5 Tips for Staying Focused in the Workplace

Author: Jack Martin

When it comes to our level of focus on any given day of the week, we find ourselves sidetracked with existing memories of the previous weekend, upcoming plans, what you forgot to do the day prior, and so on. Reflecting on your to do list is one thing, but what can be said for those that just aren’t able to stay focused in the workplace? A short attention span is common amongst many and from time to time, it’s normal to find yourself sidetracked. Rather than stress and egress as a result of distraction, turn to these five tips for success in the workplace!

Stay Organized

If you look at your desk at any given moment, there’s likely loose-leaf flooding the surface, small office supplies within arm’s reach, and a snack off to the left. Hosting too many things within your grasp can be distracting for any employee who’s trying to get an ounce of work done. As a result, we lose sight of what our current task entails. To avoid distractions amongst your desk and office space, be sure to keep things organized in an efficient fashion. Keeping things within reach, while out of site, will help you to save time transitioning from one thing to the next without wasting time searching and prevents the visual of hidden tasks.

Make a To-Do List

When it comes to daily tasks, we often find the repetition unbearable, which leaves us searching for other things to do to escape our routine. Making a to-do list and giving yourself time limits while interchanging the order of your tasks daily or weekly will help you feel as if your work is high priority (which it is) and will keep you on task to get things done in a timely manner. Crossing things off of this list will give you the feeling of productivity and provide you with the motivation needed to continue on your list until you’ve completed every last task.

Take Short Breaks

In some cases, after a long morning or a drawn out meeting, it’s best to get up and walk around to get our thoughts flowing fresh and clear in our minds. These breaks shouldn’t become a distraction in itself or something for you to rely on; they’re simply a way for you to distance yourself if you begin to experience a gap in your creativity and motivation. A break is especially necessary for those with long writing assignments in their job as a quick walk or conversation in the break room can give you that little push of inspiration you wouldn’t have found sitting at your desk.

Status: Busy

When you find yourself wrapped up in a project or about to begin a major report, don’t let inter-office messaging or personal communication sidetrack you. If you’re in control of the conversations around you and let others know that you’re busy or unavailable, you’ll find the silence and quiet will allow you to better focus on the work in front of you rather than the coworker one cubicle behind you. If you find that others in your workplace tend to get up and mingle at one another’s desks, put headphones in to give off the sign that you don’t want to be bothered at the moment. Outside communication is a primary instigator in our lack of focus, but you don’t have to fall victim.

Reward Yourself

In our everyday lives we thrive off of incentives so why make the workplace any different? If you know you’ll work twice as hard to finish a task if it means achieving something of personal victory, take that motivation and apply it to your work. Once you wrap up a report or turn in that upcoming proposal, treat yourself to something within reason. These rewards may include checking up on a social networking site or catching up with a friend down the hall over coffee in the break room. Even if your incentive isn’t tangible right away, the mind frame of a step in the right direction as a result of your work will keep you moving towards an end goal as your reward.