Let’s face it; becoming distracted at work is practically inevitable. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are only a click away from transporting us to a world of various cat videos and friends’ statuses. In this digital age where there’s an app for basically anything, how can we concentrate more at work? Well, we have a few simple tips to help you concentrate and pay attention to your work.
- Put yourself in “Airplane Mode”
Modern smart phones and tablets have a special “Airplane Mode” that shuts off Wi-Fi and any mobile data. Devices with this turned on won’t receive any phone calls, text messages, or anything that requires the internet. This same mode can apply to you at work. If you’re someone who is constantly checking social media or email, log out. It’s really easy just to check one email or to send a message to someone only to spend the next few hours not doing the tasks assigned to you. Become incognito when you work. Don’t allow yourself to use any chat program or website that isn’t directly tied into your work. If your cell phone is not on “Airplane Mode” at least place it somewhere where you won’t be tempted to look at it every five minutes.
- Take breaks
Overworking yourself won’t help you to concentrate more at work. Segment your time into chunks of 60-90 minutes to get your work done. Allow your brain to breathe and process everything that you have done during the day. Taking breaks helps you to not get overwhelmed or exhausted, allowing less time for an unnecessary distraction to pop up. If you start to feel overwhelmed or think you’re going to stray from what you’re doing, you can go for a walk, listen to some music, or try to find something else productive.
- Set goals
During the day, set yourself some goals that you need to accomplish at work. Create a list of the top priorities you need to do. Write down the goals on a whiteboard so they are prevalent to see. Review this list every day. For daily goals, set yourself a time limit of how long you want to work on that goal. These goals should be attainable. Don’t try to finish a project in a day if you know it will take a week. This way, if distractions do pop up, you know that you have something set in your mind that will help you to focus on your goal rather than the distraction.
- Reward yourself
This may sound counter-intuitive, but when you get the goal done, reward yourself with a distraction. Social media will be a reward that many people will give themselves. Once you accomplished your goal, you can go onto a social media site like Facebook and Twitter to check out those cat videos. When you are rewarding yourself, it’s a good idea to also set a time limit. When the time is up, move onto the next goal. Rewarding yourself will help you to concentrate on the next task since you allow distractions only after your goals are done.
When you’re feeling distracted, what do you do to help you concentrate and pay attention at work? Leave your tip in the comments below.
-Anthony Fongaro, Quartet Blog Author & Editor