Whether you work from home or in an office, staying focused can be a real struggle. Barking from your dog, phone calls and questions from your co-workers can all turn your attention from work and make you waste even up to an hour. And what happens when you get back to work? You have no idea where you left off and focusing becomes even more difficult. To help you ensure this doesn’t affect your work and career, we came up with four highly-effective tips for staying focused and productive.
Get your desk organized
With the way things are at the moment, most of us work behind the desk. Keeping too much stuff within arms’ reach on your desk can’t help you get more work done. In fact, clutter is known to sometimes turn a simple task into a hassle. To stay completely focused, only keep the things you really need on your desk and make sure they’re neatly organized. Finding the right spot for everything on your desk is also a good idea. For instance, keep your mug within reach so you can just take a sip of coffee without losing focus on the task at hand.
Eliminate the noise
Unwanted noise is your biggest enemy when it comes to staying focused. It takes your mind off work and affects your mood. And there’s no need to say how staying in a good mood is crucial for increased productivity. The easiest way to fight all the annoying noise that makes it hard to concentrate is to eliminate it. Create your own work-friendly playlist and get a noise cancelling headset to use while working. For stay-at-home workers, investing in quiet furniture is also an idea worth considering. Picking up a soft mat is a great way to reduce sounds made by a moving chair.
Set clear goals
Instead of thinking “I’m going to work for eight straight hours today”, start your day by creating a list of things you want to accomplish in the next 24 hours. Not only does this gives you a clear insight into how much work you’ll need to do but it also makes it easier to get focus. With a list of clearly-defined goals for the day, not reacting to every distraction becomes a breeze. When setting your goals, nothing helps like being as concrete as possible. For example, “Today, I’m going to complete step 2 of my project and respond to all those emails I got this week.”
Turn off the world
Let’s face it, avoiding the temptation to browse social media and respond to messages from your friends is the toughest part of staying focused and productive. Avoiding talks with your household members isn’t easy as well if you’re a remote employee. No matter how difficult turning off the world is, it’s absolutely necessary that you do it in order to get more work done. Keep your smartphone away from your work station and tell your roommates or family members not to distract you from your work. If you need to, create a system for you to receive urgent messages while working.
Don’t forget that you’re surrounded by stuff, people and events that could easily break your focus and prevent you from getting your work finished. It’s up to you to not let them do this and retain your focus at all times. Remember the four tips we covered in this post and your productivity will increase.