Did you know what the ability to focus and concentrate is at an all-time low. Each and every day, it seems, there are more distractions. With smart phones it is too easy to get distracted and be “entertained” for long periods of time. While we may be “entertained” we are actually being distracted from more important things! Being able to avoid distractions is a skill that takes time to develop, but I believe it is an important and necessary skill.
In this blog post I am going to give you some tips to help you focus more in work, which will not only help you in your job but also in all aspects of your life.
When you get more focused you’re going to be accomplish so much more.
Let’s start with a really easy one
- Change your chair! Let’s face it, most of us spend hours sitting in a chair. Yet many people don’t have a comfortable chair. Now if you are working in an office you may not have much choice, however remember to check you local health and safety laws as companies may be required to have a certain type of chair! Did you know that the more comfortable you are the less prone you are to distractions! It makes sense you’re not going to move around so much.
- Prioritise. Review your to do list (you have one right!?) and find out what the most important things are that will have the biggest impact on your day/week and do them first at the start of the day! For many, the first few hours of the day can be the most productive. During this time there are less distractions – so make sure you do the toughest things first.
- Block out the noise. Believe it or not you may be getting distracted and not even realise it, that’s because there may be a lot of background noise that is distracting you. Chatter, phones ringing and more. The modern office environment can be more disruptive than productive. One thing you may find useful is to wear headphones and listen to some music. Often it is better to listen to music with no words as the words themselves my be distracting! I actually find that Brain.fm is a great source of brain music!
- Don’t be late. If you arrive late for work you are going to spend more time trying to catch up. By the time the day ends you will still be catching up, and this is going to cause you even more stress. Thus you should change your morning routine to ensure you arrive on time to work – or at least without rushing.
- Don’t have distractions on your computer. Your computer could be a distraction! You may have programs that distract, this could include your browser! Do you know that your browser is the doorway to distraction? By opening your browser you could be led to facebook, twitter, or any one of a thousand different sites and we all know what happens next! There are actually plugins that can help you block those sites so that you may only see them for a limited amount of time or not at all.
- All work and no play is bad. Many people believe that you should work, work, work and you will be more productive. But believe it or not it is probably better to work in smaller blocks of time. Many would say anything from 15 minutes to 45 minute blocks are ideal. Thus taking more breaks may actually make you more productive.
- Keep hydration close. Drinking water is great and is necessary for your health, however, jumping up and going to the water cooler every 15 minutes can lead you down the path of distraction! Why? Because anything can happen on the way to, at, or on the way back from the water cooler. You being to talk about something, you then start to think about what you were talking about and you know where that leads you? Down Distraction Boulevard!
- Tidy desk policy. Give yourself ten minutes at the end of the day to tidy up your desk. This means when you arrive in the following day you are ready for work and you don’t waste time looking for things. Being greeted by a tidy desk each day helps you start the day a fresh.
Research has shown that out of the 8 hours you may spend in the office perhaps only 5 or 6 of those hours are actually productive. The other hours of the day are wasted on smoking breaks, coffee breaks, chit chatting or surfing the net!
Imagine if you became more focused, distraction free. How could that change your work life? I think it could make you stand out. Remember all of these tips can work equally well in your personal life too!