Most of us have at some point felt our focus slip at work. We’ve noticed our attention span shortening, our minds wandering, and fatigue starting to kick in. This lack of focus is usually accompanied by a decline in productivity. It makes sense, after all, that we get less done when we’re tired, we can’t concentrate, and our minds aren’t really on the job.
But this lack of focus and productivity can be a real problem. It can lead to poor performance at work, and in some cases and professions, it could even lead to you making dangerous mistakes orhaving serious accidents. But more than this, a lack of focus and productivity can mean that we don’t get the same kind of job satisfaction. We don’t enjoy our work, and we dread Monday mornings.
The good news is that you don’t just have to put up with this. In fact, there’s plenty that you can do to increase your focus and productivity at work, improve your performance and enjoyment of your job, and boost your energy levels and mood.
Exercise in the Mornings
Exercising in the morning before you start your day can help to boost your energy levels and give you a fantastic adrenaline kick to start your day. This can last well into the morning, helping you to feel better and get more done.
Going for a jog outdoors can mean that you get some fresh air and vitamin D first thing in the morning, and practicing yoga can ease any aches and pains, boost your circulation and flexibility, and prepare your body for the day ahead.
Change Your Commute
If you are spending time sitting in traffic every morning, you might feel like you’ve already had a day’s worth of stress before you even get to work. So, if you can, make a change. Try walking or cycling some of the way, using a different mode of transport, taking a different route, or just listening to a podcast instead of the radio.
Go for a Walk on Your Break
Going for a walk on your break, or even getting up and stretching at your desk when your energy levels start to dip can boost your circulation, ease fatigue, and improve your mood. If you can, getting outdoors for a few minutes can be especially effective.
Eat Smaller Meals
We often feel very tired after a large meal. If you take an hour lunch break and eat a big, filling meal, you might find it hard to get going again in the afternoon.
Instead, try to be more flexible with your breaks if possible. Take a shorter lunch and enjoy a smaller, less filling meal. Try to include energy-boosting proteins, and avoid anything too heavy or too fatty which your body will have to work harder to digest.
Take Regular Breaks
A shorter lunch break and more regular breaks with short walks and light snacks throughout the day can be ideal. But if this isn’t possible, at least try to get up and move, or change what you are doing, so that you are only having to focus on the same thing for short periods.
Make Your Coffee Count
Coffee is a great way to boost your energy levels. It can be effective in the morning, but also after lunch when you might be struggling. But, if you drink it all the time, it can hurt your energy levels long-term, and lead to a much bigger slump later.
Instead of drinking lots of cheap coffee, limit yourself to a few cups made with a very special coffee bean to increase your focus and productivity and reduce the risk of a slump.
You’ll struggle with focus and productivity if you are bored at work. If you can, challenge yourself to try new things or processes, volunteer for jobs that push you out of your comfort zone, or speak to your manager about taking on something new.
Multitasking is often seen as the ultimate goal when it comes to productivity. But it often means that you’re taking too much on while failing to give anything your full attention. It can also mean that you are overwhelming your mind and limiting your focus.
Try to manage your time and only take on one task at a time, only moving on when it’s complete.
Tidy Your Workspace
A cluttered desk leads to a cluttered mind, and in turn, a tired, overwhelmed, and unproductive mind. Keeping your desk tidy is an easy way to boost focus and productivity.
For most people, it’s a combination of things that improve their productivity the most, but not every tip works for everyone. Try things out to find a routine that works for you, and don’t be scared to make changes if you feel your focus starting to slip again.