Whether you’re a freelancer, full-time team member, manager or intern, a solid work ethic can make all the difference in professional performance. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to stay focused if you’re worried about personal matters or get easily sidetracked during high-production times. If you are trying to figure out how to concentrate on work, start by determining what’s impeding your focus.
Why You Might Be Distracted
Your work environment could be one reason it’s hard to concentrate during the day. When the atmosphere is too hectic or noisy, it is often difficult to get work done. Though collaboration is an important aspect of many jobs, coworkers might be disrupting your concentration with questions and chatter.
If the workday doesn’t have a specific structure, you might be more likely to get off task as well. “Winging it” often results in wasting time or getting overwhelmed by so-called urgent tasks rather than working methodically through what needs to be accomplished.
Personal issues and stress outside of work is another common reason for lagging concentration. Feeling tired or worried, especially with the added anxiety of the coronavirus pandemic, can affect your overall well-being. Attempting to work productively amid these troubles can be a tug of war with your attention span. Don’t give up, though — keep reading for a few tips on how to focus better at work.
How to Keep Focused at Work
Learning how to stay on task at work can take time, whether you physically go to an office or have shifted to a work from home arrangement. Still, with the right mindset and dedication, you can start to benefit from successful and constructive workdays.
Invest in a traditional planner and note system
It’s easy to forget or misplace notes or documents. Writing everything down in one place trains you to organize each day. A visual schedule, such as a daily to-do list, keeps tasks and goals in sight.
Structure the workday
Aim to accomplish priority items in the morning, or designate items on the to-do list for specific hours of the day.
Sitting at a desk all day isn’t good for the back, hips or attention span. Avoid remaining sedentary for too long and take a five-minute walk every hour or so. A short break from work can refresh your mind for the next task.
Organize your workspace
If you’re working from home, you probably don’t have all the resources the office provided. Maintain a clean space that supports the kind of focus necessary to accomplish assignments. Try to find an area that allows for an uninterrupted workday.
Keep your personal phone out of reach.
You’re more likely to be distracted by notifications, texts and alerts if your phone is too close. Tuck it in a drawer or store it across the room to avoid the temptation of checking it too often.
Dress the part, even when working from home.
You will probably feel more inclined to lounge on the couch or work in bed if you’re wearing PJs or sweatpants all day. Stick to a regular routine as much as possible.
If you’ve been wondering how to maintain focus at work in a stressful time, these suggestions may help. Pillar Booth’s modern, soundproof phone booth is another resource to block out noise and strengthen concentration. Focusing at work is not a hopeless aspiration. Combine the strategies and tools that are most effective for you, and prepare to see the workday transformed.
Image credit: Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash
Sign up to our newsletter.