Is it just me or is everyone is finding it hard to concentrate these days? These are the types of questions I inevitably end up asking myself when I start a task but get sidetracked by something else.
Last week, I wanted to research a topic and then write an article about it. Just as I was about to write, I got a notification from my favorite YouTube channel. They had uploaded a very interesting video. My brain said no but my heart said yes. And so I ended up wasting an hour.
I didn’t want to be the only suffering from such a small attention span, as that would be too depressing, so I searched the internet and found out that the average attention span of humans is now less than a goldfish’s. That’s a comforting thought. At least I’m not only one who can’t hold a thought.
This also led me to search for some neat tips and tricks that’ll help me concentrate, especially at work. In this article, I’m going to share the five best tips that will help you concentrate at work. Ready? Let’s start.
Try to Find the Fun in Your Task
You’re not going to want to focus on work if it’s boring you out of your mind. When starting a task, first remind yourself why you’re doing it. The end goal should give you enough reason to value the task.
Find creative and fun ways to complete the task. Let your imagination run wild. Don’t just concentrate on the “approved” goal. Own your task so that you can proudly show it off. This will allow you to stay focused on the task at hand.
Charles Schwab, the American billionaire investor, says:
“Passion is the great slayer of adversity. Focus on strengths and what you enjoy.”
Organize your Work Stations
Is your work station hindering your productivity? Are there lots of distractions around it? On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your work station? Most of us work with an average work station i.e. 3 to 5. Food and drinks, bag or purse, and other personal items scattered around your desk make for a bad work station.
Organize your work station by designating a specific area for all your items. But remember to keep these items within an arm’s reach so that you don’t have to take your eyes off your tasks.
Hal Varian, the chief economist at Google, says:
“If a train stops at a train station, what do you think happens at a work station?”
Unsubscribe from all YouTube channels
Like social media, YouTube channels can waste a lot of your time as well. Just look at what happened to me. Yes, the video was interesting but in the end it was irrelevant.
Unsubscribe from all the YouTube channels. You’ll soon realize that most of them weren’t worth your time. There are channels that you’ll intentionally visit to watch their latest video. These are the ones that will be actually relevant to you.
Levi Lusko, author of Through the Eyes of A Lion, says:
“This destruction by distraction is difficult to detect when it’s happening because it doesn’t involve bad things but good things that take the place of the most important things.”
It is common knowledge that the first hour of work is the most productive. Why? Because your mind is fresh and you’re full of energy.
If you have some very difficult and taxing tasks for the day, be sure to start them within the first hour. After completing your most taxing tasks, start working on the less stressful ones. Finally, end your day with those routine tasks that you find most boring.
Stephen Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says:
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
Avoid Social Media
Smartphones and social media are the banes of concentration. Since 2000, our average human attention span has decreased by 4 seconds. It went from 12 to 8 seconds. Do you know what hit the scenes around 2000? Smartphones. Most of us use smartphones to check out our social media feed.
Stay away from social media at work. Once you log in, there’s a high chance you’ll keep refreshing the feed to see new updates. This why many companies are now using employee time tracking apps to gauge their workers’ productivity.
Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, says:
“It takes discipline not to let social media steal your time.”