Work is a necessity of life and no matter how fulfilling or exciting your job may be, at some point during your workday you will get bored, distracted, or lose focus. For when your attention begins to drift, here are a few tips on staying focused at work that do not include slapping yourself in the face.
Take a Break
Sometimes, the best way to get work done is to take a step away from it. Sitting for long periods of time can lull you to sleep. Taking short breaks throughout the day can lead to increased productivity by stimulating the body and getting the blood flowing. Whether it’s a trip to the bathroom or the watercooler, walking away from your desk for a moment can help re-energize your workday.
Refocus Your Eyes
Staring at a computer screen can dry, blur, and strain the eyes — making it literally difficult to stay focused at work. Readjust your gaze by looking down the hall or out a window. Finding a distant focal point can alleviate eye-strain and allow your eyes to refocus on your tasks.
Put Your Phone Away
Our phones, tablets, and other smart devices are already a near-constant distraction in our daily lives. Unless it’s part of your job, be sure to avoid checking your personal social media sites. Websites like Facebook and YouTube can absolutely cripple your productivity with their endless rabbit-hole of sharable content, memes, and cat videos. Visiting them at work are largely prohibited and can result in disciplinary action. Better to log-off before you get laid-off.
Turn on Some Tunes
I know I just said to put your phone away, but music makes some people more productive. The rhythm of background music can provide the tempo needed to quickly knock-out your tasks. Not only can music get you in a productive groove, but it can also improve your mood and snap you out of that sleepy afternoon funk created by a silent workplace. Music streaming sites like Pandora, Spotify, and iTunes’ Apple Music offer a popular mix of crowd-pleasing favorites for your co-workers as well as personalized playlists for your private listening pleasure. Just be sure to check with your manager about the company’s policy on music before turning your office into a house party.
Move Your Feet
In addition to music, there are other ways to help battle restlessness by occupying the subconscious mind. Simple stretching exercises can be done from the comfort of your own desk to help you from getting fidgety. Some health-minded companies are already getting on board by providing their employees with specially-designed exercise equipment for sedentary workers. A stationary bicycle pedal for underneath your desk can keep your feet distracted while you burn through your assignments and calories. There are also rubber bands that attach under desks to keep the legs busy and the mind focused. Created for hyperactive kids, such bands help release anxiety, energy, boredom, and frustration.
Sit (or Stand) Up Straight
More and more jobs require sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time. This leaves bodies inactive for a majority of the workday. If exercise is not a practical option to increase your focus at work, then perhaps the furniture you use can assist. An ergonomic chair can provide increased circulation while keeping you in an alert and comfortable posture. Another popular option is a standing desk. An elevated workspace, the standing desk improves alertness by relieving stress on the spine and increasing blood flow. A Harvard Medical School study confirms standing can burn a few extra calories than sitting, but nothing beats a lap around the office to clear your head and wake yourself up.
Don’t Goof Off Too Much
It’s easy for employees to get comfortable with their co-workers, especially when many spend more time with them than their own family. Some even assign terms of endearment to their extended work family by designating a “work wife” or “work husband.” While these relationships are harmless and often necessary to break up the monotony of the job, it’s easy to get distracted from work when catching up and goofing off with your work friends. By keeping your work relationships professional and socialization to a minimum while on the clock, you can remain productive and off the boss’s radar.
It will always be easy to lose focus at work when we have so much distracting information and entertainment at our fingertips, however; if your lack of focus at work stems from feeling stuck in or dissatisfied with your current job, perhaps it’s time to consider a change. At Jobs Partnership, our LifeWorks training course can offer you the perspective, training, and guidance you need to discover where you fit in your career and life. For more information on how you can start your new path, apply now or call us at 407-641-0755.