5 Things You Should Be Doing To Improve Focus At Work

Are you someone that skips from task to task at work without spending a significant amount of time on any one thing? You probably are if you’re reading this article… but that’s okay, you’re here now, and we are going to work on it. Keep reading to learn the 5 things you should be doing at work to improve your focus and productivity.


  1. Respond, Don’t React

Immediate reaction is something we all feel like we have to do. New email? Read, react, and hit send. New to-do pops up on your project management system? Do it immediately. STOP. First, unless something is marked “Immediate Action Needed,” it can probably wait. Stop reacting immediately and instead take time to work through, think, and respond when you’re ready.


  1. Hardest First

Get the toughest (or most boring) tasks done first thing in the morning. This will get it out of the way so you can enjoy the rest of your day, and it will stop you from procrastinating to avoid that unbearable task.


  1. Stop Time-Sucks

Time-sucks come in many forms. Notifications, social media, and cleaning out your deleted email files are great examples. You are giving up your valuable time to those things that can wait, and instead, most likely creating a backlog of work for yourself. Do whatever it is you need to do to remove the temptation and get back to work.  Sometimes something like deleting emails can be multi-tasked at a different time, for example, when you are on hold waiting to talk to someone on the phone.  Think about some time wasters and when you can multi-task them in.  Another thing that can be done is set up folders for incoming emails.  For example, you probably get notifications when you pay bills.  By making folders, or labels as they are sometime called, in the email provider, you can automatically or semi-automatically send emails to your folders.  This will save you time.


  1. Make a To-Do List

A game plan for your day is possibly the most valuable tool you have at your disposal. Simply knowing what all you need to do and what other commitments you have will give you a clear view of what your day will look like. A simple piece of paper with a time ladder and checkboxes will do the trick.


  1. Work in Chunks

Break your day up into chunks by time. Working for forty-five minutes with a ten-minute break will not only make the day go by faster but will also help you learn to gauge how long specific tasks take and where your time is being used.


Improving your focus at work is about more than exercising your brain to be more productive. It’s also about training yourself to work, respond, and plan your day in a way that is most useful to you. This will look different for everyone, but with time and practice, you can become an effective worker.



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4 Exercises to Improve Focus

These exercises describe some steps involved in creating better habits.  These are daily tasks and mindsets that will move you closer toward your goals of better focus.


  1. Moving Slow & Leveling Up

Improving your focus isn’t going to happen in a day or even a week. It is a slow process that takes time. This means moving slowly and creating habits that you can build on. Once you master one of the items listed below, or even part of it, level up by stacking another small habit on top or upping the level of the habit.


  1. List Your Distractions

How many times a day does a random thought, a thing to research, or to-do pop into your head? How many times a day to your follow that random thought down a rabbit hole? Keep a pen and paper handy and write down those thoughts when they come to you. Later, when you have a moment, you can handle the item as needed. This will allow you to get back to work quickly.


  3.  Practice Memorization

Memorization takes time, practice, and focus. Start small with a short poem, and slowly build upon what all you can memorize. Memorization is a great way to not only focus entirely on something, but it works your brain by recalling it later.


  4.  Read Items in Their Entirety

How often do you only read the first and last paragraph of an article? Or read the synopsis of a book, but never read the book. Staying focused on even a short article online is impossible for many. Trying reading an entire article from start to finish, then move up to long-form reads and even books.


Your mind is a powerful tool. However, like every other part of your body, it must be used to maintain its power and usefulness. Start practicing the exercises above to start your journey to increasing your focus and mental stamina.


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5 Creative Ways To Build a Better Focus

Building better focus cannot be found in a step-by-step guide. It is a process, one that is filled with starts, stops, leveling up, and many missteps along the way. In fact, improving your focus might just be one of the most challenging things you can try to do in the Twenty-First Century. We have limitless distractions, stress from home and work, and information flying at us 24/7.


Below you will find a list of creative ways to work on improving your focus. But what you must remember throughout all the steps is to take inventory consistently. Notice your mental state, what is distracting you, and why is it distracting you. Taking the time to stop and take stock will give you feedback on what is and isn’t working for you, as well as how you are improving along the way.


  1. Consider Your Attention

Throughout the day, stop and consider how much attention you are paying to the task at hand. Are you fully focused? Or are you only half working on a project while the other half of your brain thinks about lunch?  Then you might have to figure out why you are thinking about lunch.  Are you eating too much sugar and getting energy swings?  The more you know about yourself and deal with the root of any problem, the more you can work on staying focused.


  1. Consider Your Mood

Consider your mood throughout the day and why it may be that way. This should be paired with your attention to what you are doing. Are you anxious while you only half-think about the project? Are you annoyed and typing an email? Are you getting involved in other people’s drama?  Maybe it is time to pare down the social media time and focus on your own work and dreams.


  1. Write Down Your Distractions & Look at Them

Every time you catch yourself being pulled away from the task at hand, write down the distraction and what you were doing, then get back to work. At the end of the day, look back on what distracted you and when. You may be able to pinpoint weak points in your day and find ways to remedy those distractions.


