5 Hacks To Stay Focused At Work


1. Schedule Breaks In Checking Emails

Anyone who works in an office environment knows that some days you may feel that your work is unavoidably tied to emails and that you’ll find yourself in a pool of never ending +1’s in your inbox no matter how often you try your best to keep up. Although, it turns out that being constantly connected to your inbox may actually be impairing your focus on your work load as a whole. When following 13 information workers (mechanical engineers, physicians, etc.) for five workdays, a study by UC Irvine and the U.S. Army found that spending time away from emails significantly improved their ability to focus on their job.

Results of the study showed that “without email, people multitasked less and had a longer task focus, as measured by a lower frequency of shifting between windows and a longer duration of time spent working in each computer window.” Study participants also later reported that they were able to focus more on their tasks when they weren’t stressing about their emails inbox all day. Allowing yourself specific times of day to check your email for a few minutes could be key to increasing your productivity and lowering your stress.

2. Keep Your Desk & Surroundings Clean

In a study on the mechanisms of the visual cortex, researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that having “multiple stimuli present in the visual field” (aka the clutter you probably unknowingly have laying around) restricts your ability to focus and in-turn limits your brain’s ability to process information efficiently.

According to the study, you can improve your focus at work by a long shot by simply clearing your desk and workspace around you of visual chaos. Getting rid of items you don’t need, storing things you don’t use often, and organising everything around you will open up a fresh new feeling and have you ready to progress throughout the day.

3. Schedule Your Own Vacations/Free Time

Skipping out on vacation time can backfire hard when it comes to productivity and lead to potentially causing a major burnout. Studies show that unplugging from your career for even just a short period of time can refresh an individual and is crucial to increasing productivity, enthusiasm for your work and getting the most out of your workdays.

Learning to focus your attention in order to tune out distractions is not only a key way to get the most out of your work day, but also a great way to boost your effectiveness at work in the long run. Don’t forget, practice makes perfect!

4. Get Plenty Of Sleep

It would usually go without saying that the connection between a well rested brain and greater mental focus is pretty real, and for many successful entrepreneurs, getting the recommended hours of sleep is their holy grail advice to anyone looking to succeed in their chosen field.

A number of different studies have been made on sleeping to prove that it would heighten basically every aspect of your day-to-day life, so if you’ve got a big project or presentation coming up the next day, getting enough shut eye could be key to upping your focus and increasing your chances of success.

5. Know When To Take A Break

Taking a break might seem like a century-long excuse to waste time. However, it is exactly the opposite of what you would typically think. Scientifically, your brain will ultimately feel exhausted if you work for longer hours, as oppose to multiple intervals of shorter periods of time. Taking short breaks of 5-10 minutes during each task is an effective way to recharge, refocus and get your mind and body in a new productive zone.


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