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14 September 2022 | Reading Time: 3 minutes

How To Stay Focused When Working

The misconception when it comes to maintaining focus during the working day is that ‘staying focused’ means sitting at your desk all day and getting as much done as possible. This certainly isn’t a healthy or the most effective strategy.

We’ve compiled 6 healthy and effective ways to stay focused when working:

  1. Track your mood

Record triggers that derail you from your current task and negatively affect your mood. What caused them? Did someone try to speak to you because you’re in a busy area? Are you nervous about an upcoming meeting? Is the music you’re listening to very busy instead of soothing?

Your mood has a lot to do with your ability and motivation to complete your tasks. By understanding your environment, you’re more likely to be able to effectively respond rather than ineffectively react.

  1. Rest to reset

Sitting at your desk all day and trying to do as much as possible will only lead to burnout after a short amount of time. After this point, you’ll struggle to get any more done. Non-stop work may help you get more done temporarily e.g. if you’re running late on a task, but this isn’t a long-term strategy you should be adopting if you’re looking to optimize your productivity.

Instead, work in 45-60 minute blocks of time, then get up for 5-10 minutes, walk around and make yourself a cup of tea. Plus, get outside on your lunch break, don’t sit at your desk. Either go for a walk or take this time to do an activity like running, swimming or meeting up with a friend for a coffee.

  1. Remove distractions

A recent study found that having a lot of visual stimuli present when trying to concentrate results in those visual items competing for your attention. In other words, if there is too much else going on in your view, you will need to concentrate harder to get a task done.

Having emails and texts going off every 10 minutes is also going to be distracting. If you can, we suggest turning off these notifications and checking them only when you need to or during a break.

  1. Learn to say no

In the words of entrepreneur and author Peter Voogd, “The more you protect your time, the more valuable it becomes.” Your time is the currency of life. You may be the most skilled person on your team, but if you don’t know how to manage your time you won’t be reaching your potential.

Understandably, sometimes mistakes will be made that urgently need addressing, or a last-minute task will pop up. But these don’t happen every day. Set boundaries with yourself when trying to take on too much. Because spreading yourself too thin will mean you’re not giving your all to anything. We also suggest planning your day in time blocks, so you know what you’ll be working on at what time, instead of writing yourself a long to-do list and then not completing half of it.

  1. Reduce your number of meetings when possible

You’ll be surprised how much time meetings that could be texts or emails take up. Think about the time you spend preparing for it alone.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your meetings:

  • Stick to a designated time slot
  • Ask for an agenda
  • Before scheduling, find out if there’s another way to get the information you need without having a meeting
  1. Have time off to look forward to

Booking holidays or time off in advance will mean you and your team can better manage your time,.

Another benefit of this is that you have something to look forward to. On those days when you’re working on a tough project or you’re not having the best day, you can remind yourself you have your upcoming trip or time off. This mindset will also help you remember that no matter how tough that work project is, you’re also meant to have a life outside of work.

Plus, don’t only book time off to go on holiday. You’re allowed to have time off to sit at home and do nothing. Sometimes that’s exactly what we need.

Here are 7 ways to prevent burnout

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Tasks your virtual assistant can help you with

Removing things from your to-do-list means you’ll have more time in your day; more time to focus on growing your business! Here’s just a few of the tasks we can take off your hands to lighten your load:

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