As winter slowly comes to an end, so are many of our new year, new me promises. Why? Well, on the whole we set ourselves up to fail with unrealistic expectations. However, not everything needs to be so difficult.
Starting a fresh can be as simple as improve your focus in the office as your struggle to simple shut out the distractions of life around you. By changing a few, simple aspects of your work life you’ll be surprised at just how easy it can be, and in the process become a happier, stress free worker – most of the time.
We’ve pulled together our top tips to improving your focus and all you need to do is find the right techniques for you, know your priorities and stick to them. So ask yourself…
Planning ahead can save you a great deal of both time and effort. Make sure you know what you are doing the night before and have everything ready to go in the morning. There is nothing worse than waking up in a panic, trying to prepare all you bits and pieces for your morning meeting only to rush out of the house and forget your laptop.
Starting your morning off in such a manner will damage your mood immediately and your day will be destined to fail. Not forgetting the valuable time you lose running around. So, prepare for the day ahead, wake up with enough time to enjoy a good breakfast and leave the house with plenty of time to spare.
It is scientific fact that our brains work best in smaller chunks, so segmenting your workload into manageable sections can improve focus tenfold.
The idea is that you don’t spend an entire day working on a single task only to realise that it is already 4pm and you’ve hardly made a dent in your to do list after staring at your screening willing for inspiration. By allowing your brain to ‘breathe’ you will increase your brain functionality rather than lose momentum.
Even sitting at your desk for the majority of the day can be strenuous on our bodies and for many office workers a painful “niggle” in their back has sadly become part of their daily lives.
This type of pain inevitably distracts you from your work. How can you possibly concentrate on the task in hand when your back is screaming out for a decent chair? So why not invest in a decent chair? By significantly improving your posture an ergonomic chair will rid you of these aches and pains and allow you to focus on your days’ work.
For more information on ergonomics whilst sitting check out the following guides:
Rainbow Zebra’s Ergonomic Chair Guide
Oregon State University Ergonomics White Paper
Ergonomics.com Guide: How to Sit at a Computer
It may sound obvious but your office environment can have profound effects on the way you work and therefore your ability to focus. For some a silent work space can be just as distracting as a noisy one and therefore often difficult to resolve as we all have our working preferences.
So take advantage of your working environment and work in silent areas when solving intense, detailed orientated tasks and ambient noise to improve your creative ability when working on creative pieces.
One survey found that around 60% of distractions come from the internet, emails and mobile phones. You therefore need to creative a supportive environment for yourself to work in, distraction free. Constant email can result in you leaving a piece of work mid-way through leaving you completely removed from the original task when you eventually come back to it.
So beat the distraction and ask yourself if you can give up your phone and emails for a few hours a day. No distractions mean increased focus. If giving the internet up for the afternoon entirely is not an option then perhaps you could limit yourself to checking your email and/or hone once every hour.
Sleep and routine will without a doubt improve your focus. However it is often the case then you end up going out for dinner and drinks with friends or colleagues after work, you don’t get in until late and it’s gone 12 again before you climb into bed.
A sleep routine will improve your energy levels throughout the day and therefore your ability to focus. Without sleep you will lose your ability to concentrate. It’s as simple as that. You can even train your brain into a better sleep pattern to not only improve your concentration but eating habits too.
It may often seem like a better idea to keep going with the task in hand but it is more than likely that you’re feeling a bit drained and the quality of your work is affected.
So avoid zoning out and take a break for as little as 5 minutes to keep your energy levels up. Go and chat to a friend for a few minutes, take a walk and get some fresh air or go and grab a (healthy) snack.
Manage Your Day Better
Make sure you are making the most of your working day by learning how to manage your workload that much better. Following our top 7 tips to stay more focused will not only improve your time at the office, but come 5pm you’ll be able to go home knowing that tomorrow will be a good day.
Daniel Wilson is a freelance copywriter passionate about productivity, leadership and management. Catch him on his twitter @danwilson_1986 or email him if you’re interested in working together.
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