When you’re focused on finishing the task at hand, something unexpected happens. You simply pay close attention to any distraction, regardless of how urgent it may be. Five minutes, ten minutes, and occasionally even an hour… When you return to work, everything just happens, and you have no idea where you left off or why you weren’t able to focus your mind and heart on it. You simply wish to sharpen your focus and complete your tasks! In this article, the answer to the following questions will be discussed:
- Why Is It So Hard to Focus on task?
- How can you Focus on a task?
- 1 Why Is It So Hard to Focus on task?
- 2 How can you Focus on a task?
- 2.1 Know Your Triggers
- 2.2 Avoid Digital Distractions
- 2.3 Make Your computers Distraction-Free
- 2.4 Technically Schedule Each Day
- 2.5 Join our Newsletter
- 2.6 Create a Daily “To-Do” List and Keep It close
- 2.7 Prioritize each Task
- 2.8 Handle one task at a time
- 2.9 Chunking Tasks
- 2.10 Set Deadlines
- 2.11 Inform Others of Your current Personal Policies
- 2.12 Create a workspace where you alone have access to
- 2.13 Avoid Social Media distraction
- 2.14 Your emails should be organized
- 2.15 Change Things Up
- 2.16 Reset the way you make use of Your Phone
- 2.17 Put on noise-canceling Headphone
- 2.18 Listen to Suitable Music
- 2.19 Always Find What You Do interesting
- 2.20 Select a Great Chair-And-Table Combo
- 2.21 Declutter Your Workspace
- 2.22 Drink enough water always
- 2.23 Eat Healthy Snacks whenever you’re hungry
- 3 In summary
Why Is It So Hard to Focus on task?
When you’re unable to concentrate on tasks, your time will be consumed with what renowned author and Georgetown University computer science professor Cal Newport refers to as “shallow work”:
Logistical-style, non-cognitively demanding tasks that are frequently carried out while distracted. These initiatives are simple to duplicate and typically don’t add anything unique to the world. The majority of our days are spent working like this. Performing what Newport refers to as “deep work” during working hours is a more effective and ultimately useful way to use our time: “Professional task carried out in a state of undistracted focus that strains your cognitive faculties. These initiatives add new value, enhance your abilities, and are challenging to duplicate.
Your working life may be negatively impacted in a number of ways if your ability to concentrate on a task is declining. This not only increases your risk of making blunders but also prevents you from climbing the corporate ladder. Prior to learning how to focus at work, you must understand what is impairing your capacity to focus in the first place. Do you only have a little issue, or do you have a mental health issue? The following list includes the most frequent causes of lack of concentration at work:
- Unhealthy or stressful lifestyle
- Insomnia (prioritize sleeping for at least 8 hours a night)
- Depression and anxiety
- PTSD and emotional shock
- Poor self-care
Don’t worry if you can’t actually define what’s causing your lack of concentration on the task at hand because there are many reasons why your focus is waning. Everyone does, in fact, have bad days. Take a short pause and use this time to concentrate your mind, unless you’re an aviation pilot and your work for the day is life or death.
How can you Focus on a task?
You’re not the only one who finds it difficult to focus better on tasks. Fortunately, there are several strategies you may use to improve your attention and focus when handling a task. The following are 22 common ways you can easily focus on the task at hand:
- Know Your Triggers
- Avoid Digital Distractions
- Make Your gadgets Distraction-Free
- Technically Schedule Each Day
- Create a Daily “To-Do” List and Keep It close
- Prioritize each Task
- Handle one task at a time
- Chunking Tasks
- Set Deadlines
- Inform Others of Your current Personal Policies
- Create a workspace where you alone have access to
- Avoid Social Media distraction
- Your emails should be organized
- Change Things Up
- Reset the way you make use of Your Phone
- Put on noise-canceling Headphone
- Listen to Suitable Music
- Always Find What You Do interesting
- Select a Great Chair-And-Table Combo
- Declutter Your Workspace
- Drink enough water always
- Eat Healthy Snacks whenever you’re hungry
Know Your Triggers
Finding out why you’re fighting focus in the first place requires a serious analysis before you can continuously stay concentrated for extended periods of time. Every one of us is unique in some way. Despite having a desk piled high with work materials, some of us still struggle to focus when a coworker enters our area. The stronger something is pulling on our attention, the more likely we are to become sidetracked. So, you can recognize boundary indicators by increasing your self-observation and engaging in serious reflection. There are three common indications that your limits are being crossed or that you need to set some:
You can’t constantly stay away from every distraction. However, the more likely you are to put the proper procedures in place to significantly lower exposure to distractions if you are aware of your limitations. Additionally, the following are things you should consider doing:
- Set your Boundaries
- Stand Firm and strong
Set your Boundaries
A boundary is a line separating you from another person or item in a relationship. Physical, digital, emotional, and even spiritual boundaries are all possible. Limiting interruptions and distractions in your life requires learning how to set limits. You have the freedom to focus on what you want when you have healthy boundaries. It provides the structure for you to channel your energy and focus your efforts, allowing you to produce your finest work. Knowing your triggers and limits, whether they be mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual, is the first step in setting boundaries. Remember that while your limits are unique to you, they probably differ from those of others.
