Keeping your mind on the job at hand can be quite the challenge. It may seem that you live a groundhog day of the following scenario – It’s the beginning of the day and you advise yourself that today you are going to complete five specific tasks. Now it’s not that you aren’t committed to your goal, but you end up chatting to a friend, replying to a few emails and catching up on social media, let’s admit it, that pretty sums up most of us here.
So what’s the secret to ignoring the unnecessary distractions that demand our attention and focus on completing the jobs at hand? The problem is that, even when we are trying to focus on the tasks we have set out for ourselves, that little mind of ours gets distracted and amused so easily by other things. So that’s why today we’re going to let you in on 5 ways to improve your work focus and drown out all of those activities that are vying for your attention. Granted these tips may not work for everyone, but they could work magic for you.
Commitment Should Be Rewarded
Spending time on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and so on, is not an evil in itself, the problem is when our mind wanders to them when there is still a task to finish. What works for me, is to make a list of jobs I need to accomplish, once I’ve ticked them off, I can enjoy a little, ‘play time’, on social media. So it means, I put in a good work effort, then I have a little reward by having a quick chat with a friend. For the strategy to work, you’ve got to be focused and committed. If sticking to goals isn’t your strong point, one of the following ideas may work better for you.
Find Music That Drives You
Making it to the end of a long day coding or designing is simply not going to happen for me without the right music for my dedication. We’re all different, but my drive comes from alternative music or techno. Now I’m not saying I’m an expert on this, but it stands to reason that the right music to really drive you is a genre that allows you to keep your work focus on full steam ahead. So that means if the music makes me think about lyrics or has me feeling sleepy, it becomes a distraction, rather than a helper. It may take a little trial and error, but once you find your perfect music genre, you won’t believe how quickly, and successfully, the day passes you by. Here is a good play list on Spotify.
Science has proven one simple fact; our brains have a limited time that they can focus on a limited amount of information. The problem arises when our dear brain is confronted with further information which is not related to the job at hand. To give your brain a helping hand, spread your tasks over a number of time blocks, making each block realistic. In simple terms, don’t dedicate a full day to working solely on one job. Utilising what’s available can really help with concentration for business execs. When you spread the task out, your brain gets some wiggle room, and ultimately the completed task is of a much higher quality. So map out your time into small blocks, and in between each one, leave your desk and if possible go outside for a breath of fresh air.
Disappear, At Least To Other People!
If nothing is working and you’re constantly being distracted, whether it be by social media or co-workers, then it’s time to disappear for a while. Set yourself as ‘invisible’ for instant messaging, as well as the ‘away’ status, giving a clear message that you’re busy and not to be disturbed! What about the co-workers who love to stop by your desk for a chitchat? Stick a pair of headphones on and you should soon deter them. At times I actually have to disappear, just to avoid getting annoyed by others. It’s as if one person stopping at your desk is an open invitation for a free-for-all. One thing I have certainly realized, is that if I need to focus, I shouldn’t put myself in a situation that gives others the opposite impression.
Love What You Do And Do What You’re Passionate About
The biggest secret to focusing at work is actually having a passion for what you’re doing. As humans, we tend to put in a lot of time and effort when something really grabs our interest. However that focus vanishes in a second if we switch to an activity that bores us. You may need to invest time into working out what makes you tick about the job you have, perhaps you’ve got to look at things outside the box, develop a desire to impress (for instance getting noticed by your boss, for all the right reasons) to keep your mind focused on the right things. Here’s some good tips.
Note: This is a guest post.