5 Ways to Keep Yourself Focused at Work

(Guest writer: Woody Romelus)

Keeping yourself focused at work can be hard sometimes. Here is an occurrence you see too many times before – you start off your day by telling yourself that you will get (insert amount) of the task done today. As determined as you are, you might end up having a blunt conversation with your friends, replying and sending out e-mails and of course, get really busy on social outlets – just like most of us here.

So how do we avoid all these evil attention-seeking, unnecessary tasks and make sure we accomplish what we should be accomplishing on the day itself? Our minds are easily wavered and affected and it becomes extremely hard to realign your focus with goals at job tasks. Today we are showing you 5 ways to improve your focus at work and how you can possibly discard activity that can divert your attention. Now these tips can be subjective but they may be effective for you!

1. Work in chunks

It’s a scientific fact that our brains can only be attentive on a limited amount of information for a limited amount of time. Making sure the appropriate information in mind is the one that lines up with our duties at work is where the difficulty is. To lighten the load on your brain, it is better to segment your work into small manageable pieces. The idea is you do not want to spend an entire day working on one task non-stop. Breaking it up allows your brain to ‘breathe’ and it will reward you later with effective work. So work in small portions then leave your desk and if your lucky go outside breathe in mother nature.

break into chunks

2. Reward yourself for your determination

It’s not really a bad thing to visit sites like Facebook, Meebo, or Twitter to get your social updates, but it’s important to not spend huge amounts of time on them, especially when your work is not complete. What I tend to do is create a set of tasks that I need to complete before I can visit any of those sites or leave my desk. I will work awhile, complete a task, then reward myself with some time catching up with a friend. This strategy relies on sheer perseverance and strong will. If you cant stick to goals that you set to try another one of these methods.

reward yourself

3. Find the right Music

As for me there is no way that I can push through an entire workday of coding or designing without the appropriate music to keep me motivated. For me its either intense techno or alternative music that sustains me throughout the day. I can be wrong about this but I believe it’s important that whatever genre you decide to listen to, to make sure its music can be easily filtered out while keeping the work ethic at full throttle. For myself, I can not listen to music that makes me think about the words or sucks me into wanting to fall asleep, both of which become a distraction. Finding a happy medium will increase your drive immensely and will make the day fly right by.

listen to music

4. Go Incognito

If all else fails and you just can’t seem to get away from the Facebook and pesky co-worker emails, you have to hide. Go invisible on the instant message clients, set the away message to “BUSY, DON’T BOTHER ME”. And for those workers who love to stop by your desk, throw on those headphones so they don’t feel inclined to spark up a conversation. I often have to hide from being annoyed by others. It seems the moment one person starts talking to me that the floods of people come. I’ve learned to never put myself in conversational positions while trying to be focused or make sure that I’m in control if I am in those situations.

do not disturb

5. Be interested/passionate about your work.

Finally the best way to be productive is to truly enjoy and be passionate about what you working on. We go to great lengths and hours of work for things that interest us. Yet we lose focus instantaneously if what we are doing is not important. It might take some time finding interest in the work you do, you might have to just think about the big picture or maybe focus on impressing those around you (possibly a boss) to stay on track.

passionate about work

Editor’s note: This post is written by Woody Romelus for Hongkiat.com. Woody is a web designer who has been solving design-related problems for 5 years. He is pursuing a Masters degree in Software Engineering where he would like to fill the gap between development and design.

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