From not being able to stay on task to feeling like you’re just bouncing ineffectively from one thing to another, we’ve all been there before. Especially for workers who stay at their desks most of the day, just keeping focus can be a challenge.
In addition, what causes a lack of concentration depends largely on the individual. For some employees, it’s a physical issue like back pain or ADHD, while for others it’s simply procrastination or the result of bad work habits.
Whatever your situation is, here are three helpful tips for improving your concentration.
Set Daily Priorities
For many people, the hardest part of the day is getting started. After all, when you sit down at your desk and have a mountain of tasks ahead of you, it’s hard to wrap your mind around it all, much less tackle everything at once.
As a result, one of the best things to do is to set priorities. From the report you’re giving that afternoon to a major project deadline, everyone has something they know definitely needs to be taken care of (or at least worked on) that day.
Thus, those big “must-dos” should go first. Ideally, take a few minutes each morning to pick one or two major tasks to hammer away at while your concentration is still sharp.
Ensure Physical Comfort
While some choose to ignore their discomfort, many employees don’t realize how basic physical things can end up sabotaging their concentration while at work.
For example, consider what happens if your office setup isn’t quite right. Whether it’s a poorly sized desk or a chair that hurts to sit in, these environmental factors can divert your attention and even lead to injuries.
In addition, whether you’re hungry or feeling a bit chilled, your body is constantly sending signals that your brain has to process. Common conditions like dehydration can also hamper your work efforts by making you feel tired, listless, or unable to focus in general.
These things may seem small; however, it is worth it to prioritize comfort. If needed, have a light jacket on hand or invest in a quality office chair. Keep physical discomforts to a minimum by eating a good breakfast and lunch and remembering to stay hydrated.
From overhearing office chatter to getting pinged by Facebook or your cell phone, there are a lot of distractions in your average workplace. Likewise, it is true that while some can be remedied, others (like co-worker antics) are just part of the job.
Nevertheless, in order to boost your concentration, it is best to reduce distractions as much as humanly possible. It can be as simple as logging off of social media and putting your phone on silent while you are concentrating.
If the clamor of your workplace is an issue, find out of if there is a quieter area you can use. While not everyone can get their own private office, at the very least you can utilize noise cancelling headphones or listen to classical music or white noise instead.