Today, there is a high call for high productivity and efficiency in the work set-up. The competition now lies more on these two rather on the skills you have. No matter how skilled you are, if you cannot execute it properly, then it’s not of much value. The most effective way of executing your skill is to focus on work. However, disturbances are inevitable and we have to be equipped so we can concentrate more.
Here are some tips you can do to increase and maintain your concentration at work. Some are short-term and some are long-term. Long-term means you will need to do them day by day so you will maintain good focus at work at all times.
1. Relax Before you Work
It’s a fact that too much stress won’t do any good. Before starting any work, relax your mood first. Forget all tasks and free your mind for the meantime. What you can do is have a walk in the park, eat your favorite ice cream, watch a comedy film, or sleep. Relaxing is preparing your whole being so when you start working you can focus and feel recharged.
2. Condition your Self
Depending on the workload, conditioning one’s self is vital. You need to tell yourself what type of work, how difficult or how easy, and how much time will it take for you to finish. Conditioning is thinking what needs to be done and setting priorities in mind. If your mind knows all of these, then you can concentrate without leaving expectations unsettled.
3. Make a List of your Tasks
This will help you prioritize things. This will also help you decide what work needs to be done and what are to be left undone for the meantime. Position your list in front of you but not to a spot that will pull your attention to what you are currently working at. Making a list of your tasks will clear your mind from thinking if you forgot something hence, allowing you to concentrate to what you are currently doing.
4. Organize your Work Area
Cleaning and organizing your work area should be given. Though there are some who can concentrate more if their desks have clutters, most find it soothing if the work area is clean. Your attention is kept to your work and not to the clutters on the table. An organized area is also an organized mind.
5. Allocate a Specific Time to Do your Work
Just like any other work, scheduling it and sticking to the schedule will help you focus. If your tasks are disorganized and unscheduled, you won’t be able to concentrate because while doing one task, you are already thinking the next task and the tasks after that. It’ll be a carousel of thoughts disturbing your focus mind. If at the moment you open your eyes you already know what you will do at a given time, then you’re all set until the end of the day. This will give more accomplished works.
6. Listen to Classical Music
This is a tested and very effective approach in concentrating. Whether you are studying, working, cleaning the house, and any other chores, listening to classical music frees up your mind. It creates a soothing impact to the brain, draining the disturbances, and enables you to concentrate.
7. Nourish your Mind, Body, and Soul
One of the preparations you must do to be able to concentrate is to provide nourishment. This is needed especially if your work demands very keen attention and is very prone to mistakes if not given proper focus.
Providing nourishment means taking your daily vitamins, exercising, eating the right kind of food, and praying. This good habit is a long term way to stay focus at work at all times.
8. Pause from Time to Time
If you are in the middle of a difficult situation and you feel your head is a bit aching already, pause for a while. An aching head is a signal that there might be too much information passing the brain which might be disorienting you. All that is too much is bad. Too much concentration will just lead to nowhere so learn to pause and rest for few minutes. Listen to a song, go to your window and enjoy the sight, then go back to work again.
9. Finish One Work at a Time
Have you tried multitasking? While it is a useful and effective way of finishing tasks, you need to know that it does not work at all times. Multitasking should only be done if the tasks are related to each other. Let’s say you are working as a financial analyst. Then you must avoid talking to someone when you’re in the middle of doing your graphs and charts.
10. Make a Checklist of Accomplishments
It is comforting to see if you have a long list of accomplished tasks. This give you more room for focus and lesser to no room for worries. Take time to create a checklist and update it each time you finish as task.
Money Beagle says
I’m a giant believer in running my day off a list of to-do items. In fact, creating that list is the first thing I do once I sit down at my desk. It helps keep me going. Most days, if I don’t have time sensitive items, I pick and choose, but if I have a really, really big list I will actually sub-divide it into smaller chunks, which keeps me focused on one thing at a time.
My Multiple Incomes says
great tips! I find it difficult to concentrate after working continuously for several hours so I make it a point to pause for a short while every now and then to give my mind time to relax.
TB at BlueCollarWorkman says
Relax before you work is a big one, I think. I”m big on it anyway. I can’t do good work if I’m tired because I didn’t relax when I wasn’t working. Some peopel get real caught up in being “productive” all the time and it’s craziness. If yo’ure like that all the time, then you never relax and have fun which means you’re never awake or concentrated enough to work!
Eric J. Nisall-DollarVersity says
I definitely don’t buy into the classical music psychobabble. If I don’t like it there’s no way it’s going to make me more efficient and if anything, it’s going to distract me more.
The biggest thing someone can do is eliminate all distractions. No tv, no people chatting up a storm 5 feet away, no Facebook, or Twitter, just them and the work.
I think you are right, I want to make some amendment in that section. Obviously things don’t work for all. I have known a few people who don’t like music at all.
Rob at Goose in Business says
#5 is so critical! I give myself a limited amount of time based on the tasks immediate importance (basically if it’s life or death I’m going to do it now no matter how long it takes). If it’s not as important, I will usually give myself 2 minutes to complete the task. If I can’t do it in 2 minutes, I set a time later in the day when I have more time to complete it in my schedule. This makes my day much more smooth and less stressful.
That’s how I roll!
Let’s imagine you have a queue full of tasks that take more than an hour..I wonder what would you do. Allocating 2 mins to finish a job won’t solve this problem. Interested to know more about your method Rob.
Rob at Goose in Business says
That’s a great question SB. Those sound almost like projects in my world! It may be a good idea to break down each project into shorter tasks. Example:
Task: Move Furniture
Task: Research Cleaning Company
Task: Schedule Appointment
Also, 2 minutes is great for me because a lot of what I do and what I can accomplish in this time frame. But this number could, let’s just say, be 10min for your types of tasks. The important thing is that it’s an attainable amount of time that warrants concentration in order to get it done in the set amount of time.
Lerma of US Visas Migration Expert says
I love the tips that you’ve shared here. I will do all of them so that I can concentrate on my work to be a proactive employee because lately I beginning to notice that I am becoming a slack in the office that I didn’t finish my job on time and I don’t want that.
Good that you have a self-realization. Perhaps you chalked out your plan of actions as well.
KK @ Student Debt Survivor says
My job has a good bit of multitasking naturally built in, due to the number of crises I deal with, that’s one of the parts I like least about my job. I’m just starting to make progress and get my paperwork done when I have a client who needs immediate attention. Very frustrating.
So, what are you going to concentrate on multiple things at a time? Any plans you have sorted out?
Work distractions are always present, whether you work in a traditional office or you work from home. That’s why it’s necessary to have your to-do list so that you can easily gauge your work productivity and efficiency.
[email protected] Credit Cat says
Taking regular breaks and keeping healthy are two things I do to increase work concentration. There is nothing worse than feeling tired and dehydrated while sitting at a desk!
Rob @FinancialSprout says
Keeping hydrated and well fed definitely helps keep you focused. In Academic Decathlon the coaches always keep us stocked up on food, because of all of the intense studying we have to do. Drinking a nice cup of coffee always gives me the extra boost I need from time to time.