Concentrating at work requires a great amount of effort. Unfortunately, the fact that our lifestyles offer several distractions that kill our focus, such as mobile phones, multi- tasking, disturbing thoughts and stress, doesn’t help make it any easier. Still, there are fairly easy ways to improve your concentration quickly and effectively to boost your work quality and efficiency.
In order to combat poor concentration at work, German doctor Annette Val Fachendorf, a member of the German Association of Firms and Factories Physicians, advises employees to leave work tasks for a while and chat with their colleagues to restore application and attention.
Val Fachendorf also recommends drinking plenty of fluids, as poor concentration is not necessarily linked to the length of work time and can sometimes be attributed to not knowing about the importance of providing the body with fluids. She adds the best solution to solve poor concentration at work is allocating time for rest, saying that taking a short walk during the break, for example, increases energy and concentration and helps to accomplish work tasks faster.
According to the German doctor, it is advisable for employees to sit in a quiet place and try to find out why their attention span is poor. Some reasons may include not sleeping enough, constant pressure or juggling many ideas at the same time.
1. Prioritise the work
You can improve your focus by handling the big jobs first and leaving the small stuff till last. Make a list of what tasks are the most important.
2. Limit social media and email checks
The continuous pings of incoming emails and messages can quickly distract even the most attentive people. If you are already prone to diversion, these incoming signals can derail the whole day. The best thing is to set aside specific times to check your inbox, WhattsApp messages and the World Wide Web.
3. Break it down
Taking on too many tasks at once may well leave you feeling overwhelmed. If you feel stressed or anxious about a big job, divide it into smaller, more manageable parts so you feel more focused. Set realistic goals one day at a time, or even one hour at a time.
4. Use a timer
Setting a timer to go off at certain times during the day can help bring a meandering mind back to the task that needs to get done. When it goes off it can help you check if you’re getting all the important work done. If you’re not, it’s a reminder to get back to what you were doing. You can also use a timer to try to gradually extend your attention span.
5. Keep a neat workspace
Having a tidy, clean work space can help improve organisation and focus, but note that moving things around on your desk can have a negative effect too. Basically, don’t make cleaning your desk an excuse to stop working when you have deadlines looming.
Feeling stressed can aggravate distraction, so it’s important to take breaks that help you relax. You can do this by meditating, deep breathing or using imagery, which all help you feel focused and recalibrated. Another advantage is that it will aid you in sorting out what is really urgent.