Stand Firm and strong
Imagine the scorn you’ll get if you post a “Do not interrupt” sign on your desk or the entrance of your workplace in this time of extreme sensitivity. It’s unlikely that your coworkers will think highly of it. The majority of us are simply too social butterflies to choose cozy seclusion above risking criticism. Our failure to create limits is frequently caused by our concern that we’ll offend individuals around us. But to be completely honest, other than your own guilt, you really owe nobody a responsibility to always be available.
Read more: Common science-proven ways to stay focused
Avoid Digital Distractions
We already highlighted how distracting digital devices have gotten. If you’re like the majority of employees, you don’t put in all of your workdays. Be truthful. Even if you don’t, the readers of this article are envious of you. According to University of Nevada research, workplace cyberloafing costs US firms up to US$85 billion annually. Newport advocates avoiding distracting websites and apps for a set period of time to get around this. Set aside specific times to use the Internet, and avoid it entirely outside of those hours. The following ways will help you get rid of digital distractions:
- To access the internet at predetermined periods, use site blocking software.
- Learn to control the need to check your phone every ten minutes. Get used to keeping your smartphone face down or choosing the “do not disturb” option.
- turn off your notifications to avoid distraction
- Unrepentantly limit the calls you take during working hours to those that are truly urgent.
Make Your computers Distraction-Free
For those who work on their computers constantly, this is crucial information. Place all documents relating to each project or job in a single folder. Then, to spare yourself the trouble of inspections and repairs, make sure your computer is constantly virus-free. These kinds of situations stress you out and make you less motivated to complete the chores.
Technically Schedule Each Day
The easiest way to tackle intense work and one of the finest methods for maintaining attention at work is to meticulously prepare each day. It sets deadlines, producing a constructive “pressure of time.” Lack of a planned plan or schedule is one of the key reasons why most individuals become distracted at work. Newport is aware that things won’t always go as planned. Nevertheless, it advises “scheduling every minute of your day.” The time-blocking (sometimes referred to as time boxing) technique will hold you responsible by designating specified times for work-related tasks. You may prioritize what’s most important by breaking your workday into blocks and allocating tasks to each one.
There are other time-boxing techniques, such as Day-theming. Day-theming is the practice of giving each day of the week a particular theme rather than alternating between various tasks or spheres of responsibility during the course of the day. It is not the goal of this technique to plan the ideal day. In reality, it’s about providing your workday structure by making you more deliberate with your time. You’ll have more control over your time when you schedule each workday since you’ll know exactly what you want to get done and when.
Join our Newsletter
Create a Daily “To-Do” List and Keep It close
Having your to-do list nearby your computer, in a prominent location around your workspace, or in an accessible app is always beneficial. Once you’ve finished the duties, mark them as “done,” and you’ll feel satisfied and accomplished.
Read more: Easy Ways to Refocus a Wandering Mind
Prioritize each Task
The majority of people are most productive within the first hour of work. This is so that all energy can still be used. So never do this to start your morning if you want to be more productive. Placing the demanding and challenging task on your agenda for the first hour is one of the best ideas for focusing on work. The less urgent job should come next, and the monotonous, everyday activities should come last. These techniques enable you to maintain concentration at work without wasting valuable time on activities you detest. By doing this, you can avoid feeling stressed out by significant projects at the end of the day.
