Fantastically Focused: Five Ways to Stay Sharp During the Working Day

by - 9:57 AM

Even if you find your work interesting and/ or rewarding, for most of us it's still not going to be the most fun and exciting activity in the world. When you work upwards or over forty hours a week, it's easy to find yourself bored or distracted at times, and generally losing focus. When you lose focus you affect productivity, and whether you're working on building up a business or reaching the next rung of the career ladder then this isn't ideal. We need to be working hard and working smart to get our daily tasks done, and so reducing distractions and keeping concentration is crucial. Distractions can come in many forms, if you work from home especially there are lots of things that can pull your mind away from work. This could be your tv, your kids bickering downstairs or traffic outside. Even if you're in a workplace, you can be distracted chatting to colleagues or browsing the internet on your computer. No one is perfect, and we're all going to have our minds taken off work from time to time, but follow these tips and you can massively boost your focus and productivity. 

Put Your Phone Away
One of the biggest distractions that most of us deal with during the working day is our smart devices. You could be mid way through a task and on a roll, and a notification comes through and takes your attention from what you were doing. Once you've checked it, it can take some time to get back in the swing of things. One of the best things you can do to improve your focus and productivity is put your phone away. If you work from a computer, stay signed out of your social media accounts to prevent you from mindlessly clicking on them. We all know how easy it is to click on Facebook or Twitter for a quick browse, and are still scrolling twenty minutes later. It's seriously bad for work flow. 

'Eat The Frog'
This is commonly quoted when it comes to productivity, the idea is that you 'eat the frog' first, ie, get the worst or hardest job out of the way early. Make a to-do list for each day, and do the most difficult task in the morning when your focus is likely to be sharper and you're working harder. Not only does this set you up for an easier day ahead, but it can make you feel good ticking off that worst item and give you a boost for the rest of your tasks. Making lists is so important- outline your goals each day and tick them off as you go. It helps to keep you on the straight and narrow during your work hours, and prevents you wasting your time on pointless tasks. 

Sleep Well
Sleep is vital for both body and mind, after a good night's sleep you'll feel refreshed with a clear head and ready to handle whatever the day throws at you. Sleep improves congnitive performance meaning we can multitask better, problem solve more efficiently and generally just think better. After a solid eight hours you won't be flagging by lunchtime, and instead will be able to power through until your tasks are complete.

Get Moving
Most of us have quite sedentary jobs, we sit at computers for a large part of the day. Not only is this bad for physical health but it's also bad for mental health, we've all experienced that restless, pent up energy from being seated all day. Take regular breaks and when you do, stand up. Stretch and walk around if possible. You don't have to take a break for a full on gym session at lunch, of course, but getting your body moving will refresh you, wake you up and leave you feeling more balanced. 

Take Time to Relax
Working too hard over too long of a period can actually be bad for productivity. Not only do you risk burnout but you can also get 'tunnel vision' towards your problems. It's far better to give yourself a rest- each weekend switch off from work completely. In the evenings, make it a habit to relax and again clear your mind from work. When you return you'll have a fresh head and it can often help you approach difficulties or problems in a different way. You'll actually be more productive during your working hours. 

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