In an 8-hour work day, the average worker is productive for less than 3 hours. Whether you’re working from home or in an office, you probably struggle with focusing on work all throughout the day. You might start out with great focus and motivation but hit a wall after lunch and find yourself on your phone instead of completing your work tasks.
You may feel extremely motivated to work all day, but simply can’t get your mind to stay focused on one task. This can be frustrating and end up costing you a ton of money you can be earning. Luckily, there are ways to improve your focus during the day, so you can get all your tasks done and feel accomplished. Keep reading for some life-changing tips on improving focus during the work day!
1. Start Your Day Off with Yoga
Yoga is scientifically proven to increase brain function, which includes the ability to focus, improved memory, and improved cognition. This is because yoga works to help you connect with your breath, which increases blood flow to the brain. Yoga also requires you to practice focusing during your practice, and the more you practice, the more you’ll be able to focus on one task at a time.
Also, yoga will help connect you to your body. You may be wondering how that can help you focus more during work, but consider this: how many hours a day do you sit hunched over a computer typing? Do you ever have to stop working because your back or neck is starting to hurt? Yoga will help keep your body loose and allow you to stretch those problem areas so they won’t keep you from working throughout the day.
2. Start Time-Blocking
Writing to-do lists is a popular way to keep track of what you need to do, and what tasks you’ve already completed. It gives people a sense of accomplishment to cross things off a list and helps people feel more organized about all the tasks they need to complete. But it’s time to take your to-do lists one step further.
Instead of simply writing your to-do lists and attempting to go down the list completing everything, start creating time blocks. You will set aside a specific time of day to complete a specific task, and you won’t do anything else during that time. Your time-blocking could look something like this:
- 9:00 A.M.-11:00 A.M.: Complete the hardest task.
- 11:30 A.M.-1:00 P.M.: Complete the second hardest task.
- 1:00 P.M.-2:00 P.M.: Lunch.
- 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.: Purge your inbox.
- 3:00 P.M.-4:30 P.M.: Complete one or two more tasks.
- 4:30 P.M.-5:00 P.M.: Wrap-up work for the day.
Obviously, your time-blocking may look completely different than this, but it gives you a general idea of how to write it out. You can give yourself a ten-minute break between time blocks to take a walk, go on your phone, or do something else completely non-work related.
3. Avoid the Post-Lunch Slump
Do you ever feel extremely unmotivated or unable to focus after eating lunch? It’s common to hit a wall in productivity after taking a lunch break. But why is that?
The reason you’re feeling tired after eating is because your body is using energy to digest the food. The heavier, more processed foods will take up a lot more energy to digest than a light salad. So instead of opting for a cheeseburger and fries for lunch, try to keep it light and eat things that won’t require a ton of energy to digest.
Light salads, lean proteins, fruits, and other healthier options will not only keep you focused and motivated but will greatly benefit your overall health. Also, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Being hydrated will help you digest food much easier.
If you still feel a post-lunch slump, consider doing easier tasks that don’t require as much focus or brain power to complete. It would be a great time to go through your inbox and reply to any emails you have waiting for you.
4. Keep Distractions to a Minimum
One of the biggest reasons you can’t focus during the day is because our lives are full of distractions. There is always something to look at on social media and we have notifications coming in throughout the day. It’s super easy to stop your productive work to text your sister back or look at your new friend request on Facebook.
But these distractions not only take up time in your workday, but they completely break your focus. By indulging these distractions, you’re telling your brain it’s okay to not focus on work. This can be detrimental to your productivity over time.
So, it’s time to stop the distractions. Put your phone on do not disturb and turn off push notifications for social media. You can pick and choose who to mute, so you can still get notifications from work colleagues, but turn off notifications from the group chat with your whole family.
5. Use the Pomodoro Technique
If you’re having an off-day and you’re really struggling to focus at all, try using the popular Pomodoro technique throughout the day.
The idea is that you will focus for a short amount of time, depending on what you think you can do. If you’re really struggling, just try focusing for 25 minutes on one task, then take a 5-minute break. During those 25 minutes, put your phone away and only do the one task you have in front of you. Try not to let your mind wander and just remember you only have to focus for that short amount of time.
Once you’ve completed one 25-minute focus period and one 5-minute break, you’ve completed a Pomodoro. You should repeat this four times, and then you get 20-30 minute break from work. Keep repeating this until your work day is done and you’ll find you’ve gotten just as much work done as you would get done any other day.
Improve Your Focus to Become a More Productive Person
Not only does improving focus help you get more work done, but it’ll help you in other areas of life too. Don’t let hours go by wasted anymore and take back control of your life. It may take time to implement all of these practices, but once you do you’ll be shocked out how much more you get done throughout the day.
For some more helpful tips on focus and motivation, check out Futuramo’s productivity blog page today!
About the author
Haley is a graduate student at the University of South Florida and currently works as a freelance blogger for several different niches. She enjoys writing about productivity, mental health and well-being, and living a healthy lifestyle.