Do you feel like you don’t ever seem to get things done at work? You might plan the perfect day as you’re getting ready, but once you get to work, emails, emergencies, and co-worker distractions change your plans. By the time lunch rolls around, you’re lucky to have even started when you had planned to have finished.
This desperate push and pull on your time doesn’t have to rob you of your focus. These proven methods can help you stay on schedule, stay adaptable to changing work needs, and not feel guilty about taking a 15 minute coffee break if you get a little thirsty.
#1. Take your work offline. Most workplace distractions originate from an online source. Your email and the internet are massive time killers. You can spend 15 minutes composing and email and not even realize it. If you need to stay focused, then unplug your internet connection. Turn your smartphone off. Should someone need you to do something, they’ll come find you.
#2. Swap out your office chair. Sitting at your desk can be incredibly taxing on your body. If you have neck, shoulder, or back pain after a day at work, then this is evidence that your chair is giving you some trouble. Try sitting with proper posture, but that might not be enough if your chair isn’t being supportive. Consider swapping out the old chair for a new one… or try a modern stand-up desk where you don’t even need to sit at all.
#3. Create a list and stick to it. This method has some pros and cons to it. If you fail to accomplish your list, then you’re going to feel even worse about your focus. What a list can do, however, is help you to prioritize what needs to get done. Put items that aren’t due for a few days at the end of the list. A daily and a weekly list can help you stay focused because the required tasks stay within your field of vision.
#4. Install your own deadlines. If a project isn’t due until next week, there’s a good chance you’re not going to start it until next week, right? At work, we are a deadline orientated people. When there is a strict deadline in place, our focus increases because we feel a need to meet that obligation. Instead of looking at the final deadline, try creating daily deadlines for specific tasks to improve your productivity.
#5. Change how you work. Many professionals work in linear terms. This means they start at 8am and keep working until their first break, starting at the beginning and working until the end of what needs to be done. If there is a particularly large task, then the work can seem overwhelming when you get started in the morning and cause you to lose your focus. Break your time and your projects into chunks that are more manageable so you can benefit from a sense of accomplishment every time you achieve something.
#6. Improve your foundation. If you didn’t get much sleep the night before, then your day at work becomes more difficult. The same is true for your lifestyle habits which may alter your energy levels, brain power, and even your emotional stability. Try to add some daily exercise to your routine, look at your eating habits to see if improvements could be made, and establish a bedtime routine if needed. Having a huge caffeine intake to get started shouldn’t be your go-to solution.
Maintaining your professional focus in the hustle and bustle of modern life can be difficult, but it can be done. Look to these 6 proven methods for inspiration to find your focus today.