When it comes to work, the scope of your future success is defined by your daily habits.
If you have trouble focusing on a task until it’s complete, it’ll be tough to create the outcomes you want.
Pay attention to the successful people you admire, and you’ll see that virtually all of them have mastered the art of single-pointed focus, deep work, and concentration.
Easier said than done though, right?
Don’t worry – there’s good news. Even if you have trouble focusing at work right now, there are things you can do to make each day more productive and fulfilling. To put this another way, you don’t have to be Tim Ferriss to bring more focus and concentration to your work.
Just follow these eight tips.
The Importance of Concentration (& 8 Ways to Improve Yours)
The world today is more distracting than it’s ever been.
Between ads, notifications, and all the various digital noise that seeps into our brains daily, it’s easy to understand why feeling focused and concentrated can be so tricky. Need proof? The Financial Times recently released a post titled “Digital Distractions are Making us Dumb and Twitchy”, and news broke back in 2015 that the human attention span had officially plummeted below that of a goldfish.
While this may seem depressing on the surface, it’s understandable. After all, our brains are only geared to handle so much information, and they shut down when they get overloaded. The good news is that you can reclaim your sense of concentration and focus by taking a proactive approach. While we can’t change the fact that the world is getting louder and busier, we can change how we work and live within it.
Here are 8 to get you started.
1. Work out Each Morning
Want to be more concentrated at work? Start each morning with a sweat session.
According to Harvard Men’s Health Watch, even 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (such as a brisk walk or a jog) can reduce brain fog and slash bouts of forgetfulness during the workday.
For best results, get outside or to the gym each morning before you settle in at your computer or desk.
2. Write Down Your Top Priorities
If you’ve never been a list-maker, now is a great time to start. According to recent research, people who write their goals down are anywhere from 1.2-1.4 times more likely to achieve them than people who don’t put them on paper.
With this in mind, stay focused at work by writing down your top 3-5 priorities and keeping them in sight. This is easily done within Brief by creating a ‘Priority’ Hub that contains your most important action items. Doing this effectively requires some discipline – at no point should you have more than 6 priority to-dos. When using Brief on your desktop computer, you’ll always be able to see your top priorities while communicating with your team. This is a great way to never lose sight of what matters and to cut down on unnecessary chatter.
3. Silence Your Notifications
Right now, the average person looks at their phone about 47 times each day. This makes sense, given that the average smartphone displays about 46 push notifications each day and marketers throughout North America distribute 671 million push notifications to users daily.
It’s enough to make your head hurt!
Stay focused on work and keep the noise to a minimum by turning off push notifications, muting or archiving conversations, and using the “Do Not Disturb” feature on your phone and computer while you complete tasks.
4. Remove Visual Clutter
By now, you probably know that physical clutter affects your state of mind, but did you know that visual clutter has the same effect?
Because so many of us work on computers and screens all day long, clutter like open windows, multiple conversation, and multiple tabs can make it hard to focus on one task at a time.
Luckily, tools like Brief feature clean designs that allow you to get rid of visual clutter and stay focused on the task at hand.
5. Make a List of What NOT to do
Everyone has an Achilles Heel when it comes to focus.
Yours might be social media or any other activity, hobby, or habit that steals your time and makes it difficult to work in a focused way. To get more done today, pay attention to the things that don’t need your attention, and find some smart ways to work around them.
For example, you might choose to work in a place where your everyday distractions are limited (heading to a coffee shop instead of working from home is a great option) or take another creative approach to block distractions and getting more done.
6. Stop Multitasking
While multitasking is commonly hailed as the gold standard of productivity, it makes it impossible to focus on a single activity.
With this in mind, stop multitasking completely.
Instead, schedule your most important daily tasks and execute them one after the other, focusing only on each task as you work through it. Not only will the quality of your work improve, but you’ll feel more focused and fulfilled, as well.
7. Create Hubs for Different Priorities
Keep your timeframes and to-dos organized by creating different hubs for each, and allocating items accordingly. This creates a structure for a more efficient work environment and keeps you on-task as you move through your day. It also makes delegation easier and enables you to connect tasks with people with the skills to do them.
8. Take an Overview of Your Goals
Organize our daily schedule by adding your entire set of goals and tasks to a dashboard and prioritizing them continuously. This allows you to change your approach as the day goes on and take a more systematic approach to prioritization.
Improve Your Focus, Improve Your Life
Learning how to improve concentration is a process, but it’s far from impossible. If you’re sick of feeling scattered and distracted in your daily work life, there are steps you can take to find “the zone” and work more efficiently.
By using smart tools like Brief, identifying and limiting your distraction triggers, and setting yourself up for success with some pre-work exercise and a productive environment, you’ll enjoy more deep work, more frequently.
Ready to learn more about Brief? Sign up today!