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Tips to help you stay focused at work

Hey, we’ve all done it. The ‘act like you’re doing something’ move when you’re a little tired and lacking in concentration, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. Some would say a little procrastination now and then is healthy – it can allow your mind to reconfigure to tackle your tasks with a fresh outlook. However, like anything, it becomes an issue when it affects the pace in which you work and how efficiently you manage your workload.

You’re probably procrastinating right now as you’re reading this but we’ll overlook that for the moment and get on with your road to recovery.

The first thing that needs to happen is for your mobile phone (unless it’s a work phone) to be removed from your sight. Yep, that’s right, take it away. Put it in your bag, coat pocket, locker, wherever. Put it somewhere that’s safe and out of sight. Mobile phones are probably the biggest distraction from your actual work, just bear that in mind in the next situation when you’re tempted to pick it up. After all, if you can live without your phone for a few hours, you’re onto a great start!

Next is music. Music is a brilliant way to keep yourself going throughout the day, but don’t be tempted to use the radio. Radio charts are filled with ads and ‘breaking news’ that can often pull your attention away from what you’re supposed to be doing. Instead, why not opt for a streaming service like Spotify Premium or Apple Music to block out the ads? (If you don’t want to splash the cash to cut out the ads you can always just make a YouTube playlist of your favourite tunes and add an Ad Blocker extension to your Chrome Web Browser). I know, you can’t believe you never thought of that sooner.

Okay, so we have music and mobiles under control, the next thing we need to control is eating.

You personally may not have tendencies to eat at your desk, and that’s brilliant. If you do it may be worth considering reducing the frequency of your snacking. If you’re hungry and it’s affecting your concentration, by all means eat something – we’re not monsters. However, if you’re eating for the sake of boredom, maybe that’s a sign that you’re not occupying yourself enough and should probably take a second look at your to-do list.

On the topic of bodily functions, let’s talk about sleep. Again, this is a relative topic – you may be the kind of person who loves nothing more than a long night’s sleep after a hot drink, you may not. However, there are night owls out there who maybe don’t sleep until the early hours of the morning sometimes. This can affect how you progress through your workload, if you’re tired you’re most likely going to be thinking about sleep rather than what you could (and should) be doing at work.

So, how do we tackle it? Use all of the previous tips; don’t eat before bed, put your phone down when you want to get to sleep and maybe listen to some ad-free, relaxing music to help you get your zen on. If you’re still a bit tired in the morning we suggest taking a shower to freshen you up or you could have a hot cup of tea or coffee to get your brain in action.

The last thing on our list of how to stay focused would be to prioritise your time effectively. Work out how much time you have to spend on certain tasks (considering the complication of each task) and stick to it. Be realistic about your time goals – it’s pointless putting pressure on yourself to finish a big task in a small amount of time when you know it isn’t possible and by doing this you’ll open yourself up to thinking more about the time you have left rather than the work itself.

Focus is imperative to being a great employee, you’ll get noticed for your great work if you’re persistent at it.

Do you know what else gets noticed in the working world? Digital Skills.
Read our blog on ‘Why Digital Skills Are Vital For Your Future’ here.

Amy Smith

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