9 Simple Ways to Stay Focused and Alert at Work

Posted March 9, 2021 by in Career

Being more productive at work can improve your performance and prevent burnout. When you’re more productive at work, you focus on your work and don’t need to work extra hours. If you want some tips for staying focused so you can be more productive, we can help.

In this guide, we’ll go over ways to stay focused:

1. Don’t Multitask

Multitasking reduces your cognitive abilities. Our brains focus on one task at a time. Multitasking may be beneficial in different situations like cooking or cleaning at home.

Yet, when you’re working on critical work tasks, focus on one thing at a time. Give the task your full attention to improve your speed and quality of work.

2. What Are Your Peak Working Hours?

Some people tend to work better at night while others perform best in the morning. To find your peak hours, measure your productivity throughout the day.

Notice your thought patterns, moods, energy levels, and distractions during the different hours. Give yourself a week to figure out your peak hours.

If you get more work done in the morning, try focusing on your most demanding tasks between 8-10 in the morning. Try finishing critical tasks the following week between 10-1 pm. Notice when you work best.

3. Prioritize a Few Tasks Daily

Think about and visualize specific tasks you need to complete each day. Establish three priority tasks you need to complete.

Spending time thinking about your tasks will help you focus. Write the three tasks down, and feel the satisfaction of crossing them off your list.

4. Build Your Focus

People often exercise to strengthen their bodies. You are able to train your brain to focus. If you experience a distracting thought, acknowledge the thought, but move on.

If you feel like you have to stop working, try and focus a little longer. Don’t aim to work for 6o minutes straight. Instead, build your focus over time.

For the first week, try to focus for 20 minutes and then take a five-minute break. Start another 20 minutes of work.

Over time, slowly increase the amount of time you focus. Make sure you continue to take breaks between work sessions.

5. Use a Journal

A journal will help you stay focused. You can write down goals for the day and prepare for your upcoming workday. Some people like to use their journals to reflect how their day turned out.

Notice how you feel during the workday and when you feel distracted or overwhelmed. If you notice consistent dips in your motivation, notice the time when you were in the flow.

Keep track of how much you’re eating. Did you drink enough water, and are you getting good sleep each night? These things can impact your focus.

6. Take a Break

During the day, people tend to feel tired in the afternoon between two and three. Some people break up their afternoon with a walk or a cool shower.

Do you not have time to exercise during the day? If so, get up and do something not related to work. Call your friend or walk across the street to get a coffee.

A short break from your task can improve your ability to focus on that task. Giving yourself a break will help you stay productive for a longer period.

Many people have a blurred work-life balance. Some people start earlier and work late into the night. Others eat their lunch while they are working.

The busy grind can lead people to mental fatigue and work burnout. Block out time for yourself. You need some time away from the stressors of your workday.

7. Exercise Throughout the Day

Exercise can increase oxygen flow and endorphins in your brain. Moving throughout the day will offset brain fog as well.

Weight lifting, running, and swimming can boost brain health. Improved brain health is essential for concentration and memory capacity.

Regular exercise will stimulate the release of a chemical. The chemical’s called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which can rewire memory circuits.

8. Turn off WiFi

Searching the internet can distract you from work. You end up flipping between tasks and interrupt your focus.

Eliminate online distractions so you don’t flip-flop between different tasks. You might need to unplug social media as well.

Give yourself a specific time where you can look through your social media accounts. This way, you won’t be checking your different accounts throughout the day.

You’ll notice your concentration and focus is more improved after removing these distractions.

9. Build a Supportive Environment

Constant distractions and interruptions will impact your focus. Set up your workspace to discourage people from dropping in for unscheduled meetings.

Listen to white noise or soothing music. You could also wear earphones. If you can’t block out office noise, move to a quieter spot. Schedule time to focus on your critical tasks.

If you need to finish a challenging task, turn your phone off. Shut off your email, mobile devices, and notifications.

By optimizing your work environment, you will focus and enter a flow state during work.

We hope this guide on how to stay focused was helpful. Use these ways to stay focused, and improve your productivity throughout the workday.

*Photo by Anthony Shkraba