Last week was yet another productive work week, thanks to our tips on staying focused at work and a few extra tricks for boosting productivity from last month’s series. This week, I want to share with you a few more tips on how to stay focused at work.
- Find a quiet place
In an article published by Scientific America, a study shows that “Background or Low-Level noise in the home, work or school often disrupts people’s concentration. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, ambient noise also affects people’s health by increasing general stress levels and aggravating stress-related conditions such as high blood pressure, coronary disease, peptic ulcers and migraine headaches. Continued exposure does not lead to habituation; in fact, the effects worsen.”
Anyone familiar with cortisol? Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is normally released by the body during times of stress. Cortisol is not the enemy, Cortisol actually helps us deal with stress by regulating unnecessary functions, like reproduction and the immune system, in order to allow the body to refocus all energies toward dealing whatever is causing us stress at the moment. But if the body produces too much, that causes all kinds of trouble. So best to avoid noise and try to work in a quiet place, especially if the task calls for absolute concentration.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule
Here’s how it works: Stare at a distant object that is at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. What this does is refocus your eyes and clears your head. Trust me, this will come in handy when you’ve already been staring at your computer screen for hours at a time. Before your eyes glaze over from tiredness, try this nifty little exercise and rest your tired eyes.
Get a good night’s sleep
The benefits of a good night’s sleep are so many i can’t even begin to tell you how important being well rested is. Not all of us have the luxury of getting enough sleep thoug. I’ve written about the challenges of getting enough sleep, some myths, and how to get enough sleep. Read about it here, here, and here.
If there’s ever a major culprit for lack of focus, it would be not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation impairs our ability to focus and to learn. Sleep is important to make memory “stick” so that we can recall the information when we need it. Lack of sleep obliterates the three most important functions we need to focus and recall information.
- Work offline
I’m not talking about working without an internet connection. That would be counter productive. What I’m saying is to avoid time waster and social media distractions. Remember when we talked about multitasking as actually being detrimental instead of being a good thing. So, switching from social media to your task at hand is actually multi tasking. It takes your focus off the immediate work, and part of your attention stays with the distraction instead of the task.
Next week will be the last of this series of tips to help you stay focused at work. If you want to share any tips we haven’t discussed yet, feel free to share them in the comments. We’d love to hear from you! As always, remember to: Stay Humble, Hustle Hard. Good luck!
Written by Jaie O.- The Help