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How to Stay Focused at Work

 

Whether you are working remotely or at the office, it can be hard to maintain focus throughout the day. The increasing use of technology is making it more difficult for the brain to concentrate on one task at a time. Fortunately, with the right mindset and practice, you can train your mind to stay present longer.

Use these tips to improve your focus throughout the workday.

Reduce Distractions

Take away everything you can that interrupts your thought process. This includes turning off your email and text notifications, closing your social media pages, and shutting your office door. Clarify that unless there is an emergency, you are not to be disturbed during work time. You need your environment to be as quiet as possible to be productive.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Create a list of your most important work for the day. Rank each item by its level of importance. This lets you focus first on what absolutely has to get done. Set a timeframe to accomplish each task. Completing one item at a time lets you feel less stressed about what you need to accomplish later.

Focus on One Task

Direct your attention to one item at a time. The brain is not designed to multitask. Moving from one focal area to another takes time to adjust. Doing this in rapid succession results in greater errors and poorer quality of work. Instead, fully complete one task before moving to another. You will more efficiently complete it and feel motivated to move to the next item.

Train Your Mind

Engage in brain training activities that improve your cognitive abilities. Two excellent examples are meditation and yoga. Instructing your mind to be more disciplined helps you pay attention to the work you need to complete each day.

Take Regular Breaks

Schedule time throughout each day to rest and recharge. Your brain needs time to disengage. This is especially important if you are stuck on a task and need time to think through a solution. Leave your work area to take a walk, read a book, or listen to music. During your lunch hour, eat healthy foods, talk with coworkers in the breakroom, or connect with your family. Come back ready to tackle the rest of your work for the day.

Maintain Adequate Sleep

Be sure to get enough deep sleep every night. This helps you remain in your best physical and mental state. You stay alert, engaged, and productive.

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How to Avoid Distractions When Working Remotely

The option for remote working promised us more freedom and greater productivity. Yet, what many didn’t realize is that working from home (or elsewhere outside the office) requires new ways of working.

While there are many distractions at the office, there is also an equal number outside it. And there’s no one to catch you staring at your phone, browsing the internet, or giving in to other distractions.

Do you find yourself fighting an uphill distraction battle? Use these tips to avoid distractions wherever you work now.

Four Ways To Focus When Working Remotely

Use Background Noise

Many of us long to work in a quiet space when in a busy office, but working in a quiet room can make you hyper-aware of distractions.

You may find it easier to focus by using background noise to simulate the outside world or increase your focus. Music or the radio can do the trick for some, but you may also find it smart to try options like Brain.FM, which drives your brain to focus on the task at hand. 

Even background noise like a video of coffee shop background noise on YouTube or from Coffivity could get the creative juices flowing.

Find a Rhythm for New Modes of Work

Whether you now work from home, a co-working space, or your car while running errands, your workflow will differ compared to the office. For many people, sitting down for three solid hours of uninterrupted work is not a possibility outside the confines of HQ. If that’s you, don’t try to force it.

If you have the flexibility, try a new rhythm for work. You might change the hours you work during the day, break the day up into chunks, or even reduce your daily hours and spread them over the whole week.

Play around and find what works for you.

Stand Up and Take Breaks

You stare at your screen blankly and then give up and divert yourself away from the task at hand in favor of reading the news, responding to messages, or online shopping. All of a sudden, six hours have passed, and you still can’t get back to work.

In 2020, a study found that 95% of employees no longer take as many breaks, despite having more freedom when working from home.

Make it a point to stand up and take a short break. Set a timer or use a method like the Pomodoro technique. Taking more breaks leaves you feeling refreshed and helps you avoid distractions.

Turn on Anti-Distraction Mode on Your Phone

Do you ever pick up your phone and find 20 minutes passed without you noticing? Without anyone to stop you, it’s easy to find yourself scrolling through Twitter for hours on end.

Anti-distraction mode helps protect you from notifications, and for most, it’s built right into your phone. If you need an extra hand, try an app like Freedom or RescueTime to lock you out of the biggest time-sucks on your phone.

Remote work is here to stay, but you may need to find new productivity hacks that reflect your new environment.

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