Thanks to all life digital! Humans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish. Where a goldfish can hold its attention for 9 seconds, our attention tends to diminish after 8 seconds. This news became the headline after a study from Microsoft showing the effect of digitized lifestyle on the brain revealed some shocking results. While it is true to some extent, it may not be the case with everyone. And why wouldn’t it be when we are surrounded by our smartphones and laptops at all times. The buzzing notifications on our phone and other devices lure us towards them making us lose our focus and concentration. And it’s not just the phones! When we are at work, we are surrounded by a huge network of computers and laptops that keep notifying us about our daily tasks. To add to this list, the endless scrolling through emails, phone calls, promotional messages, etc. makes it really hard for us to focus on our work. But what if staying focussed and productive is a part of your job? You’ve got tons of things to do and you get distracted easily. If the environment you’re working in is actually a big distraction for you, there are certain things you should do to improve your concentration and productivity at work. While there are pills such as Waklert (that contain Armodafinil) that help you stay awake and alert for a longer duration of time, there’s something more you can do.
Prioritize Your Tasks
Prioritizing tasks is the first and foremost thing that every person should do at the beginning of his/her day. Making a to-do list can be helpful. You can certainly improve your focus by tackling the important tasks first (which would consume both time and brain of yours) and do the small stuff later on. Organizing and managing everything wisely can help regain attention and help you stay more productive at work.
Tasks such as checking emails and sorting lists or folders on your system should be your last priority. On the other hand, if you have a set deadline for today or tomorrow (for a particular task), it should be on your priority list of the most important tasks that should be dealt with first. Failing to prioritize tasks can lead to organizational and distractibility issues.
First Thing in the Morning – Exercise!
Exercise is not only important for our physical health but mental health as well. Exercising in the morning can boost your productivity and help regain better focus. If you find trouble concentrating at work, make sure that you exercise for at least 20-30 minutes daily in the morning. Exercise doesn’t mean that you have to lift some heavyweights in the gym. Going out for a walk or simple jogging can help improve blood circulation throughout the body, thus, enhancing your overall well-being.
Turn Off Those Notifications and Other Distractions
If you really want to improve your concentration and stay productive at work, you need to eliminate those pointless distractions that keep making you check your phone after every other minute. Well, obviously you want to be notified about what’s going on around you and what your friends and family members are doing. But the constant buzzing of social media notifications and other apps can be really annoying that can diminish your focus. These small interruptions can have a significant effect on your brain similar to what you experience after the loss of a night’s sleep.
Try to eliminate all pointless distractions by switching your phone to airplane mode when you work, disabling all notifications on your work desk, and informing your colleagues that you aren’t to be disturbed. You can also make use of productivity apps that can be helpful for blocking out these distractions.
Intermittent Fasting Can Help
Have you heard about the fasting concept of consuming all your calories in an 8-hour window? You’re right! It’s called intermittent fasting. You fast for 16 hours and consume your daily calories within the next 8 hours. As difficult as it may sound, it’s actually a lot easier than that. While fitness experts may recommend this fasting method for losing weight, it actually helps you in improving focus as your body doesn’t waste its energy in digesting foods. One of the best ways to do intermittent fasting is to skip breakfast and have a cup or two of black coffee instead. Break your fast around 1 pm or so and take all your meals within the next 8 hours.
Pay Attention to Your Sleep Schedule
You just cannot think of eliminating or skipping sleep from your daily schedule. While some people may perform well after a 5-hour sleep, others may need a good 8-9 hours of night sleep.
According to experts at Hisblue, “Every individual should consider getting 7-8 hours of sleep daily. For the brain and body to function properly, sound sleep is necessary. If you find trouble sleeping for 7-8 hours straight, consider getting a biphasic or polyphasic sleep wherein you take naps during the day. This can help you perform better at work by making you regain your focus and concentration.”
If you’re sleep-deprived, you’ll feel fatigued and do nothing but ruin your work. However, this can be a problem for people who do rotational shifts, early morning, and late-night shifts. Commonly known as shift workers, the circadian rhythm of the body gets disturbed due to the constantly changing work routine. They may end up sleeping at their work desks or while driving which often leads to accidents. If you find it difficult managing your sleep schedule, consider getting help from a sleep therapist.
Consider Getting a Break
Getting a break is necessary. If you’re an artist or a person who’s involved in creative activities throughout the day, you may run out of ideas soon if you keep pushing yourself unnecessarily. This often leads to burnout. While it may sound counterproductive, it is actually worth getting a short break to recharge your energy levels.
Heard about the Pomodoro technique? The Pomodoro technique is basically a time management philosophy that aims to keep procrastination at bay by focusing on your work. All you need to do is – work on your tasks for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. This is called One Pomodoro. Repeat the same process 4 times and then increase your break time gradually (to 15-20 minutes). Taking regular breaks keeps your mind focused and you stay productive throughout each Pomodoro session.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
You may have heard of the numerous benefits of drinking water. But do you know that it can improve your cognitive ability and energy levels as well? Staying hydrated is really important as dehydration can deplete your short term memory skills.
Depending upon your weight and health condition, you should aim for at least 2-2.5 liters of water every day. If you weigh 140 pounds, consume at least 70 to 140 ounces of water in a day.
We get so lost in our work that we often forget to drink enough water. This is why you should keep a bottle of water at your work desk so that you can have it when you feel thirsty. It can also act as a reminder for you to drink water.
With so much to do and the truckload of information and distractions around us, it becomes difficult to stay focused and productive at work. Managing these distractions in our environment is vital for mastering the ability to stay focussed and performing daily routine tasks at ease. Implement these 7 tips to make the most out of your daily routine.