There are so many distractions in modern life that it can be difficult to concentrate when you’re at work. Many people struggle to focus for a variety of reasons and their work quality and their own happiness suffer because of it. Not focusing or concentrating at work can lead you to thinking that it’s your job that’s causes you to be bored and constantly distracted when in actual fact it’s your own behaviour.
Below are 6 tips that will help you increase your focus and concentration and spend less time on distractions.
1. Leave Your Mobile Phone at Home
Of course not everyone has a mobile phone but an ever increasing number of people do. I used to have my phone on my desk and check it very often to see what was happening on social media and browse through apps. Every time you stop concentrating on your work and focus on something else you lose momentum. When you go back to focusing on your work again you have to get back into that frame of mind which can be difficult. Doing this through the day means you keep stopping and starting and not allowing yourself to fully concentrate on your work and get into the zone where you lose track of time because you’re totally focused.
Leave your mobile at home! All of your friends, games and the news will be there when you get back. This will be very challenging to some people due to the strong connection they have with their phones. Start off by taking your phone to work and only turning it on at lunch time.
2. Don’t go on the Internet
If you work at a computer it is very tempting to browse the internet. How much browsing you do depends on how much you can get away with! Knowingly or unknowingly you may be wasting a lot of time on your computer. Similar to the mobile it breaks your concentration. It’s a huge distraction that will nag away at you to stop your work and look at your favourite website.
There are ways you can block yourself from going on particular websites but the best way is to make a commitment to yourself that you aren’t going to go on any websites unless you really need to for work purposes. If you are used to browsing the internet then it may be difficult to completely stop. Limit it to your lunchtime or when you have completed a task.
3. Record What You’re Doing
I got this idea from a friend of mine who works in a legal department where they have to record what they do every 6 minutes. On a sheet of paper or a spreadsheet write down what task you’ve been doing every 6 minutes. It really helps to see how much work you’re getting done and helps you to keep track of what you’ve been doing. By keeping track of your own work you’ll quickly see when you’re being productive and when you are wasting a lot of time.
It helped me to concentrate as I wanted to make sure I was doing something productive in each block of time. The blocks of time start to pass quite quickly which helps you stay focused and spend less time on distractions.
4. Set Daily Goals
By setting yourself goals you will improve your concentration as you will work hard to achieve them and you’ll be less likely to want to spend time on meaningless distractions. At the beginning of each day make a list of three things that you want to accomplish for that day. When you accomplish those things it will make you feel great. If you don’t achieve them then you can carry on working towards them the next day.
Make a list of the larger goals or targets and set yourself dates for when they have to be achieved by. Keep this list on your desk as it will help you to stay focused.
5. Be Grateful
When you’re bored at work or you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing it’s easy to feel annoyed about your job and forget how privileged you are. Millions of people live in absolute poverty and are starving every day. All of those people would absolutely love to have your job!
Think about what you enjoy about your job and all the things you spend your wages on that are important to you. I bet there will be more than you think.
By being grateful for your job it will make you appreciate it more and try harder to stay focused, spend less time on distractions and do the best that you can do.
6. Eat Breakfast
If you don’t eat breakfast in the morning then you’re not going to have the energy to fully concentrate at work and distractions will become more appealing. If you struggle to wake up in the morning make a big effort to get up a bit earlier or prepare the night before so you can have the time to eat breakfast. By eating breakfast your concentration and memory will improve. You need calories for your brain to function at its best. Livestrong recommends a meal of between 350 – 500 calories.
Have a glass of water as soon as you get up. Have a healthy breakfast with some form of carbohydrates or protein to give you energy for the morning .If you’re rushed for time make yourself a smoothie with green vegetables and a banana or have a protein shake.