Contributing Writer: Jane Sandwood
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We are living in an age in which it is probably harder than ever to resist the temptation to lose track of our daily tasks. We need to be connected on social media to attend to customers, generate leads or conduct marketing research. Yet how often do we honestly switch off and check our own personal pages, or surf the Net to shop, socialize or search for personal information? While we can’t pull a Marty McFly and turn back the hands of time, we can use all the technological advances to boost concentration and be optimally productive, every single day.Ready for a boost in concentration at work? Check out these #productivity hacks: Click To Tweet
There’s an App for That!
Facebook and Twitter are major bugbears for those attempting to work without distraction. Anti-Social will ensure you go cold-turkey by blocking you from these apps for between 15 minutes and eight hours. There is no way to renege on your commitment… unless, of course, you’re willing to restart your computer and cheat over lunch or break time. If you really want to go all-out, try SelfControl: free software that will block your access to your email, Facebook and Twitter for 90 minutes, without the option of undoing its work by deleting the app or restarting your computer.
Sounds of Silence
Another big distraction is your favorite colleague, whom you just can’t resist having a ‘ten minute coffee’ with (admit it – your last coffee lasted 45 minutes). Without hurting your BFF’s feelings, schedule breaks together instead of chatting during work time. Be mindful of your watch to ensure you do not waste a great part of the morning or afternoon chatting. Better yet, forego long office chats in favor of lunch or a cup of tea together after work.
Plan Your Workload for the Day, Every Day
You may have a job in which you are called upon to complete, say, 20 tasks, more or less at your own pace. As soon as you sit at our desk, use a physical or digital diary to plan exactly what you need to accomplish on that day. Set as many tasks as you reasonably can; nothing beats the feeling of being early for your monthly tally. Use the extra time to review your work and to ensure the presentation is top notch.
Relaxation is Key
When we are unable to concentrate on a task, it is often because our mind is cluttered with worries and stress… the problem is that the future is the wrong place to be when we are supposed to be producing quality work. It’s all well and good to use apps, timers and devices to keep our mind on the job but in the long-term, we need to work on our ability to concentrate from within.
Research has shown time and time again that mindfulness-based activities (including mindfulness meditation, yoga or even Tai Chi) enhance our ability to concentrate, lower our stress levels and give our mood a welcome lift. If you are too busy to sign up for one of these classes, start with a controlled (or pranayamic) breathing app. In as little as five minutes, you can learn how to use your abdomen to breathe, taking a long time to inhale and an even longer time to exhale. Those who use these apps note they have many positive effects, including lowering the heart rate and reducing anxiety.4 Ways to boost your #concentration at work (even if you work on a device that distracts): Click To Tweet
Concentrating at work involves eliminating distractions, planning your work day, and working on long-term concentration improvement. Exercise, particularly holistic activities, will do plenty to clear your mind, make you more aware of your thoughts and emotions, and hone the ultimate skill you need to concentrate: that of mindfulness.
Red Branch Media on Concentration:
- Productivity Hacks to Get Stuff Done
- 10 Apps to Raise the Bar on Productivity
- 8 Ways to Avoid Burning Out at Work
Jane Sandwood is a freelance writer and content editor with over 10 years’ experience. She decided to move into freelancing to take advantage of the flexibility and work-life balance it offers. When Jane isn’t writing, she is busy spending time with her family. She also enjoys music, reading and traveling whenever she can.
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