Focus is defined as the act of concentrating your interest or activity on something. It can be a difficult skill to master in this noisy world full of distractions.
We’re losing our ability to focus but thankfully there are ways to improve focus at work including exercise, diet and goal setting.
Boosting your concentration and becoming super productive could get you that promotion or help you land your dream job.
Let’s take a look at nine ways you can improve your focus at work.
1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep deprivation can really affect our ability to focus. I know when I’ve had a bad night’s sleep, I’ll be less productive and not as focused the next day.
Sleeping 8 hours a night (when possible) will set you up for success and improve your focus while completing tasks.
Aim for at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night and get into a routine of waking up at the same time each day. And try to avoid screens such as your smartphone for an hour before bed each night.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, using electronic devices before bedtime can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating in ways that can adversely affect your sleep.
2. Exercise First Thing
Exercising first thing in the morning can be a productivity booster. And, it doesn’t have to be a long session.
Just 20 minutes of exercise each morning should help you gain better focus. Plus, you’ll get all the other benefits of exercise.
Even if you can only manage a few minutes to start, you’ll soon be able to build it up gradually to a full session.
Not sure where to start? Check out Joe Wicks’ HIIT sessions on YouTube for all levels of trainers including beginners.
3. Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and increase your energy levels.
Here’s how it works. Basically, you try to consume your daily calories or below within an 8-10-hour window.
Once you get into a routine, it’s actually much easier than it sounds and it’s something I’ve been able to implement into my life.
Most weekdays, I’ll aim for a 9-hour window from 10.00-19:00 or 11:00-20:00 and just have black coffee first thing in the morning.
Besides, boosting your fat loss goals and metabolism, you’ll improve your focus as your body isn’t wasting energy digesting foods.
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4. Write it Out
Did you know that using a notepad and physically writing stuff out is better for our brains? According to experts, it can improve our ability to remember things.
To improve focus at work, try writing out the tasks you want to achieve in the next hour and then time how long it takes you to complete them.
By using a timer, you’ll add a sense of urgency and improve your concentration. Repeating the process every hour will refocus your brain.
5. Eliminate Distractions
If you want to improve focus, you need to eliminate distractions including social media and your phone which we now check on average every 12 minutes. Constant interruptions can have the same effect as the loss of a night’s sleep.
Turn your phone to aeroplane mode, disable your notifications on your computer and inform co-workers that you want to focus on a task for a time.
Due to a lack of interruptions, author David Rock was able to write four books during several flights to Australia and back. Now when he wants to fully concentrate on a task, he goes offline to boost his productivity.
Being able to block out distraction is essential for productivity. Tameday makes this easy to do with “Focus Mode” and it’s a lot cheaper than the airfare to Australia.
6. Don’t Multitask
Smart people don’t multitask. It kills your performance and can damage your brain.
One study at the University of London showed that multitasking can also lower your IQ.
Multitasking is one habit you can afford to lose. It slows you down and reduces the quality of your work.
Instead of multitasking, focus on doing a single thing at a time and you’ll improve your performance.
7. Have a Break
Although taking breaks might sound counterproductive it actually improves your focus and productivity.
If you chain yourself to your desk your productivity, work performance and mental health will deteriorate. Sooner or later you will suffer from burnout.
According to a study by Tork, 90% of employees said that taking a lunch break helps them feel refreshed and ready to get back to work.
It’s important for employers to encourage employees to take regular breaks — they help us de-stress and boost our creativity.
8. Set Daily Goals
Everyone should have a big picture of who they want to be and achieve.
However, as well as having long-term goals, short-term goals can be great for improving your focus.
By setting small daily goals, you’ll know what you want to achieve today and set yourself up for success.
When you accomplish your goal, your brain will release dopamine.
This helps you stay focused and improves the chances that you’ll achieve tomorrow’s goals.
9. Increase Your Good Fats
Think of your body as a car. If you give it the right fuel and treat it right, it will run stronger and last longer.
A diet high in saturated fats such as butter and red meat can be harmful to your brain. One study found that women who had the highest consumption of saturated fat had the worst memory and cognition over time.
To function fully, your brain needs a lot of good fats. Eggs, coconut oil, avocados and nuts are all examples of good fats you could add to your diet to improve your focus.
Mastering the ability to focus is not an easy task particularly when we are faced with an increasing number of distractions.
To improve your focus at work, you need to eliminate distractions and look after your body and mind with the right diet and exercise.
Implement these nine tips or as many as you can manage, and you’ll soon reap the benefits of what you sow.
Related: How to Stop Procrastinating Now!