Do you ever find it difficult to focus on a task while at work? There are many others who feel the same way. In fact, according to Zippia, the average employee is productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes a day, which is only 31% of the average 8-hour workday. In addition, the average employee is distracted every 3 minutes.
Sometimes there are factors that are out of our control that can cause our minds to wander elsewhere, which can negatively affect productivity. Maybe it is the work environment that decreases your ability to think straight and focus on your work. The good thing is, there are several things that you can do each day to help improve your focus and productivity at work:
1. Be prepared to say “no”
One of the most important ways to retain your focus on the work that has to get done is learning to say “no.” By doing so, you are avoiding additional obligations that distract you from the task at hand. When you take on additional jobs from others, or even yourself, there is an increased likelihood for stress and burnout, which are big factors in decreased productivity. Keep your focus on one thing at a time and refuse to move on to another until it is complete.
2. Set time blocks in your schedule
At the start of your work day, consider breaking your schedule into 60 or 90 minute time blocks. This allows you to create a visual timeline to track the amount of time you set aside for each task you have. This way, you commit to only working on a certain task in each block, making you more likely to complete it in that time. Time blocking is great for having an organized schedule for yourself; you can also block times for your breaks to refresh and relax your mind before the next task.
3. Make meetings more productive
Having effective team meetings is important for personal and team productivity. Be sure that everyone is on the same page at the start of a meeting by taking time to review the agenda items and ideas. Doing so allows you to save time and increase productivity and critical thinking during the meeting, fostering a more collaborative atmosphere. It can also be beneficial to allow your team to join the meeting via a web platform in order to limit the amount of time away from their personal work.
4. Try to limit interruptions
Distractions and interruptions throughout the workday have potential to hinder workflow and decrease productivity. It can be easy to lose track of time spent on simple conversations or topic discussions with coworkers. When you are trying to avoid interruptions, consider wearing noise-canceling headphones to limit the distracting sounds around you and to let your coworkers know that you are trying to focus on your work.
5. Make time to disconnect from work
One of the most important things you can do for your productivity and focus is to unplug when you are finished with your work day. In other words, avoid any work-related emails and tasks when you are at home relaxing and enjoying yourself. While it may be tempting sometimes to continue working to get additional stuff done before the following day, it can lead to more stress and burnout. Taking time to rest and enjoy life outside of work will provide great benefits to your focus and productivity when you return to the office.
Practicing these strategies during your work days can help increase your productivity and focus. Sometimes it can be difficult if there are aspects of your environment or personal life that hinder your ability to give one hundred percent, but what is important is showing dedication and persistence to do your best.