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5 Steps to Improving Your Focus at Work

All of us have trouble focusing on work once in a while. Something may happen to disrupt our flow, like music playing too loud, or memory that drags us into subconscious daydreaming.

But it’s a problem if you are constantly getting distracted at work. It could hamper your productivity and negatively affect the quality of your output.

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Perhaps your drifting mind is already causing you trouble– you’re behind schedule, work is piling up, and you’re starting to get frustrated about your inability to get things done. How do you become laser-focused and achieve your goals every day?

Here are 5 things you can do today to improve your focus at work.

Eliminate Distractions

Ringing phones, social media notifications, and myriad other things will compete for our attention if we let them. And when they share the same stage as work in our minds, they could win out more often than not.

If you are going to maintain your focus on work, you will have to block out these things. Switch off data, turn on aeroplane mode or mute your devices. Close tabs on your computer that aren’t related to what you’re working on.

What if the distraction comes from your surrounding environment, like a coworker or background noise? You can request to be left alone around specific times of the workday and ask for the volume of the disruptive noise to be turned down.

Work with a To-Do List

If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, you will be drawn about by whatever the dominant impulse of the moment is. You may even struggle to settle for any particular task, and fail to accomplish much of anything in the end.

The best way to deal with this is to have a list of things you want to achieve on any working day. Draw up the list before you begin work. Arrange them in descending order of urgency or difficulty (depending on what’s appropriate for your situation), and try to follow that order through the day.

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Avoid Multitasking as Much as Possible

Multitasking isn’t a superhuman strength. It’s a potential waste of time and energy. If you try to split your moments between two or more things, you may wind up not doing any of them as well as you could have.

Perhaps it’s true that some people are better at multitasking than others. But even if you can handle the demands, you’re still likely to get less out of it than you would if you simply picked one task and focused on it.

The potential for losing your attention is high with multitasking, so it’s best avoided, where possible.

Take Breaks

The longer you work at something, the greater the chance you will get distracted from it. The mind isn’t designed to focus on any single thing for extended periods.

Taking short breaks from work will allow you to regain perspective and mental sharpness. Rest your mind by briefly (but deliberately) focusing on something less stressful and unrelated to the work you are doing.

For instance, if you are working for an hour, you can focus on the task for 50 minutes, and relax for the remaining ten.

Practice Focus

Repeat the previous steps every day, and you will get better at focusing at work.


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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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