your Focus. Retrieved on March 12, 2015 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/attention-training/201207/three-day-plan-increase-your-focus
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