In this fast-paced world where we are continually “connected” with some electronic device, we find it harder and harder to stay focused while at work. One report states that 53% of Americans admit to losing an hour or more per day due to distractions. Once distracted from the task at hand, it takes time to regain our momentum.
Essentially this means that even when working undistracted, we are not always able to work at our full potential. This is an ongoing struggle throughout the day. It leads to frustration and fatigue.
1.The brain is a muscle – Exercise it!
The human brain is a muscle. It functions like the other muscles in our bodies. It must be given proper fuel, rest, and mental exercise. In order to operate at its full potential, our brains must be kept in good health.
Of course, we know that we must eat properly, drink sufficiently and sleep enough, but how do we exercise the brain?
- Meditation is an exercise for the brain. We slow the world around us. We focus on deeply breathing and relaxing the body. Some people use yoga, prayer, and other practices that allow them to slow stimulation of the brain.
- Read slowly
- By practicing reading very slowly and in depth we allow our brains to “work out” and recover.
2. Carefully choose/use prescriptions, over the counter drugs, and supplements
We as a society have allowed ourselves to use medications to force our bodies to function. We reach for stimulants in the mornings and sedatives in the evenings. One only needs to visit an American college campus to see the use and abuse of drugs like Adderall and Ritalin which are prescribed for people with illnesses such as Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity.
The drugs help people focus and they have become so popular that college students share them and use them without the doctor’s advice. Instead, we should feed our brain with all natural supplements that give us the effect of focus without the harmful side-effects.
There are very few things that cannot wait an hour or two. Get in the habit of “unplugging” while you are working. Work offline. Set a window of time that you will not check email, social media, messages, or voice mail.
Get in the habit of working in small windows of time, uninterrupted. Protect your space and your time carefully. Set these windows around other people’s schedules if it aids you. If your manager has a Friday morning meeting every week at 9 A.M. Schedule the hour between 9 A.M. and 10 A.M. on Friday as your unplugged time.
You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in an hour of focused and uninterrupted time.
4. Clean Up
When you are training yourself to concentrate and focus, even the smallest things can distract you. Clean up your work area, clear away post-it notes, file away papers, put pens, notepads, and knick-knacks away. When you sit down to work, do not let anything take your focus away.
5. Wear Headphones
Wearing headphones is a great way to block out the noises in the office. Make it a rule (try putting a sign on the door) “Do not disturb if the headphones are on!” Respect the rule if you coworkers catch on and take your lead.
Wendy Dessler is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Towering SEO who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.