Noise, restlessness, it is sometimes difficult to concentrate in the office. This article aims to give you some keys to success in order to be and stay focused at work.
So here are 10 tips we give you to help you focus at work.
It's hard to always stay focused at the office!
When you work in an office and especially in open-space, it can be very hard to concentrate because of the constant noise, agitation etc. In addition, many studies have shown that it is difficult to concentrate when it is very easy to be distracted. In fact, it takes 20 minutes to concentrate again after being distracted for a few seconds. In addition, a study conducted in 2010 evaluated the concentration time at work at 12 minutes at best.
In these conditions, it is not easy to stay focused when you work in an open space and you are constantly disturbed by external stimuli (emails, calls, instant messages, discussions around). Moreover, the use of new technologies such as smartphones, tablets or social networks, also encourages you to flit around and lose focus. If the multiplication of micro-tasks is so detrimental to productivity, it is because the time to "get back on track" and finish the unfinished task is much longer than the duration of the interruption. If it is so easy to lose focus, it is necessary to have techniques at one's disposal in order to be able to concentrate and stay focused!
No more distractions, here are the 10 techniques we recommend to help you concentrate!
Here are the 10 concentration techniques we recommend you use
No more multitasking: do only one thing at a time
A study on the brain, attention, memory and task management conducted on a sample of 100 people demonstrated the negative effects of multitasking on the ability to concentrate. The sample was divided into two groups: those who considered themselves multitasking and those who considered themselves monotasking. The multitasking group performed worse each time. We recommend that you never do more than one thing at a time: if you are assigned a task, give it your full attention.
You will take care of your other assignments once the first one is completed.
Focus on meditation
Contrary to common belief, meditation is not reserved for a small part of the yoga population.
Everyone can meditate, in their own way. The practice of meditation has many benefits such as promoting self-confidence, stability, well-being or concentration. Moreover, meditation does not require a large time slot at one's disposal. It has been shown through a study on students' concentration that students obtain better results on certain cognitive tests if they meditated 20 minutes a day for 4 days before the test.
So focus on meditation: it will allow you to concentrate when you work as well as to feel good in your daily life.
Move, eat, drink, sleep!
In order to be concentrated at the office, it is necessary to have a favourable lifestyle. We can only recommend regular physical activity: the endorphin and dopamine generated during your sports activity will allow you to be relaxed and efficient during your working hours, and helps you to concentrate. In addition to this, sport will help you to be relaxed in general.
We strongly recommend that you get a good night's sleep every night. It has been shown that sleep and concentration are closely linked: a good night's sleep will allow you to be focused and efficient throughout the day!
Drinking water will also help you in your concentration process. Coffee in small quantities can also be a quality ally and will help you to stay effective, but drink it sparingly: it could eventually produce the opposite effect.
Finally, we recommend that you do not overeat at midday and that you choose light, balanced meals so that you do not suffer the famous after-effects of a meal: the terrible digestive fatigue.
Take a break!
Break sessions have been shown to be extremely beneficial for staying focused throughout the day. A study of 84 people showed that for one hour of computer work, the test sample with two breaks performed better than those without any breaks.
Work stays at work
To stay focused at the office, it is important that there is a break between work and private life.
We therefore strongly recommend that you leave at work what is at work. When you leave the office, separate yourself completely from everything related to your job, empty your head of your professional assignments. A study has shown that you can solve a problem much better when you stop thinking about it than by constantly looking for the answer.
In short, disconnect!
Identifying moments that are conducive to concentration
Everyone has his or her own moments when he or she is particularly effective: for some it is morning, for others it is evening, for others it is midday, etc.
Identify the times when you are at your best and use them! If you are effective early in the morning or late at night, organize your day around these times and reserve the tasks that require the most attention for these times. During your "off" periods, you can do the tasks that require the least attention.
Identify emergencies VS what can wait
Not all the tasks that make up your job have the same degree of urgency. Some must be dealt with as soon as possible, while others are not urgent and can wait for a more convenient time.
In order to be fully focused, it is necessary to categorize these different missions according to their importance (is the mission to be done urgently, to be delegated, postponed, etc.).
This process will allow you to have a clear and free mind and to stay focused.
Respect the 45-minute rule
An individual can stay focused for about 45 minutes. Beyond that time, his performance and concentration fade or even stop altogether.
We therefore recommend that you take a break or change your activity completely after the 45 minutes of work in order to take your mind off things and maintain your concentration.
Don't answer the siren call.
Checking your e-mails or replying to your messages too regularly impairs your concentration: some of your attention remains focused on the previous task.
If your inbox is ringing every minute and hundreds of emails are coming in, and you find it distracting, we recommend that you think of it as a simple mailbox that receives your emails and quietly waits for you to open it to read them.
That way you will have a clearer mind and be less distracted. Also try not to get lost on the internet between tasks: even though the siren call is strong nowadays, especially with the advent of social networks, the temptation to go and see what's going on online is detrimental to concentration.
Make an appointment with yourself
If you absolutely have to carry out an assignment, such as returning a file, we recommend that you "make an appointment with yourself".
This technique is very effective. In other words, set aside a specific period of time to close a file during which you ignore your e-mails, calls, and any outside stimulus that is interfering with your concentration.
That said, keeping these appointments with yourself requires great self-discipline. We also recommend that you use the work spaces set up by your company during your business. For example, using meeting rooms or acoustic booths will make your meeting more official.
All right, are you focused?
We hope this article will help you stay focused throughout the day!
To learn more about techniques for relaxing at work, you can check out our article on the best techniques for relaxing at work.