8 Proven Ways to Stay Focused and Concentrate better while Working
Updated: Aug 9, 2021
In today's era, you are surrounded by so many distracting elements that you often say "I don't have time for this!" But the truth is everyone has 24 hrs in a day. It's all about how you utilize that time. You need to concentrate on the work that you are doing because distracted work can take 4 hrs from your schedule but when you focus, that same task can be completed within an hour with much more improved quality.
Well to help you with that here are 8 proven techniques that will not only help you to be focused but will also help you in saving a huge chunk of your day.
Are you ready to deep dive into these techniques? Let's go!
1. Take appropriate rest.
You must have noticed that when you don't take enough sleep your body starts to give up, your mind delays the processing of things and your eyes get dried up! Please listen to your body. If the body will be fine, you'll be able to do your daily chores in a much more effective manner. When you don't take enough sleep you are inviting health problems and also your concentration power decreases. You tend to forget things easily.
According to industry experts, an average adult should get around 7-9 hrs of sound sleep in a day. If you are a teenager you should take around 8-10 hrs of deep sleep in a day.
Here are few pointers which you need to follow and no one else will motivate you to do so! You have to be disciplined.
Sleep and wake up in a regular time frame. Add this as the reminder on your desk that you have to sleep by __ time so that you can wake up at __ time!
Very important! Keep your digital devices away. Before at least 1 hr shut down your gadgets away and do some light activities like reading a book, journaling, self-care, meditation to name a few.
Avoid caffeinated products at least 8 hrs before you sleep.
Keep your bedroom clean and set an appropriate temperature in which you are comfortable.
Don't oversleep. If you are doing so then understand that your body needs some water. There are so many studies that prove that majority of sleep issues starts with less intake of water.
2. Fuel your body
Do you know that the kind of food you eat directly impacts your focus levels? To keep yourself energised and focussed you have to take the proper balanced amount of food which should be:
balanced in the form of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and fibre.
it should contain a balanced taste.
Also, it is found in studies that nowadays people are having at least 1 meal at a desk which is completely wrong. Even you spend 20 mins of your time having a meal, go away from a desk and enjoy your meal.
Avoid food with refined things like refined flour/ refined sugar/ refined oils. These can harm your body slowly and steadily and you'll not even realize this! Have some foods that are good for the brain such as:
Nuts and Seeds
Fresh fruits and green veggies
Dark Chocolate (unsweetened)
3. Practice mindfulness
This can be a very common problem with everyone that whenever you'll be working you get distracted by looking at the walls, dreaming about your favourite vacation, thinking about the friend that said you something, etc. While it's natural but if you'll not address this issue it can affect your work.
Train your mind to be present at the moment. Keep recognizing that where your attention is moving. Also, know your why before starting any work. Train your mind to enjoy the process of work. Before starting any work take some deep breaths and see the magic!
4. Make a realistic To-Do list
Now you need to understand that you have 24 hrs and everything can't be done in one single day! Your day should be divided into proper chunks of time so that your mind can see a distinguished activity. Monotonous life is something people avoid these days. Add colours to your life by adding different work.
Your To-Do list should not be big as your shopping list! Set some of your daily goals as SMART Goals. Also, here is a quick tip for you! Create your To-Do list in the form of the Eisenhower Decision Matrix.
5. Get rid of offline as well as online Distractions
You already know this! There can be two sources of distractions, either offline or online.
For offline distraction you can try:
Move in a quiet room.
Close the door so that you don't get external sound.
Switching off the phone for few work hours.
Don't multitask. Pick one thing at a time.
Clean up your work environment. Keep only those things that are necessary.
For online distractions:
Be mindful. While working don't scroll through your phone to check whether you are missing out on something or not! You are not missing out on something. By scrolling, you are just increasing your FOMO.
Even sometimes listening to podcasts and songs can be distracting while working so be cautious of that step too.
While working on a laptop make sure to close the unnecessary tabs and applications.
6. Practice Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is a very common productivity technique that people use. In this technique, all you have to do is:
Find out how much time you can stay focused. Let's assume you are saying it for approximately 1 hr.
Set a timer for 50 mins and deep dive into your work! Don't get distracted in the middle of your work. Once your timer is up immediately set a 10 min timer again and relax.
Repeat this 50 - 10 min of the cycle 4 times and at last, take a long break.
This way you can even break down your big project into small actionable tasks that will not overwhelm you.
Read more about this technique here.
7. Find a Conscious Distraction
Conscious distraction means that you have to be aware of where your break time is going. If you are practising the Pomodoro technique then remember that those 10 mins are for calming your mind. At that time you have to relax. Choose some relaxing things such as stretching your body/ dance while listening to some music/ going for a short walk/ having some snacks or water/ reading a book/ enjoying nature.
Avoid calling your friend just for a catch up/ visiting on social media or watching youtube. These are your danger zones for productivity. In your short breaks you have to give your mind some energy so don't drain that energy and don't distract your mind to move in that outer world.
You can even utilize your mini-breaks in doing itsy bitsy tasks that are on your to-do list.
8. Organize your Life
Everybody is unique. Some of you have a shorter attention span and some of you have a larger one. Some can concentrate for long hours and on the other hand, some can do it only for minutes. Some are early risers and some are night owls.
But everybody has their personalized clock. This internal body clock is called Circadian Rhythm. It's a 24 hr clock based on natural processes of how living creatures respond. Read more about Circadian Rhythm and how to fix it according to your internal body clock in my next blog which is coming on Tuesday 11 AM IST.
Hoping this blog was helpful to you. At last, focus on creating small changes to see those big results.