With dozen of things on our minds and around us, sometimes we all struggle to focus on particular tasks, especially if they are mundane ones. Other factors affect our ability to concentrate, too, like time-wasting habits or not fueling our bodies properly.
If you often find it hard to focus, it’s difficult to perform at your best. Luckily, when you need help to get you through the day, there are several techniques you can try out to complete work quicker.
It’s all about building good habits, so let’s dig into five effective tips for better focus at work!
1. Fuel your body properly
Caffeine can indeed equip you with extra energy, but it’s all about moderation. Small doses of caffeinated beverages have cognitive-enhancing properties, but on the flip side, drinking too much coffee will tire you out and lead to anxiety and nervousness.
Another essential aspect of keeping your brain sharp and focused is sticking to balanced, nutritious meals.
When discussing substances that help your body function at an optimal level, there is a shortcut to boost your memory, motivation, creativity, and cognitive function. Try out nootropic drinks, one of the most popular natural supplements focused on brain and memory health.
They are packed with natural ingredients that contribute to increased productivity over long periods, more restful sleep, and nervous system protection. And as a bonus, these smart drinks result in better overall health.
When your body is fueled correctly, you can easily take action and attack that project in front of you!
2. Minimize distractions
Imagine this: new emails keep popping up in your inbox, your phone is ringing, your colleagues are chatting about their plans for the weekend, and your boss expects a report from you. It can get quite annoying and negatively impact your productivity.
Start with closing the door to your office if you have one or moving to a quiet area, and tell your colleagues not to distract you for a certain period.
Turn off noisy notifications for email, Facebook, and other apps, and block distracting websites like social media pages. Since your brain has to process a lot of information while browsing social networks, it drains energy.
And if you need a bit of help, you can utilize distraction blocking apps.
3. Try out the Pomodoro technique
When you are focused, you can do more in less time. But the truth is that nobody can work for hours on full steam without getting overwhelmed and exhausted. Instead, try out a powerful time management method that alternates focused work sessions with frequent short breaks.
The Pomodoro technique is based on training your brain to stay focused on a task for a short period.
You concentrate on a single task for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. When your session ends, record what you’ve completed to boost your motivation and get a sense of accomplishment. After four such sessions, you get to take a longer, more restorative 15-30 minute break.
Bear in mind that short breaks help maintain a steady level of performance since our brains aren’t designed to retain attention for long hours.
4. Plan ahead and stay mindful!
Not having a proper plan is one of the key reasons behind losing focus. Scheduling your tasks hour by hour will give a structure to your workday and help you prioritize your responsibilities. Also, it is a great exercise that will provide you with that extra push when you are wrestling with your attention span.
With a realistic hourly-work plan, you’ll know what to do when and what you need to accomplish during a workday.
And for those times when your mind wanders away, you can maintain awareness of where you are and what you are doing by practicing breathing techniques, meditation, and mindful movement like yoga. These practices can help you train your brain to bring your focus back quickly.
5. Organize your to-do list and set clear deadlines
Studies have confirmed that a written plan of action can increase productivity. But, huge and chaotic to-do lists can be motivation hinders. The best way to organize your to-do list and get things done is to choose two or three key tasks and put them at the top of your list.
Then rank the rest of them according to their importance. This way, you’ll deal with urgent tasks while you’re rested and your energy levels are up.
Setting clear deadlines for all the tasks creates a sense of urgency and motivates you to focus on a particular task.
With a complex project or a time-consuming task in front of you, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and procrastinate. If you break it down into smaller, bite-sized tasks that can be achieved in less than one day, you’ll feel rewarded and confident each time you complete a part.
By Peter Minkoff
Peter is a lifestyle and travel writer at Men-Ual magazine, living between Ústí nad Labem and Antwerp. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.