Do you sometimes have problems focusing while working or studying?
Don’t worry—it happens to many of us. Luckily, there are methods that can help you improve your focus and be more productive each and every day.
If you have ever wondered how to stay focused better, the tips outlined below will provide you with all the necessary information.
They’ll support you in your first steps towards strengthening your concentration skills and improving your work efficiency.
1. An early start may boost your efficiency
Early risers are usually more productive and efficient due to several reasons.
In the morning, you can perform different activities (planning, scheduling, and exercising) that help you to be more prepared for your day. Moreover, when you get up early, you avoid rush hour and commuting-related stress.
Also, by the time you reach the office, you still have enough quiet time before colleagues arrive. You can spend that time resolving problems requiring focus.
2. Identifying purpose in work can help you to be more motivated
It is not a secret that good motivation can boost your productivity.
Therefore, finding meaning in what you do may largely benefit you. It may be especially useful when you try to finish cognitively complicated tasks: If you don’t understand why you are doing it, you will likely switch your attention to something else.
Reminding yourself about the importance of work may be a key to success and efficiency.
Thus, to be more focused you need to:
- Determine the goals and objectives associated with particular tasks or work as a whole.
- Create a personal focus mantra that will keep you on the right track and help to defeat distractions.
3. Set priorities correctly to keep full attention on important tasks
A task will be more engaging when you feel it is worthy of your time. Strategically evaluate your life goals and priorities to understand what should be done first and what will be most rewarding.
The path to success consists of 3 steps:
- Design a vision of success
- Develop supportive habits
A vision that connects your current actions with positive outcomes is the basis of every good strategy for improving efficiency.
Therefore, to be more focused, review your interests and needs to prioritize your tasks in the right order.
4. Effective time management results in greater productivity
Time management implies effective arrangement of activities in a particular time-frame. This simple practice doesn’t require specific skills and can bring many benefits.
To name a few benefits:
- Reduced stress.
- Less rework and wasted time.
- Increased control over the situation.
- Greater opportunities to meet formulated goals.
To gain all these advantages, you need to allocate time resources among various tasks in a strategic manner, set up deadlines, and develop the determination to stick to the plan.
5. A list of things to do will help you become more organized
As Tom Stanford mentions in his BBC article, a system of to-do lists allows people to break tasks down into several simple actions that one can easily accomplish.
Moreover, by listing things you need to complete, you can unload your memory and release attention. In this way, to-do lists increase your capacity for staying focused on important things.
6. Get the most difficult tasks done first
Usually, people start their day by resolving simple issues such as sending emails and communicating with colleagues. However, every task, no matter how hard or simple it may be, drains our energy and attention.
Therefore, it is better to do complicated and creative work first and then move on to other tasks that require less focus and effort.
7. A properly organized work area will help you not to lose focus
Disorganization costs time and efficiency. Piles of papers and folders, a mess in drawers and on your desk, prevent you from finding necessary things and files quickly. It also distracts you and reduces your ability to focus.
Making your workspace more efficient requires very little effort:
- Clear your desk and keep only the essential items on it.
- Arrange equipment and supplies in a way to keep them within your reach.
- Create folders to store important papers and make archives.
By following these tips, you will spend less time and energy trying to find something and will keep your focus sharp.
8. A work-friendly atmosphere supports work efficiency and productivity
As you may already know from experience, working environment affects our focus and productivity to a large extent. When people do something they do not enjoy that much, they easily become irritated and distracted by the smallest sounds.
Thus, although it may seem strange, playing music while working may increase your concentration.
Here’s the deal:
Music stimulates attention by providing non-invasive noise and provoking pleasant emotions. In this way, music neutralizes the subconscious distractive factors which then makes us more focused and productive.
You can play any music you like when working. However, it is suggested to avoid music with lyrics because the human mind is always attentive to speech.
9. Regular breaks throughout a workday will help you stay on a schedule
If you wonder how to focus better and how to stay on task, you should include small breaks into your schedule and not neglect them even if you are very busy.
The truth is that brief interruptions help to increase focus and get you back on the right course. Moreover, working or studying without breaks is simply tiring and may lead to negative health consequences.
Thus, in order not to cramp your work efficiency, you need to reactivate your attention through breaks.
10. Good health is an important quality of every efficient person
It is no wonder that healthy people perform better in every sphere of their life. When we are healthy, we are happier and more optimistic. What’s more, these positive emotions foster greater productivity and concentration on important activities.
Here are some ways to stay healthy or increase your health:
- Regular physical exercise
- Healthy food choices
- Sufficient sleep
11. You will become more concentrated on work by avoiding multitasking
No matter how appealing the idea of doing several things simultaneously may seem to you, it is better to focus on one task at a time. By choosing to multitask, you will end up being confused and fall behind schedule.
Multitasking may lead to several negative consequences which can easily inhibit your workflow:
- Inaccuracy in processing information.
- Inability to solve complicated issues due to lack of full attention.
- Excessive stress and burnout detrimental to your physical and psychological health.
Therefore, to increase efficiency and productivity, you should do one step at a time and not try to focus your mind on too many things.
By accomplishing tasks gradually, you will reduce the risks of making unnecessary mistakes that require extra time to fix, and you will ultimately feel more satisfied with the results of your work.
12. Set adequate boundaries to reduce stress
To be efficient, you need to know your limitations and not expect too much from yourself. Unrealistic expectations can only make you feel guilty even for the smallest delays and deviations from the intended plan.
Inadequately established time frames and unrealistic expectations result in counter productivity. Therefore, do not rush and do not push yourself too hard. Slow down and try to enjoy every step of your work more.
13. Avoid using your phone or the Internet
The Internet, smartphones, television, and other modern technologies are major distractions that lower your focus and decrease efficiency.
Although you may decide to check your phone for just a few seconds, bit by bit, it will drag your attention away, keeping you from completing your work for hours.
The trick is:
To increase focus, you should avoid using them while working. Try to keep the potentially distractive devices out of sight to reduce temptation and use them only in case of an urgent need.
14. Every efficiency formula includes a well-developed reward system
Recognition and appreciation always serve as major motivators. But it is not enough to be appreciated by others; you also need to reward your efforts and accomplishments yourself.
Your self-reward system can include any benefits you like, either material or non-material, e.g., purchases, tasty foods, small trips.
Treat yourself once in a while.
By recognizing our efforts and marking significant milestones with rewards, we become more satisfied working and stimulate our attention to details.
15. Continual practice in being focused makes us more efficient
Any person can improve their focusing abilities through regular training.
You can start with short sessions that will last from 15 to 30 minutes. During one session, you need to pay your full attention to one task. Learning to focus for a longer time will facilitate your accomplishments and will make you more efficient.
Reading is a good method for training concentration as well. At least 30 minutes of reading per day will strengthen your ability to focus. And other benefits of reading include reduced stress, a better ability to handle written information, improved memory, and many others.
Focus on focusing, and you will succeed!
These days concentrating on certain tasks is more difficult than it used to be. The reason is that we live in an information-based world where our attention is spread out into different directions at once.
But the methods described in this article can always give you a solution to finally discover how to stay focused and be more productive.
Review the 15 tips and choose the ones that best suit your situation and preferences. You may even try to follow all our suggestions to achieve the highest efficiency.
No matter what your method is, remember that training in being more focused takes time and effort. But with a little persistence and the right attitude, you will undoubtedly succeed!