This is my last installment to this month’s series of articles that talk about tips on how to stay focused at work. With small distractions and a lot of ad hoc tasks that gets sent to us within a work day, the challenge is to stay focused all throughout. These 3 tips complete the series. Read on!
- Establish a favorite focus spot
Our brain operates on 2 systems. Let me try to explain the basics of these 2 systems. System 1 is grounded on involuntary systems. It is a network that is always on and makes automatic decisions for us. Like how we turn our heads when someone calls our name out, or how we pull our hand back when we touch hot surfaces. System 2 runs the voluntary responses Based on suggestions from system 1, it processes information and makes decisions. It also chooses where we direct our attention.
When work gets a little too repetitive, we often struggle to concentrate. It might feel daunting to even start work. Sometimes, we just don’t know how to begin. But if you are lucky enough to find a nice quiet spot where you get all your brain work done, then please, stick to this spot. It runs on the premise that there are things you can train your brain to do automatically. Having a favorite focus spot eliminates the need to waste time choosing where to work. It puts you on automatic mode and tells your brain that “this is a place where I can do efficient work.” You automatically get into the mindset of focusing on the task at hand.
- Devote specific hours to tasks
Have you ever worked a 12 hour shift? How did you feel after that? I bet your answer is…TIRED. Understandably, it would be very hard to focus if you are tired. So try to keep your work within the limits of a normal work day, that’s 8-9 hours. Don’t forget to take regular breaks to boost your concentration and improve your focus.
Not only does the length of time you work affect your focus, but the timing does as well. Your body clock is a factor on how well you could focus on work. So try to understand your circadian rhythm. Morning larks obviously have no problems performing their best work in the morning. And night owls are at their best and most efficient when working at night.
- Embrace boredom
When you’re supposed to be taking a break, avoid keeping yourself distracted by different forms of stimuli (yes, games and social media count). You are just fooling yourself with more stimulation disguised as relaxing activities. This might become a habit as you need more and more activities (like games or social media) to sustain you during what is supposed to be your down time. Breaks are important in restoring your focus and improving your concentration. How about we all embrace doing nothing for a change?
There you have it! 15 tips on how to stay focused at work. I hope you found this series helpful! Tell us what works for you in the comments. We’d love to hear about your experiences. As always, remember to: Stay Humble, Hustle Hard. Good luck!
Written by Jaie O.- The Help