Handle one task at a time
The term “multitasking” was a clever buzzword that said you could accomplish more in less time. Science claims that is untrue. Our brain requires time to restart when we switch between tasks. Author of CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Handling Your Fast-Paced Life and psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell “Multitasking is the act of rapidly switching focus from one task to another. Although it appears that we are multitasking, we actually aren’t. It’s comparable to playing three-ball tennis. Therefore, monotasking will help you focus more. By focusing only on one subject, you have the power to cut through it like a laser.
Even though we may not be able to multitask, we can perform two tasks at once if they need different portions of our brain. Driving has internalized, which is why we can drive while listening to podcasts and maintain control of our vehicles. Another excellent example is jogging while listening to music. Although chunking doesn’t qualify as a strategy to improve focus, it does allow us to use that time for other things. Being able to accomplish more things is a sign of good time management. It might be overwhelming to get everything done when we have a lot on our plates. However, by chunking operations, we can accomplish two goals at once.
According to Parkinson’s Law, work grows to occupy the available time. Simply put, we modify our job to fit the amount of time available to finish it. Let’s say you’re given until next Thursday to finish a task. The majority of folks will complete it by next Thursday. As adults, we have a lot of tasks to handle, unlike in school where we have the eager beavers, and we put off tasks that do not require our immediate attention. So, only include the time frame if you want to improve concentration. Don’t allow yourself to procrastinate; instead, face your challenges head-on. You’ll be able to breeze through things when you combine them with the other methods and ideas discussed in this post.
Inform Others of Your current Personal Policies
Let others know if you’re determined to make your own working system successful. During the times when you’re concentrating on the most significant work, it’s likely that you’d be left alone. People at work will ask questions and start conversations when they know you’re taking “free time” at those times. They’ll leave you at work unless there’s an urgent situation. Since they share the same desires.
Create a workspace where you alone have access to
Not every call is about your flat being broken into or a loved one is in danger. Therefore, put your phone on quietly at the times when you truly need to focus on your task. Voicemail service activation is an additional option. When using instant messaging, set the status to “busy” or “invisible” so that you may remain focused on your work. If you continue to receive IMs, simply deactivate the software or notification. When your current task isn’t as urgent, turn it on later.
Avoid Social Media distraction
These websites are not intended to be checked frequently. So, be disciplined to log in just when you have spare time available. Because most social networking sites constantly have something fresh, intriguing, and fun to offer, there is a good chance that you’ll stay for longer than anticipated. Not only would it be difficult for you to concentrate at work, but there is a lot of information there that could unnecessarily distract you, such as a friend’s status about her breakup or news of a coworker receiving a promotion.
Your emails should be organized
Email is another extremely distracting and stressful pastime. There’s a good chance you’ll get a regular stream of business emails every day, depending on the organization you work for and your particular function. It’s true: You receive a lot. Likely a mixed bag of business and personal correspondence, together with promotions and updates from your websites, and surely spam. One of the most unavoidable components of work life is email. Currently, we send 200 billion emails per day on average.
Having a different email account for business and personal use is an excellent approach to prevent this. Set both of them up to screen all emails. Check your emails once more when you have some free time, and unsubscribe from senders you can do without. Next, arrange the emails you’ll be addressing later. Discard the rest. Emails, according to Newport, occupy mental resources and attention that could be used for in-depth work. Email, in his opinion, is the attention that typical shallow activity captures in the majority of knowledge workers is particularly sly. It’s challenging to break free of the little virtual envelopes’ strong hold on our attention since they arouse such strong sensations of interest and excitement. Newport suggests the following methods:
- Secure Your Email Address
- The Inbox Zero Method
Secure Your Email Address
- If you own a business, don’t post your email address on your website or list it in the public domain.
- For various inquiries, use various emails or distinct contact forms.
- Adopt a process-centered methodology. Sending more full and comprehensive emails will help to cut down on some of the back-and-forth communication. This will enable a conversation to end more swiftly.
- Decide which emails to respond to first. Recognize that not every email you get needs to be answered.
The Inbox Zero Method
The divisive Inbox Zero approach is another email tactic you may use. Inbox Zero, which was first used by Merlin Mann, the founder of 43 Folders, will assist you in setting up specified periods of time each day to read and respond to emails so that they don’t consume your entire day. The following are some tenets of Mann’s original interpretation of Inbox Zero:
- Most of the day, keep your email application closed.
