In this day and age, people have become multitaskers. Cooking with the TV or radio on, reading a book while listening to music, and working on the computer while answering calls. With the advancement in technology, it has become even more challenging to keep the focus on a single activity before moving on to another one.
Multitasking works for some, but it actually does more harm than good. Keeping your focus on only one task per period results in an increase in productivity, and better work output.
What is Focus?
Focus is defined as the capacity of one person to concentrate on the most urgent problem or task. A focused person has their eyes and mind on only one thing.
Their attention is only directed to the task at hand rather than being distracted by anything and everything around him. It is also one of the most neglected skills among workers.
Due to the number of tasks we have on our to-do list in the workplace, many people think that working on small parts of these different tasks would do them better. Contrary to popular belief, this actually slows down your pace.
Hence, it is important for one to improve focus at work. Having a high level of focus in each task not only results in finishing the task early but a better outcome as well.
How to improve focus at work?
Improving focus at work is no easy task. Distractions are everywhere, added to the multitasking habit we have developed over time. Nevertheless, here are 8 simple tips you can add to your routine to help improve focus at work:
1. Get enough rest
An adult is advised to have at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day. Reaching these numbers of hours will bring nothing but good results to your body, and your performance at work. A good night’s rest will keep your brain alert and focused.
Having little to no sleep not only makes us irritable when things don’t go our way, but it also limits our capacity to think of better ways to approach and solve any issues that arise at work.
Exercise does not only make you physically healthy; it also has some positive effects on your mind. Exercising can also improve focus. Physical activity stimulates the brain and aids in improving memory and concentration. Not only that but exercising in the morning can also help keep you energized all throughout the day.
3. Choose your work area wisely
We tend to perform less effectively at work when we don’t have the proper office space set up. If given a chance, choose an area where you can perform at your best.
Some people prefer an office with air conditioning and fewer distractions, others prefer being by the window to enjoy the fresh air and have a view of the outside world while working. With the new normal, many have shifted to working from home permanently.
With this setup, you have more freedom in choosing the best work-conducive area in your home. Having a designated home office area with a proper ergonomic setup in terms of posture, lighting and sufficient desk space will help you focus better as you make the mental transition from leisure to office time.
4. Play some music
Music also plays a big role in keeping other people’s focus at work on a high level. Classical music is proven to calm one’s mind and increase focus. Others work better when they listen to their favorites or upbeat songs.
Unsure if this tip works for you? Give this playlist a try while you work; it can help increase your productivity and lessen your stress while you work.
5. Make a to-do list
If you aren’t into writing, you can opt to have it typed on your phone or computer. You can be fully detailed with your list, or keep it simple. Whatever works for you.
Writing things down has been proven helpful in accomplishing more tasks at work. It also helps in remembering the tasks needed to be done for the day, rather than just relying on your memory, which at times can fail.
When writing a to-do list, make sure that you prioritize. Breakdown the tasks into smaller groups so you won’t get too overwhelmed with the amount of work needed to be done. It is best to start with the most difficult or urgent one as you have more energy in the morning.
After finishing this, you can easily breeze through the rest of the tasks on your list. When doing this, try to give yourself time to finish a certain task as well. Alloy an hour or two in completing your first task, or 3 to 4 hours in finishing the next. You can use this timer to get things started.
7. Eat good fats
A good night’s sleep and exercise are both helpful in improving focus at work. In addition, you should also consider the food that you take. Taking in a lot of good fats like avocado, eggs, nuts, and coconut oil are some examples.
Intermittent fasting is also suggested to help in improving focus. While doing so, you can opt to break your fast by choosing food rich in good fats.
8. Take breaks
An overworked mind can only work at a bare minimum. Giving yourself breaks from time to time will give you some rest, and it refreshes your mind, which creates more room for new ideas. A well-rested mind works better compared to a clouded one.
When you have been staring at your computer screen far too long without any new ideas in mind, it’s high time that you hit pause. Step away from your computer, walk around the house, your office, or better yet, stroll outside for a few minutes. According to research, the color green is good for the brain. It eases the mind and improves concentration. Hence, that walk outside with nature is a must when you feel stuck.
Improving focus at work is not a walk in the park. It requires determination, discipline, and time. It does not happen overnight. Nevertheless, it can happen. You can increase your focus at work by trying these simple tips. Make it into a habit, and soon enough you’ll be ticking task after task on your to-do list.