How to improve your concentration at work

Ivan Kolarić

Prioritize tasks

Failing to prioritize tasks can lead to organizational issues.

Doing the „big jobs“ first and leaving the smaller or simpler tasks for later can help you improve your focus. Your number one task can include tasks that are on a deadline for today or the day after. The second priority should be assigned to tasks that need to be completed next week, and your least important tasks should be catching up with every single email you receive.

Determine specific periods for reading emails

In most work environments email is the most popular way of communication. Emails have a tendency to come in days and nights and can distract even the most focused individuals. If you are easily distracted, these incoming messages can easily get you off track. Instead of reading every single email that comes in and as soon as it comes in, set a specific time to read them.

Limit distractions

Always try to limit distractions by controlling your devices. Smartphones, desktop apps, and smartwatches can make you want to proactively check for new notifications. If you keep proactively checking for notifications it will interrupt your workflow and you will lose focus. Keep your notifications off.

Find a peaceful place to work

Although it might be ideal, In today's office environments it might be impossible to have a private office all for yourself. If you do not have your own office or if your company cant provide you with an office, there are ways that can help you with reducing distractions even if you work in a small cubicle. If possible, try to use a free conference room for tasks that require high levels of concentration. If you work in a shared space, try to ask for some quiet time at a specific time so you can concentrate on finishing your task.

Declutter your desk

You might have heard a saying stating that if your desk is messy, you are a genius, but a messy desk can have a negative effect on your ability to focus. Having a clean workspace will help you improve organization and focus. You should get rid of last year's documents if you have some leftover, and put them in a drawer. The same applies to magazines and newspapers, if you still haven't read them, you probably won't. If your computer desktop is filled with icons You should take a little bit of time to clear all unnecessary items from your desktop.

Plan your day

A lot of people that have a tough time concentrating on work find that a day planner helps them be more productive and efficient. Using your smartphone can also be useful as you almost always carry it around with you. You can set alarms that serve as reminders for what you need to do next. You have a meeting coming up later in the day? Set up a 30-minute alarm before it starts.

Take notes

Studies show that it is easier to remember things we wrote down beforehand. If you find it hard to remember the information you receive in a meeting, taking notes will help you remember what was talked about.

Use relaxation techniques

We know that work will often cause stress but what we know less are the ways that accumulated stress can be relieved. Taking a few minutes off browsing your favorite magazine or making yourself a cup of your favorite tea can put you in a calmer state. During the workday, we almost never think about breathing, take a few minutes, and focus on your breathing. Taking deep breaths of air and holding it before releasing will bring more oxygen into your body and calm your head.

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