Focusing on only one assignment is becoming more challenging, especially if you work in a busy office. Your colleagues are constantly pouring new information on your desk, and soon you end up with piles of documents which wait to be processed. Although multitasking can be beneficial, it’s not always the most productive one. If you handle one task at a time, you can accomplish more compared to multitasking. That’s why we’re offering you these tips, which will help you concentrate better:
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Declutter Your Desk
The chaos on your desk will lead to confusion in your brain. Therefore, you’ll need to put it in order and get rid of all the useless items on it. Organise the business documents according to their importance and deadlines. Put your personal belongings on one side of the office desk and the business ones – on the other side so that they won’t mix. Expert cleaners advise you to clean your desks regularly (at least once a week). You can do that by using a paper towel and multi-purpose cleaning detergent. If you want to clean your computer, make sure to spray the detergent on the towel, not directly on the monitor or keyboard.
Communication is essential for the working process, but checking your email every 5 minutes will do you no good. So instead, decide how often you will read and respond to the emails, for example – every 2 hours or so.
Social media can also be devastating for your concentration. That cat video is hilarious, but you better leave the laughter for later. It is important to pick a time frame for staying connected with your friends and relatives, even during work hours. For example, you can alternate 1 hour of working with 5 minutes of social media.
Effective time management can also help improve concentration by reducing stress and increasing productivity. One technique that can be helpful is the Pomodoro Technique. In this technique, you set a timer for 25 minutes and concentrate solely on one task. After the 25 minutes, take a short break and repeat the process.
Another technique is prioritising your tasks and tackling the most important or urgent ones. In this way, you will avoid feeling overwhelmed and will be able to maximise your time.
Healthy Office Environment
You may not realise it, but some crucial factors can improve or decrease your concentration levels.
Fresh air is essential for the productivity of your brain. That’s why you should ventilate the office several times during the day. In addition, the air ducts should be cleaned regularly by professional commercial cleaners to ensure fresh air flow and to avoid the spreading of dust around the office.
Lighting in the workplace is also crucial for your concentration and productivity. You should rest your eyes more often if you don’t have access to natural light. Remember to blink often and to take your eyes off the monitor every 20 minutes.
Another factor which can impact your concentration is the noise in the office. Some people like to work in complete silence; others prefer music or the noise of colleagues working and talking. Find the option that works best for you and stick to it.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness practices have been proven to increase concentration and productivity levels. Taking just a few minutes to meditate or practice mindfulness can significantly affect your ability to focus.
To start meditating:
Find a quiet and comfortable space to sit or lie down.
Clear your mind and focus on the sound of your breathing. Whenever your mind wanders, acknowledge it and come back to your breath.
Do it for a few minutes at first. Once you’re comfortable with the practice, slowly increase the time.
The act of mindfulness means being fully present and engaged in your activity at the moment. This can be applied to any task, whether a work assignment or a household chore. To practice mindfulness, focus on the task and bring your full attention to it. Pay attention to the details and try to avoid any distractions.
Regular exercise can help improve concentration by increasing blood flow to the brain and reducing stress levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes every day, whether a brisk walk, a yoga class, or a gym workout.
If you can’t find time for exercise during the workday, try incorporating it into your commute by walking or biking to work. You can also take short breaks to stretch and move your body throughout the day.
Finally, try to limit any distractions in your work environment. For example, put your phone on silent mode, close unnecessary tabs on your computer, and avoid websites unrelated to your work.
If you work in an open space office and find your colleagues distracting, consider investing in noise-cancelling headphones or talking to your supervisor about alternative work arrangements.
While it may seem counterintuitive, regular breaks throughout the day help improve concentration and productivity. Sitting at your desk for hours without a break can lead to fatigue and burnout, making it even harder to focus.
Instead, take quick breaks every few hours. For example, get up from your desk, stretch, and take a few deep breaths. You can also grab a healthy snack or a glass of water during this time. Taking a longer break, such as a lunch break, can also help you recharge and return to your work with a fresh perspective.
Healthy Diet and Staying Hydrated
It is also possible to improve concentration by eating a balanced and healthy diet. For example, you should avoid sugary and processed foods, which can lead to a crash in energy levels and make it difficult to concentrate. Instead, opt for protein-loaded foods and complex carbohydrates like nuts, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
However, it’s also important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and focus better.
If you forget to drink water, try keeping a reusable water bottle at your desk and refilling it throughout the day. Try using reminder apps on your phone or computer to remind you to sip water every hour or so.
In addition to water, other hydrating drinks, such as tea and coconut water, can also be beneficial. Just be sure to avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages, which can cause energy crashes and make it harder to concentrate.
Improving your concentration requires a holistic approach that addresses various aspects of your daily routine. By implementing some of these tips, you can create a work environment that supports focus and productivity, ultimately helping you accomplish more in less time.