A message on Slack. A notification on your email inbox. A quick phonecall from a colleague. Your to-do list continuously piles up, with tasks of different priorities and sizes. There’s a big chance of getting distracted or losing focus – even more so now many of us have been working from home for over a year.
Do you also have difficulties focusing at work ? You’re not alone. A lot of the time it all comes down to proper planning. Read on to find out about our 5 tips on how to have better focus.
Create fixed hours in which you work
Imagine : you usually work from 8.30AM till 5PM. Incorporate 3 hours a day in which you work hard at a certain task without taking any breaks. These are your « focus hours » : no messages, no « could you quickly do this for me ? », no other tasks or distractions. Just you and your task.
Do you work better in the morning ? Or do you feel like your get into the flow of work in the afternoon ? Try out different moments of the day and evaluate this for yourself.
One bite at a time
« How do you eat an elephant ? One bite at a time », a saying which holds truth. Meaning, avoid multitasking : continuously switching between different tasks rarely leads to a better result. It definitely isn’t the right way to be productive either. Break up big assignments into smaller, manageable pieces and tick those boxes one by one.
Emails and their notifications
Planning is key. This includes moments in which you answer your emails, messages and phone calls. It is better to plan in a proper time when you focus on communication, rather than doing all of this quickly and in between other tasks.
Being available at all times is detrimental to your productivity. Choose 2 to 3 moments a day in which you answer your emails or calls. Switch off notifications when you are not on « communication time ».
Taking a break works
Yep, that soup guy is right. Building in breaks is crucial to allow yourself some breathing room. Get up from your desk from time to time, walk around or get a coffee. Clearing your head is truly beneficial to your focus and creativity !
Communicate (in a better way) with your colleagues
Your planning does not include (we suppose ?) any banking secrets. Kindly tell your colleagues when you cannot be disturbed. Ask for constructive feedback and align your own planning with your team members. This way everyone can separate briefings, brainstorming sessions and other cooperative moments from their one-man tasks. This way having no concentration at work will be a thing of the past !