This post originally appeared on CareerGirlDaily.com
It happens to the best of us. Whether you’re working from home or sitting in the office, there are just times when you cannot focus. You just don’t know how to concentrate on work without getting distracted, whether it’s because you love to chat, or whether you’re just feeling tired and distant.
No amount of coffee will help you if you’ve lost your focus, especially if you’re around distracting co-workers, too! Don’t worry, you can get your clarity of mind back in no time at all – here’s how…
1. Take five minutes to get it together
Get your head back in the game, whether that’s by splashing a bit of cold water on your face or going for a walk so you can clear your head. Once you feel a little bit better, you need to fix your mindset. Let’s be honest, your mindset is everything. You need positivity and motivation to get things done to the best of your ability.
Before you settle down to tackle the day’s tasks, take a few minutes to collect your thoughts and prepare yourself for what needs to be done. Perhaps you’ll want to take a few deep breaths to calm yourself. Don’t delve in with a worked up mind. Or perhaps you’d rather read something inspiring. Whatever gets you in the right mood for getting work done, do that.
2. Find the perfect work spot
This tip applies mainly if you’re working from home; so if you’re at the office, you may want to skip this one. Sometimes I’m not always feeling like sitting in a rigid chair at my desk; so what I’ll do I find an alternative spot to work from. You’ll still want it to be somewhere you can concentrate, so don’t go for somewhere full of distractions.
Whether it’s your bed or your sofa, clear the area so that it’s tidy and appropriate for getting to work. Little factors like light and temperature are pretty important too, as you won’t be able to focus if you’re straining your eyes, or freezing cold!
3. Disconnect from your phone
Our phones are wonderfully distracting little things, so sometimes it’s just best to put them away for a while or at least on silent. Turn off your social media notifications and really focus on the tasks you need to complete. You can always check your Insta or send that tweet when you take your short break.
When I’ve needed to knuckle down to work, I always found it best to completely ignore my phone and its notifications until I’d succeeded in doing a solid 30 or 40 minutes of work. You know, just up until my brain can take no more before it needs a breather. It’s very easy to get sucked into a scrolling session if you don’t stand firm and make sure your work is your priority.
4. Block out your time
To get the most out of a day of work, you need to set yourself realistic goals. Decide how much you aim to get done in a certain amount of time. You can do this by breaking up your day into blocks of time using a planner or a notebook, or just setting a timer on your phone. Alternatively, there are great apps such asForest.
Forest is an app that will get you focusing on your work by letting you virtually ‘grow’ trees when you complete a certain amount of time working. What’s even cooler is that these virtual trees can become real ones. ‘When our users spend virtual coins they earn in Forest on planting real trees, Forest team donates our partner and create orders of planting.’ Cool huh?! Put your dedication to good use, for you, and for the planet.
5. Give Yourself A Break
Or a few, actually. Studies have shown that our minds stop absorbing information and paying attention after about 45 minutes; so there’s no point in working 6 solid hours, your mind and body will be exhausted. Take regular short breaks to give your mind some much-needed refreshment.
You may want to use this time to go outside for a few minutes and get some air. Or maybe catch up on your favorite vlogger, or read a few pages of a book. I find it helps if I time my breaks so that I don’t get carried away and forget I’ve got work to do! The app 30/30 seriously helps me schedule my time.