We’ve all gone through those days where no matter how much coffee we drink, we just can’t to seem focus on our work. Whether we’re distracted by coworkers or fantasizing about happy hour plans, it’s crucial to find a way to buckle down and get work done!
Luckily, we’ve come up with some helpful ways to help you concentrate at work. But don’t worry, none of the tips involve drinking that fifth latte.
It might sound counterintuitive, but taking breaks can actually help improve your focus and productivity. Research shows that breaks can reboot your cognitive energy, and experts even recommend taking a 17 minute break for every 52 minutes of working. “This means get away from your computer screen, even the building if you can,” says performance life coach Stephanie Holland. “Just take a walk around outside or up and down some stairs.”
Find a Happy Place
If your desk is cluttered, people are loud around you, and your chair is hurting your back, there’s no way you’re going to be able to concentrate. “If there is an area of your workplace that you find the least distracting — from people or things — then go there,” says Holland. “Or, just put on some headphones with your music or a podcast that changes your mood.”
It’s tempting to skip breakfast if you don’t have time in the morning, but if your body isn’t properly nourished, your brain won’t be either. Load up on foods such as whole grains, nuts, berries, and leafy greens, and be sure to eat every few hours.
You might think you can get more stuff done at once by multitasking, but doing two things at once actually just means you’re switching your attention back and forth between them. This can cause changes in your brain which put you in a constant state of distraction. Make a list and focus on one item at a time.
We’re all guilty of it, but staying out late and waking up early is a surefire way to have problems concentrating at work. “Sleep deprivation wrecks havoc on brain function and causes stress responses that are depleting,” says productivity strategist Peggy Sealfon. And it’s not just going out late that can cause issues — you’ll also want to avoid using technology before bed, as the light can mess with your body’s sleep cycle and natural rhythms.
Do Something Fun in the Morning
Whether it’s just morning yoga, reading the newspaper, or cooking breakfast, ease into your day by doing something enjoyable. “Before you even get to the office, try and do something in the mornings just for you,” says Holland. Don’t just hit the alarm and start running through the day. There’s no surprise that by the time you get to work and pause, you aren’t able to concentrate.”
xx, The FabFitFun Team