Whether you’re working remotely or back on-site, work is filled with endless distractions. Maybe your kids are running around or your coworker wants to catch up on gossip, or perhaps you just can’t seem to stay off your phone. But it’s important to stay focused, and not let the distractions hurt your productivity. Here are five tips to stay focused at work.
Clutter is a distraction itself, and a messy workstation can make it tough to find what you need. Take a few minutes every afternoon, just before you leave for the day, to straighten and organize. Throughout the day, as you finish one project, put everything away before moving on to the next. Soon, clutter will be one less distraction for you to face.
Break It Down
Break down large projects into small, manageable goals. Then break each day down into an hourly schedule. It’s easier to focus when you know it’s for a limited amount of time, and checking off each hour’s to-do list can inspire you to move on to the next.
Find Your Zone
Some people work best in absolute quiet, while others need some music or other background noise. Some focus more easily in short bursts, while others prefer more sustained concentration. Even the comfort and ergonomics of your workstation can make a huge difference in your focus and productivity. Take some time to analyze how you work best, and then do what you can to set yourself up for success.
Even if you prefer sustained concentration over bursts of intense focus, you can’t just keep going indefinitely. When it’s time for your break, stand up and walk away from your work. Get some fresh air if possible, or at least take a nice long walk around the worksite. Drink some water, eat a small healthy snack, and take some deep breaths. You’ll be ready to focus again when you return to your workstation.
Multitasking sounds like the perfect way to do more in less time, but it rarely works. More often, you’ll just slow yourself down and set the stage for your mind to wander to something else altogether. Focus on one task at a time, and you’ll become more productive overall.