Imagine sitting at your desk, struggling to stay focused on the work at hand. You have tons of backloads threatening to burst at the seams. But for the life of you, you cannot seem to find the concentration to get the tasks done.
We have all experienced this at one point or the other. And sometimes, it gets infuriating!
Do you know there are ways to improve your concentration at work? But before we dive into the heart of this article, we need to set you straight about attention and concentration.
Concentration or focus and attention span are as different as chalk and cheese. Howbeit, people often confuse the two. Your attention span is how long you can concentrate on something, in this case, work. On the Contrary, concentration refers to how much mental effort you channel into a particular task.
You can give a task your maximum concentration even if you have a short attention span. It means, with mastery of the act of focusing, you can get your work done seamlessly.
So, we have culled some expert tips to help you focus on work. Now, let us take a deeper dive.
Check your sleeping pattern
You tend to concentrate better after a restful night. When you are sleep-deprived, you are prone to having a less productive day due to a lack of concentration.
Sleeping disorders like sleep apnea causes low concentration at work. It is understandable when you occasionally work late into the night when needed. But once it becomes a habit, it gets detrimental to your focus.
Experts recommend that adults sleep for 7 to 8 hours daily. So, we advise that you build a sleep pattern around this. It could be demanding initially, but after a while, it becomes a usual routine.
Based on research conducted by the National sleep foundation, using digital devices like phones and laptops affects your sleep routine adversely. Consequently, it would do you a lot of good to remove all devices an hour before bedtime and listen to soft music or reading a book instead.
Early morning workout
Dr. Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant, claims that “If exercise were a pill, it would be the most cost-effective drug ever invented”; We cannot agree more.
Exercise is one of the most affordable therapies. It proffers a sundry of benefits, and that includes getting you more attuned to focusing at work.
A 20-minute exercise session is enough to hoist your work productivity. Undoubtedly, It is much better to start your day with exercise—although you can work out anytime. Starting your day with a workout session sets the pace for the day.
One great exercise that improves your brain muscle is aerobics; do not hesitate to try it out any chance you get.
Peradventure, you love exercising before going to bed, do not overdo it. Heavy exercises before bedtime can affect your sleep adversely and inevitably affects your focus.
Play video games
Video games? Yes, video games. We know it is hard to believe video games made it to the list of focus-boosting activities but hear us out. Research has found out that one hour of video games can help you use your brain efficiently, and of course, enhance your concentration.
How? It is no news that avid gamers put in their maximum concentration while playing games. This results from Visual Selective Attention (VSA) gamers engage while playing video games.
This VSA is the brain’s ability to ignore irrelevant information and focus on crucial visual details. People who perfect VSA skills can seamlessly block out distractions while focusing on things that matter.
Perfecting this “skill” is a great way to take your focusing ability a notch higher while working on office tasks.
When playing video games, you cannot risk developing back pains due to a lack of an ergonomic gaming chair and desk. So, before you start getting cozy with a video game, get yourself a comfy gaming chair.
Play brain training games
Who would have thought that putting together pieces of the capitol in a jigsaw puzzle can build your brain remarkably? Howbeit hard to believe, it is the truth. Studies show that a jigsaw puzzle can shield you from cognitive aging and improve your focus.
But if you are not big on jigsaw puzzles, you do not have to force them into your “hobbies” list. All brain training games have a positive effect on your concentration. For instance, card games, sudoku, adult coloring books, and crosswords are tricks to help hike your focus on work. It equally gives you a myriad of benefits.
Scribble down ideas
Sticking to your pen and paper has loads of benefits. Experts have confirmed that scribbling down ideas helps you remember things.
And you can engage your concentration by penning down milestones for your work hourly. When you set work goals, ensure you time yourself to arouse a sense of urgency. It is an effective way to challenge your brain to focus on the task at hand.
Alternately, try adopting Francesco Cirillo’s Pomodoro technique to refocus your brain or warren buffet’s famous productivity hack. Either way, learn to write out your tasks and give yourself deadlines.
Create a nature-friendly environment
A refreshing environment never fails to raise your work concentration. One way to create a one is by beautifying your workspace with plants. In fact, natural green office space can increase an employee’s productivity significantly.
So, while you are getting an ergonomic office chair and desk, do not forget to shop for succulents or other types of plants.
Cut all distractions
If you doubt the miracle lack of distractions can instigate, ask David Rock. This author successfully wrote four books during series of flights. One of the best ways to focus on a task is by cutting off distractions like social media.
David rock was able to achieve this feat because he understood the threat distraction poses to productivity. With technology sweeping us off our feet, social media takes a massive chunk of our focus/attention. A report from Irish news reveals that we go through our phones every 12 minutes.
Social media distraction has a way of snatching your concentration off urgent tasks. Setting aside your phone to zero in on your work helps you concentrate.
Besides work hours, your bedtime is another period to avoid distractions. Remember that curtailing your sleeping hours can affect your focus.
Try meditation and yoga
Harvard research confirms that our minds wander 47% of the time. Obviously, this affects work focus negatively. But you can prevent getting lost in thoughts by making yoga or meditation habitual.
Yoga or meditation enhances concentration, attention span, and learning concentration. And it avails you several benefits as well—pick up this habit; you will not regret it.
Do not multitask
Multitaskers are not superhumans; they are humans with harmful habits. Not our words, we merely polished the result of research by the University of London. In fact, research shows that multitasking lowers IQ. It is fair to claim that sharp-witted people do not multitask.
For ultra-productivity, you need to focus on a single task per time. This way, your focus is undivided, and your work quality cannot be less than standard.
Summarily, lose your multitasking skills and learn to focus on one task per time. It helps you yield work results within a shorter period.
Listen to nature sounds or classical music
Classical music has always been a music choice for creating a soothing and relaxing ambiance. Experts revealed that operatic music improves your concentration at work. White noise and operatic music have a way of creating an aura that encourages you to focus while working.
Moreover, you will not get distracted because it provides background sound to keep you refreshed and relaxed. Overall, this choice of music is a catalyst that boosts focus whenever you need to improve your concentration and focus on work.
Maintain a healthy diet
Your diet affects your cognitive function, either negatively or positively. Some foods bog down your memory and focus, while some shoot it up incredibly. Consequently, your food can either have a detrimental effect or a positive effect on your work productivity.
We recommend that you revamp your diet plans and include more cognitive-friendly food in them. You can add foods like eggs, blueberries, spinach, avocados, etc. Generally, foods with high saturated fats and sugar do not benefit your brain in any way.
A study by Harvard shows how an unchecked consumption of saturated fat depletes people’s memory and cognition after a long time.
So, with an ideal diet, you will not have an issue concentrating on office work. And you get to enjoy more health perks as well.
Take a break
Remember the law of diminishing marginal utility? It is a perfect analogy that explains the necessity of breaks between work. Creativity is always at an all-time high when you start working in the morning. However, it wanes after hours of work.
If you keep working non-stop, it fizzles out until working becomes overbearing. In short, productivity and focus diminish when you work long shifts without taking a break. Tork conducted research and found out that 90% of their employees feel refreshed and fired up after a lunch break.
Hence, breaks from work are not counterproductive—unless when abused. Contrarily, it is a superb way to improve your work focus.
In a nutshell
It is not enough to create an ergonomic workplace; increasing your concentration at work is also a responsibility that you cannot afford to ignore. Although it may seem daunting, our 12 expert tips will go a long way in helping your work concentration.
Plus, it proffers solutions to pesky distractions. Putting all these to use gives you control over your attention and concentration. And it means you can ace your tasks within a short period and impress your bosses with ease.