6 Tips To Stay Focused at Work

tips for staying focused at work

While staying focused at work isn’t always easy, there are many ways to set yourself up for success.

You probably know the feeling: it’s 2 p.m., fatigue starts to set in after working since morning, and the motivation to keep going starts to drop.

At this point, it’s tempting to procrastinate and let your mind wander. You may check your phone messages, scroll through social media, or have a chat at the water cooler. Before you know it, 30 minutes have passed and you end up rushing to meet an afternoon deadline.

Whether you work remotely or in an office, many distractions can limit your productivity. If you have difficulty staying focused, these small steps can make a big difference.

1 – Eliminate Triggers In Your Environment

An important part of creating a focus-friendly workspace is eliminating distractions. This can put you in the right headspace for working and promote productivity.

Maintaining a tidy desk can support concentration and help you meet those deadlines with plenty of time to spare.

2 – Maintain Routines

Generally, a responsible and valued employee sticks to their scheduled tasks and hours. Avoid distractions during working hours, such as doing personal tasks and looking into social media notifications. This will not only waste your time but impede your productivity and performance as well.

Try to cultivate habits that support your efforts to be productive.

For instance, waking up at the same time every day, having a good breakfast, and starting and finishing work at the same time. Routines can help you stay on track, even if you’re working in changing environments.

One way to add routine and structure to your workday is to use the Pomodoro technique, where you set a 20-minute timer for focused work, then take a break when the timer goes off.

3 – Exercise Regularly 

We’ve all heard that a healthy body contains a healthy mind.  This certainly holds true when it comes to staying focused. Daily physical activity for just 4 weeks can improve concentration. For instance, it can improve memory, attention, and performance — all of which are perks that can help you stay on top of the tasks at hand.

4 – Create a to-do list

A to-do list is a simple yet powerful tool you can use to stay focused at work. It allows you to see which tasks you need to complete and by when. A visual aid is very helpful for most people as you can cross off tasks as you complete them.

You can try using a notepad, a daily calendar, an online tool, or even an app.

5 – Bring snacks

It can be hard to concentrate on work when you’re hungry. When you’re in a rush, it’s not always easy to make a whole meal to bring to work, instead, consider bringing some healthy snacks to keep you fueled and focused.

Snacks offer psychological benefits like reducing stress and providing energy to complete tasks.

If you find that hunger distracts you from working, consider some of these ideas that are easy to make ahead or simply grab on the go:

  • apple slices with nut butter
  • granola bar
  • veggie sticks with hummus
  • Greek yogurt cups with berries and chopped nuts
  • Protein bliss ball
  • brown rice cakes with avocado
  • tinned tuna and cucumber slices on whole meal crackers
  • overnight oat cups with fruit
  • chia pudding

6 – Take Regular Breaks

If you work a full 8-hour day, it’s important to take regular breaks.

It may seem counterintuitive but stepping away from your desk can improve your productivity. Even a short 5- to 15-minute break can help you recharge and improve your focus upon your return.

Having set breaks helps to break up the day, makes it easier to recharge, and will help when trying to maintain productivity at the end of the day.