7 fast ways to focus at work
Because 95% of us zone out
Admit it, you’ve probably lost focus at work at least one time. Don’t be ashamed –95% of us have.
\nAccording to Funders and Founders information design, various research has shown that 95% of working people say they struggle to focus at work. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep your eyes on the prize – even if the prize is just a day’s work. (Getty Images)
1. The to-do list:
\nIt’s hard to focus when you have a million things to do at work and no idea where to start from. That’s where to-do lists come in. To-do lists define organisation. And often, focus and organisation go hand in hand. So every night before bed or every morning when you get to work, write a list of your most important tasks for the day. Just make sure not to make it too long. And whenever you get a task done, check it off your list to know exactly how much you’ve done and how much you have left to do.
2. What makes you lose focus?
\nThere’s always a point in the day when you start to lose focus at work. You start looking around too much, your mind wanders to weekend plans, and somehow you end up on a website that has nothing to do with your job. Notice when that happens and realize what makes you distracted. Is it when you get hungry? Is it when you get bored? Once you know the reason, you can combat it. For example, if it happens when you’re hungry, keep snacks at your desk. If you get bored, the minute you do, take a 5 minute break.
3. Distractions are good:
\nDistractions are like money. If you’re negative about them, they’ll never do you good. Research has shown that one difference between common people and rich people is that common people view money as something evil, while rich people see it as something positive and good. It’s the same with distractions. If you use them as something positive, like rewards for hard work, they can be mini energy boosts. For example, whenever you get two things done, allow yourself five minutes on Facebook. And remember, control your distractions, don’t let your distractions control you.
4. Follow the cross-fit rule:
\nIf you haven’t heard of cross-fit, it’s a form of training that involves high-intensity interval workouts. The idea behind it is to work as many muscles as possible in the shortest time possible. So for example, you run for 10 minutes, squat for 5 minutes, and do pullups for 15 minutes. That way, you work your whole body in one session all in 20 minutes. But what does this have to do with focusing at work? If you use the cross-fit rule of doing different things in a set time frame, you’ll probably get better results at work, too. You’ll also be focusing on them only because you’ll know you have a specific time limit to finish them.
5. Injection of Motivation? Yes please
\nRemember how we mentioned distractions earlier on in the list? We recommended using them as rewards. One distraction you can use as a reward is a quote(s) of motivation. Instead of going on Facebook or chatting with a friend, read work-related motivational quotes. They will help keep you focused on the subject of work and will also put you in the mood to work harder – well, hopefully.
6. Eyes on the prize – literally:
\nHave a framed picture of your end goal or dream job on your desk. And let it motivate you to stay focused on your current job. Even if you don’t like your current job, it’s helping you (through experience or money) to get to your dream job.
7. Don’t spend too much time on emails:
\nWe could probably check our email for hours and not even feel the time pass by. That’s why our last advice on the list is to avoid spending too much time on emails. Set a timer and don’t answer any emails while you’re working unless they’re urgent. In the middle of your work day, give yourself a few minutes to answers the ones you need to answer.