Staying completely focused during a long and busy workday can be tough to do. With more than half of Americans claiming to work over 40 hours per week, there are likely going to be days where you find it harder to remain motivated and attentive. However, staying focused is clearly imperative to your productivity. In order to remain as focused as you can throughout the workday, here are tips to help you when the phone keeps ringing and new tasks keep being thrown at you.
1. Get Enough Sleep
A lack of sleep is a large reason as to why you may lose focus during the day. Research has shown that people getting five or less hours of sleep for a few nights in a row have an equivalent of a 0.1 blood alcohol level. As you can see, it’s imperative to get enough sleep so you are able to stay alert and concentrate on what you need to get done at work each day.
If you aren’t used to getting enough sleep, it can be difficult to adjust at first. However, there are things that you can do to make the transition easier including making a bedtime routine, watching what you eat, and maintaining a comfortable setting. Studies have found that watching something with a lit screen like on a television or cell phone can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Also, be sure to avoid working out close to when you’re trying to go to bed. Since exercise will give you more energy, try instead to do your workout in the morning or during lunch, or when you’ll actually need a pick me up.
2. Make a To Do List
Another simple way to remain focused is to organize your day. Start your morning by making a list of what needs to get done throughout the day. This will help you to prioritize important tasks and allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment when you cross something off the list. It also can help you to get back on track when issues arise that need immediate attention. As everyone knows, last minute emergencies can pop up anytime during the day, so it’s best to be prepared and know exactly what you need to get done.
3. Give Yourself A Timeframe
When you start out on accomplishing your to do list, you should give yourself a dedicated deadline to complete a specific task. You’ll need to set a realistic timeframe, as this can help you to stay focused on the project at hand. Setting these deadlines will also create a sense of urgency which will make you more inclined to concentrate until you’re finished. It’s also best to set yourself a reminder in your calendar with a popup to keep track of the time left.
4. Take a Break
With work days as busy as they are, many people find themselves working through lunch and not having time to step away your desk for even a minute. Despite the desire to do this, it’s imperative to take breaks during work. Taking a break will help you to recharge, clear your mind, and de-stress. This way when you come back to your work, your mind is clear and you can focus on what needs to be done. You may find that a longer mid-morning break makes you more productive, or it may be better to take little breaks all through the day to increase focus. Try both methods and see which ones works best for you. Regardless of which way you take these breaks, just make sure you are taking at least one during the day.
5. Organize Your Work Space
Keeping your desk neat and organized is another easy way that can keep you focused and motivated. Cleaning your desk or your workspace is helpful in keeping your thoughts more organized. Use one of your breaks during the day to throw away old papers, organize files, decorate your space, and more. This will not only motivate you, but it will also help you save time by knowing where everything is located.
6. Split Up Large Tasks
When sitting down to complete a large task, it might seem overwhelming. A way to overcome this is to split it up into smaller projects. Try completing some of the smaller tasks first and then tackle the larger parts of the project. This can break up the monotony of the large task at hand, keep you focused, and help you to get things done.
Long work days can be stressful, but there are ways to make it more manageable. Try one of these ways the next time you find yourself needing to be more productive so you are able to stay more focused and get the job done.
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