- Remember to delete, delegate, respond, defer, or do while processing emails.
- Messages that can be resolved in two minutes or less should be answered right away.
Change Things Up
While I have discussed timers, monotasking, and attention, we must acknowledge that sometimes we simply become stuck. These are the times when we require a change of environment. There’s no point in kicking a dead horse. There are some days when we just don’t feel particularly creative. It’s preferable to simply put your head entirely outside of what you are doing at moments like this. Do something utterly different to clear your mind. Your mind will have a chance to reset itself during that break. It may help to read a book, play a video game, or do something completely unrelated to your normal routine. It’s astonishing how easily we can sharpen our concentration by simply changing things up.
Reset the way you make use of Your Phone
Phone calls are for urgent matters, and long lunch breaks are for conversations about the date from the night before. Such a rule would aid in your ability to concentrate at work. Instead of constantly tapping your back or crying out that you may take a call at any time, you could ask your coworkers to let callers know you’d get back to them later. When you’re finished at work, call the people who called you earlier and briefly discuss the problem. Ask them about their issue in the following two minutes, take note of it, and promise to call them back when they need to take action. Prepare and write all the information they require while considering their potential further thoughts on the subject. Once you’ve called them back, keep your phone call to no more than three minutes.
Put on noise-canceling Headphone
The mail cart, coworkers conversing, phones ringing, and noises of objects falling to the floor are just a few examples of the different sources of noise that can be disturbing in most workplaces. So why not ignore disturbing factors? Put on headphones for protection so you can concentrate at work. Unexpected sounds and noises that cause your thoughts to wander will be blocked out by the headphones.
Listen to Suitable Music
According to a 2007 study from the Stanford University School of Medicine, listening to music, particularly classical music, can make it easier for your brain to assimilate and process new information. The purpose of background music while working is to ease your mind and inspire you, allowing you to maintain your concentration. Some people find that listening to music increases their adrenaline, allowing them to work more productively. However, not all musical genres are enjoyable for everyone, and some are not appropriate for a person’s mood. This advice on how to concentrate at work suggests setting up your music collection appropriately.
Always Find What You Do interesting
Any routine or meaningful work requires a considerable amount of focus. Before starting something, consider why you should. You will get the result you want with your response; therefore, you value the task. Then, discover ways to make the activity enjoyable, such as involving your imagination and creativity in the process. Don’t confine yourself to the parameters of “acceptable” output; keep your options open for fresh, enjoyable concepts. You’re more likely to remain focused at work when you create something that you can name your own.
Select a Great Chair-And-Table Combo
Even though most task is completed while sitting down, many people nevertheless find it psychologically exhausting. The best advice on how to concentrate on a task is to avoid wasting time or becoming distracted by discomfort. Make sure your desk or worktable is well-structured and invest in a genuinely comfortable chair with excellent back support. In this way, you can work continuously without experiencing physical or visual fatigue.
Declutter Your Workspace
Too much clutter on your desk or within arm’s reach might be very distracting. Only keep the items you actually need on your desk nicely arranged; otherwise, store them properly, such as in a desk drawer or on shelves, in order to maintain your focus at work. Establish a space where you may put your luggage or pocketbook, food, and other personal stuff. However, keep them close at hand so you can quickly get a drink without pausing what you’re doing.
Drink enough water always
Water is not only refreshing, but it is also good for you. A glass of water might help you to fight off the first signs of hunger or exhaustion. You can then complete your task and take a break later. Additionally, not all stomach grumblings indicate hunger, and drinking some water typically takes care of it. Just make sure you have access to water. By doing so, you can avoid walking to the water station and falling victim to distractions while at work.
Eat Healthy Snacks whenever you’re hungry
The food that could calm a growling stomach must constantly be available, much as keeping water nearby. Eating at your desk will prevent exposure to unrelated activities for the same reason that working requires 90 percent of your focus.
Just keep in mind that at work, you are surrounded by things and people that could stop you in your tracks and interfere with your capacity to focus. With the 22 common ways to focus on tasks listed above, you can help keep these at bay. That is all for this article, The answer to the following questions is discussed:
- Why Is It So Hard to Focus on task?
- How can you Focus on a task?
I hope you learn a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with others. Thanks for reading, see you around!