  1. Stop and Breath

Ever feel like you’re being pulled in ten different directions? Are the distractions flooding at you becoming overwhelming? Stop and breathe. Clear your mind for a few moments, write it all down, and make a plan. While you may not be able to solve all the problems, at least you can do your best to work through each one with a clear mind.


  1. Visualize

You can use visualization at any time to clear your mind and focus on one thing. This will allow you to push away distractions and build your mind’s ability to concentrate for a lengthened time. You can visualize colors, images, anything that you focus your mind on.


Building better focus is not a race. It is a journey that takes time and patience. Consider incorporating creative, focus building exercises into your daily routine.


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5 Boosts that Will Improve Focus and Productivity at Work

Today, we all have many demands on our time. At home, you have family, friends, and maybe even work still vying for your attention. At work, you have your personal life, coworkers, technology, and general stuff snapping fingers in hopes of gaining your attention. But you don’t have to live like that. There are small and simple changes you can start implementing that will make significant differences to your focus and productivity at work.


  1. Use a Schedule

Do your best to create a schedule, especially for your work time, that will give you a clear plan of your day and what is expected. This will allow you to move from one task to the next without having to stop and decide what to do next. Also, keep in mind that schedules are not the end-all-be-all, sometimes things change.


  1. Make a Clean Workspace

Be it your kitchen counter while you are cooking dinner or your desk at work, keeping a clean and tidy workspace will help clear the mental clutter as well. There will be fewer distractions and you won’t waste time cleaning your desk.  If there is continual clutter, figure out why.  Do you need all that?   Can you give some things away?  Can you file some things?  A clean area is more inviting to get work done.

  1. Put Blinders On

This means all the blinders. Turn your phone on silent, stop notifications, and keep unnecessary tabs closed on your computer. Technology is fantastic, but it can also serve as a major distraction throughout our workday. Take into consideration how much time you spend clicking and scrolling needlessly.



  1. Let Others Know You’re Working

Put a sign on your door, put on your headphones, or whatever it is you need to do to minimize distractions from other human beings. Letting others know that you’re working and prefer not to be disturbed will give you time to work and is a polite way of saying, “I’m happy to help but not until later.”  It can give family and friends some clues about your schedule.  Particularly if you are homeschooling, let them know that during certain hours you are not available to chat.  You have to set limits on how much other people can take of your time.


  1. Know Your Habits

We all have habits that dictate when we are most and least productive. Pay attention to yours and use them to your advantage. If morning is your most productive time of the day, then that is the best time to shut your door and work on the big, hard tasks of the day. If you know that you always hit a wall right before lunch, use that time to pick up your desk and take a stroll to the water cooler.


Finding your work groove can be challenging; however, taking the time to make small steps in the right direction will allow you to create a workday that is productive and meaningful.


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4 Habits to Help You Focus Better

Focusing comes in different forms for everyone, some like to listen to music to help them focus, while others want complete silence. Keep reading for four tips that can help you find your focus.


  1. Have a Daily Plan

You should wake up every morning with a plan of what your day will look like.  It is good to start thinking about this the night before and make some preparation if you need to.   This doesn’t have to be a detailed schedule that outlines every minute. But having a plan in place will eliminate small decisions that can get you off track. Having a plan will also give you a clear goal for how your day should progress and end. Take time every evening to write out (not just in your head) the plan for the next day. It can include what you will have for breakfast through what order you will complete your work in. It may also be helpful to prep items such as meals, coffee, and clothing to keep you on track.


  1. Moment of Enjoyment

Every day take at least a small amount of time to do something you really enjoy. This can be peace and quiet over your coffee in the morning, a piece of candy in the afternoon, or snuggles with a pet or loved one in the evening. Having that moment of enjoyment will give you a respite from all the to-do’s that fill your day and give you time to reset and prepare for what comes next.  Sometimes you can take what is a “work” break.  You might stop working on the computer to pull a few weeds in the garden.  Simply because it is a different kind of work you can get a few minutes of enjoyment and rest from what you were doing.


  1. Be Persistent

If a task isn’t coming easily to you, feel free to walk away for a few minutes or even a day. But be persistent with the process and don’t give up. Allowing yourself to bounce from task to task to avoid the difficult work will leave you with a list of half-done tasks and a brain that is running in a million different directions.  If tasks are half-done, ask yourself “why”?  Are they commitments you have made that you really have no incentive to finish?  As you find your core purpose, and arrange your tasks around that, it will eliminate extraneous tasks.


  1. Have a Day Off

“There’s no rest for the wicked and the righteous don’t need it” is a familiar turn of phrase that praises the busy. But we all know that it isn’t the truth. We all need a day off to rest, reset, and recuperate. We also need time with our families and friends to fill our cups and remind us why the hard days are worth it.  When God created the world he made six days for work and one for rest.


Focusing better is both a mindset and a physical act that you must prepare your mind and body for. Be sure that you are doing everything in your power to set yourself up to the best of your ability.


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